The 2013 Big Read is Old School by Tobias Wolff.
Wolff’s first novel is based on his own past. The story follows a young man during his senior year at a New England private school in the early 1960’s. The unnamed narrator is full of ambition to become a writer and dreams of winning a literary contest held three times a year at the school in order to interview a famous author. It is experiences with his dean, other students, and literary greats such as Hemingway and Frost that let the narrator find the balance between tradition and ambition.
The American boy with a Jewish heritage comes from humble beginnings in Seattle. He finds himself longing to blend with the wealth and heritage of the Anglo population that fills the New England school. His desire to win the contest brings new struggles as he is accused of plagiarism for his short story.
This coming of age story follows a young man trying to find his place and fulfill his dreams of being a writer. Through his development themes of tradition, class, and self-identity are explored. Old School is a novel that celebrates American literature while at the same tells a heartwarming coming of age story.
The Pioneer Library System wraps up the 2013 edition of The Big Read by welcoming author Tobias Wolff to Oklahoma.
Wolff will make public presentations at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Geiger Center at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, and later that evening at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Middle School Auditorium in Norman.
Wolff is the author of “Old School,” the selected novel for this year’s Big Read. The book looks at the relationships and challenges of a group of teens at a boarding school in the northeastern United States in the early 1960s. Students are competing in a writing contest for a chance to meet a famous author and the storyline centers on some of the rules some of them break in trying to win.
Join the Pioneer Library System for some special events to celebrate the Big Read and go deeper into the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff
Wednesday March 27, 6-8 p.m. at Beaird Lounge in the Memorial Union
University of Oklahoma in Norman
An evening of informal conversation with eleven award-winning Oklahoma authors plus music by OU BYX A Capella and local guitarist Eric Herndon
Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m. at Old School Auditorium in Moore
A panel discussion of Old School with scholars tom Boyd, Bob Frenchm Joe Foote, and Bill Hagen, moderated by author William Bernhardt
Wednesday, April 17, 6 p.m. at Cinema 8 in Shawnee
Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m. at Warren Theatre in Moore
A free screening of the movie based upon the Tobias Wolff novel This Boy's Life
The Pioneer Library System has announced the winners of The Big Read: Old School Short Story Writing Contest.
Contest winners are Laura Smith, a 17-year-old junior at Westmoore High School, in the high school division; and Matt Baker, an Oklahoma Baptist University senior double-majoring in English and Anthropology, in the college division.
The winners were chosen from a group of finalists by Tobias Wolff, author of “Old School,” the featured novel in The Big Read activities in the library system this spring. They were announced at The Big Read Study Hall scholar panel discussion at Moore’s Old School Business Center on April 10.