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Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1917

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Boston Public Library's Abbey Room

700 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116

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The Associates of the Boston Public Library cordially invites you to our Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award competition to weigh the enduring literary merits of three bestsellers published in 1917. Contenders for the prize are T.S. Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations, Mohandas Gandhi's Third Class in Indian Railways, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s His Last Bow: An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes. The books will be defended by poet and author Charles Coe, Michael Patrick MacDonald, memoirist, and suspense author Jacquelyn Mitchard respectively. Author Stona Fitch will moderate the irreverent debate, after which the audience will vote to determine the winner. A reception with the panelists will follow.



Speaking for the Candidates:

Charles Coe is a poet and author of two books of poetry: All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents and Picnic on the Moon, both published by Leapfrog Press. He is author of Spin Cycles, a novella published by Gemma Media. His essay Hill of Dreams, about his travels through the Soviet Union in 1988, appears in Inspired Journeys: Travels with the Muse (University of Wisconsin Press 2016). Peach Pie, a short film by filmmaker Roberto Mighty based on his poem Fortress, is currently showing in film festivals nationwide. Mr. Coe is the winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light for 2014.” He in the second year of a three-year term as an Artist Fellow for the St. Botolph Club, an organization that supports arts and the humanities in Greater Boston. He has also been chosen as an Artist-in-Residence for the city of Boston for 2017.

Michael Patrick MacDonald is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, All Souls: A Family Story From Southie and the acclaimed Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion. These two books are frequent “First Year Experience” selections at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., for which MacDonald has given over 300 campus lectures. He has been awarded an American Book Award, a New England Literary Lights Award, and a fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center. MacDonald has also written a number of essays and short stories, and been a contributor to The Boston Globe’s Op Ed page and a Senior Contributing Editor for the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Mr. MacDonald serves as Author-in-Residence & Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University’s Honors Department is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development at the McCormack Institute for Social Policy and Global Studies.

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the number one New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels for adults, including The Deep End of the Ocean, which was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and also made into a major feature film. The editor of a realistic Young Adult imprint, Merit Press, Mitchard also is the author of seven novels for Young Adults. Her work has won the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards, as well as the UK’s Walkabout Prize and was short-listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She is a professor of Creative Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts and a contributing editor for More magazine. Mitchard grew up in Chicago, and now lives on Cape Cod with her family.



Debate Moderator:

Stona Fitch (aka Rory Flynn) is an award-winning novelist, often writing about Boston crime, who has garnered international acclaim. His 2001 novel, Senseless, was adapted into a movie of the same name. He authors the Eddy Harkness mystery series under the pseudonym Rory Flynn. Fitch is also the founder of the Concord Free Press, the world’s first donation-based publisher.

This is a free members' event. Seats are avaliable on a first come first serve basis. Please contact the Associates office with any questions: associates@bpl.org or 617-536-3886.

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700 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116

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