Sunday, February 23, 2014

Amherst Reading Program to Feature ‘Sandcastle Girls’

AMHERST, Mass.—The Jones Library in Amherst is holding its second “On the Same Page” community reading program, and will feature The Sandcastle Girls by best-selling author Chris Bohjalian.
image001 Amherst Reading Program to Feature ‘Sandcastle Girls’ The following series of programs, sponsored by the Friends of the Jones Library System, will be held during the month of March at the Jones Library, and are based on topics and themes from the novel. “On the Same Page” will culminate in an appearance by Bohjalian on Tues., March 25, at 7:30 p.m., at the Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. For complete program descriptions, visit
Tues., March 4 at 7 p.m., Woodbury Room. A screening of the documentary, “The Armenian Genocide,” produced in 2005 by Two Cats Productions. A discussion will follow, led by Henry Theriault, Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State University.
Sat., March 8 at 2:30 p.m., Goodwin Room. A book discussion led by Barry O’Connell, Professor of English Emeritus at Amherst College and a former professor of the author. A friendly discussion, open to all.
Thurs., March 13 at 7 p.m., Woodbury Room. “The American Missionaries and the Armenians: Successes and Limitations of Humanitarianism,” a presentation by Barbara Merguerian, vice president of the Armenian Museum of America, will take a look at the role of American missionaries in bringing aid to the Armenian people.
Tues., March 18 at 7 p.m., Woodbury Room. “Overcoming Evil: Preventing Genocide and Other Group Violence and Creating Peaceful Societies,” by Ervin Staub, Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, will take a look at the societal conditions that can lead to violence against groups and discuss how to prevent such conflicts.
Tues., March 25 at 6 p.m., Woodbury Room. Join the Friends of the Jones Library System and Chris Bohjalian at this special reception. Sponsored by the FOJLS, the event is free and open to the public.
Tues., March 25 at 7:30 p.m., Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. “On the Same Page…with Chris Bohjalian.” Bohjalian will talk about the book, with an introduction by novelist Cammie McGovern. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Copies of The Sandcastle Girls can be borrowed from the Jones Library and branches, requested and checked out from the C/W Mars library catalogue, or purchased at Amherst Books or Food for Thought Books in Amherst.
The Sandcastle Girls is a New York Times bestseller that was included on several “Best Book of 2012” lists and Arts and Letters Award from the Armenian National
MG 2873 2 200x300 Amherst Reading Program to Feature ‘Sandcastle Girls’
Chris Bohjalian (Photo by Tom Vartanedian)
Committee of America and the Saint Mesrob Mashdots Medal by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. This novel tells the parallel stories of Elizabeth, a Mt. Holyoke College graduate who, in 1915, accompanies her father to Aleppo, Syria, to aid Armenian refugees, and current-day Laura, a New Yorker trying to make sense of the life story of her grandmother Elizabeth, as well as her own past. The selection of this title is particularly timely, as the novel addresses the Armenian Genocide that began in 1915; the 100th anniversary of this tragedy is approaching, and is sure to receive media attention in 2015.
Bohjalian is the author of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Night Strangers, Secrets of Eden, Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, Before You Know Kindness, The Law of Similars, and Midwives. He won the New England Book Award in 2002, and his novel Midwives was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages. He has also written for a wide variety of magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and he has been a Sunday columnist for Gannett’s Burlington Free Press since 1992. A graduate of Amherst College, Bohjalian lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.

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