Michael Cunningham (2015)
We can’t claim that we planned it that way, but we couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly themed setting for Croton Reads 2015. Freshly falling snow covered the village as readers crowded into the Ottinger Room on March 1 to meet The Snow Queen author Michael Cunningham. Chilly conditions could not deter those who wanted to meet this Pulitzer Prize-winning author, whose gracious and charming presence warmed our hearts. Before answering questions providing great insight into his creative process, not to mention the human condition, Michael thrilled the audience with readings of two short stories scheduled to appear in his next book, A Wild Swan and Other Tales. While The Snow Queen had the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name as its seed of inspiration, Michael truly transported us to the world of make-believe with his modern take on Snow White and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. All fortunate listeners were as enchanted as any child being read a bedtime story – but who could have dreamt of hearing a writer’s mellifluous voice reciting his own words?
The author event was only one aspect of this community-wide reading initiative designed to connect residents through a shared reading experience. In addition to the informal chats around town about the book selection, we also got together in February for an informative and insightful panel discussion, led by Library Director Yvonne Cech. Local experts in psychology, Jim Kramer, MSW, and music composition, Frank Migliorelli, joined Purchase College literature professor, Anthony Domestico to share their expert perspectives on the novel.
We can’t wait for Croton Reads to take shape for its next installment in 2016!