Great Michigan Read 2009-2010 Announced Today

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen was selected for the second Great Michigan Read. At the event today an Executive Declaration from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was read, proclaiming May 19th as “The Great Michigan Read Day.”  The public announcement was held at the Cascade Meijer store and broadcast over the internet (achieved at www.michiganhumanities.org).  Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities are leading sponsors of the The Great Michigan Read.

With a statewide focus on a single book, the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read encourages Michiganians to learn more about their state, their history, and their society. The Council’s free supporting programming will focus on three themes: immigration stories, cultural understanding, and contemporary history.

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is a memoir chronicling author Bich Minh Nguyen’s migration from Vietnam in 1975 and her coming of age in Grand Rapids in the 1980s. Along the way, she struggles to construct her own cultural identity from a menagerie of uniquely American influences.

The book was selected by a group of nearly 50 librarians, teachers, students, professors, authors and others from all over the state. More than 75 Michigan-related titles were considered for the program. representatives from communities across the state were invited to participate in the selection process. I was in the fortunate position of being the chairperson for the West Michigan region selection committee.  I am thrilled with the selection and hope that the Grand Rapids Public Library can be part of The Great Michigan Read.

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