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"One Amazing Thing" comes to MCCC

Agora Staff

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013

Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 14:03

Cheryl Johnston

Tim Green

Cheryl Johnston holds a copy of the book, "One Amazing Thing."

Storytelling has a way of bringing people together, much like in the novel, One Amazing Thing, the book of choice for this year’s One Book One Community project.

The third annual event will be held March 18 through April 12.

Participants will read the book One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and come together to discuss it.

Book discussions will be held throughout the county at difference library branches, through March and April.

The story is about nine people who may face death in the wake of an earthquake.

While trapped together, they each share “one amazing thing” about their lives.

A highlight of the month’s activities is the Meet The Author night on March 27.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni will speak at the La-Z-Boy Center.

Divakaruni is an award winning author who has published numerous fiction novels and books for young readers.

Her book, Mistress of Spices, was made into a successful American film and released in 2005.

She also is set to release her latest novel, Oleander Girl, in March of this year.

Cheryl Johnston, Assistant Professor of English and co-chair of the event, said the idea is to bring everyone together through literature.

 “I just think the book shows us how we are connected we are. I think we live in a world where we sometimes think we are disconnected from each other,” she said.

She also talked about what made the book so relatable to an entire community.

“I think it’s the humanity in the story, and I think people are hungry for that,” she said.

The kickoff event will be at 6 p.m. March 18 and feature activities that incorporate the theme of the book.

Festivities include henna painting, presentations on the benefits of yoga and meditation, and an interactive storyboard called “Degrees of Separation-Have we crossed paths before.”

Several other events for One Book One Community will be held on the main campus, including a lecture on the power of storytelling, a Women Storyteller History Fair, and a Brown Bag Discussion of the book, led by MCCC’s English faculty.

American and Irish humorist, Yvonne Healy, will put on a performance of storytelling at the La-Z-Boy Center on April 2.

A panel discussion featuring media experts talking about how compelling stories are written and produced will be held April 2.

The month-long event will come to a close April 12 with an Asian and Indian buffet, celebrating the themes of the book. Tickets will cost $20 per person.

At Ellis Library and Reference Center, the film Crash will be screened and a discussion of the story will talk place.  

A full list of events is at www.monroeccc.edu/onebook.

Students and community residents are encouraged to share their “one amazing thing” on the Monroe Evening News website, www.monroenews.com, or by record them at MPACT studios i downtown Monroe from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

Students also can record their stories at The Agora any Tuesday or Thursday from 2-3:30 p.m.

The stories and videos will be shown at the kickoff night at the La-Z-Boy Center.

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