The Great American Read

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country.

It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode on May 22, in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. Check out a sampling of the 100 best here

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In Memoriam-Philip Roth

Philip Roth, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, dies at 85. Roth’s fiction, regularly set in his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey, is known for its intensely autobiographical character, for philosophically and formally blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, for its “supple, ingenious style” and for its provocative explorations of American identity.

Roth first gained attention with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, for which he received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. He became one of the most awarded American writers of his generation. His books twice received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle award, and three times the PEN/Faulkner Award.

He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel American Pastoral, which featured one of his best-known characters, Nathan Zuckerman, a character in many of Roth’s novels. The Human Stain (2000), another Zuckerman novel, was awarded the United Kingdom’s WH Smith Literary Award for the best book of the year.

In 2001, in Prague, Roth received the inaugural Franz Kafka Prize. Roth died of congestive heart failure in Manhattan on May 22. Check out some of his books here.

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