One Book, Tri-Town Explores Literature, Art, and History

The Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion, the Mattapoisett Free Public Library, and the Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library in Rochester announce an exciting new program: One Book, Tri-Town.  We will be reading The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro leading up to a visit by the author on Sunday, May 19at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library.  Copies of the novel in various formats will be available from each of the three libraries.

The Muralist is a novel about Alizee Benoit, a young painter working on murals for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) when she vanishes in 1940. No one knows what has happened to her, not her arts patron Eleanor Roosevelt, or her friends and fellow WPA artists Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Lee Krasner. Seventy years later, her great niece Danielle uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous artists.  Do they hold the answers about her missing aunt? The novel discusses the WPA artists project, the Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Holocaust, as well as bringing us into the world of mural painting and the early history of three famous artists.

Starting in February 2019, the three libraries will be coordinating some exciting programs on some of the topics discussed in the book.  On Saturday, February 23at 2:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library, there will be a book and movie discussion on John Steinbeck’s prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath.  Copies of the book will be available at the three libraries for pickup.  We will discuss Steinbeck’s novel, then watch the film. If you would like to take part in this program and to reserve a copy of Grapes of Wrath, call your local library to register, or go to the Events Calendar on the Plumb Library website, and register there. Other programs being scheduled: a 1930’s folk song sing-along on March 17; a showing of the film Pollack on March 20; a concert of music by WPA composers by pianist Leslie Amper in April, and more.  Children and older students will also be involved both in the libraries and in the schools.

This program is supported in part by grants from the Marion Cultural Council, Mattapoisett Cultural Council, and the Rochester Cultural Council,  local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.  Support is also being provided by the Friends of Plumb Library, and the Friends of the Mattapoisett Free Public Library. It is being planned by the committee consisting of Library Directors Susan Pizzolato of Mattapoisett, Elizabeth Sherry of Marion, and Gail Roberts of Rochester, and other community partners and volunteers.

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