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Northern Nevada Reads project features ‘The Basque Hotel’



Another community read is on its way! Representatives of several community organizations are planning a “Northern Nevada Reads” project for early 2010. The chosen book is a local favorite: “The Basque Hotel” by Robert Laxalt. Everyone in Northern Nevada will have an opportunity to read and enjoy this wonderful book and participate in book discussions and other related activities from January through March.

The theme of Northern Nevada Reads, “The Immigrant Experience in Northern Nevada,” focuses upon the rich cultural diversity of our region. “The Basque Hotel,” published in 1989, is the first volume in Robert Laxalt’s highly acclaimed Basque-family trilogy. It tells the story of Pete, the son of a Basque immigrant, and his coming of age in Depression-era Carson City. Too inclined to dream, Pete undergoes his rites of passage – cruelty and kindness, disillusionment, love and terror, pathos and hilarious adventure – and finally, reaches a cautious understanding of his world.

“Since our theme deals with the immigrant experience in northern Nevada, it seemed most fitting to select a book by one of Nevada’s most prestigious authors, himself the son of immigrant parents,” said Nancy Cummings, Northern Nevada Reads chairperson. “This compelling novel, written in simple and direct prose style, is an example of a master storyteller, and seemed the just right choice for our Northern Nevada Reads project.”

She added that existing book discussion groups as well as those interested in participating or forming a group are encouraged to contact the Northern Nevada Reads Committee and get involved in the project. In addition to book discussions, upcoming activities will include a variety of programs and events celebrating the Basque culture.

Cummings said the project is intended to serve as a springboard for residents of all nationalities to explore their family heritage. “Not only do we want people to read and discuss The Basque Hotel, but we hope it will inspire them to talk about and record in writing their own family experiences.”

You’ll be hearing much more about Northern Nevada Reads 2010 in coming months. In the meantime, you can start reading “The Basque Hotel” – a true northern Nevada classic!

For more information about book discussion groups, please contact Barbara Drake at [email protected]. For general information about the project, please contact Northern Nevada Reads Chairperson Nancy Cummings at [email protected] or 356-1007.

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