NEA Big Read

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Five Skies by Ron Carlson The Round House by Louise Erdrich How We Became Human by Joy Harjo To Live by Yu Hua Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine Gilead by Marilynne Robinson This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang Book of Hours by Kevin Young Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra

FIVE SKIES

By Ron Carlson

In this contemporary western novel, three men work a construction job out in the Idaho Rocky Mountains to build a motorcycle ramp over a gorge for an Evel Knievel-like publicity stunt. Read more

THE ROUND HOUSE

By Louise Erdrich

A Native American boy on the Ojibwa reservation in North Dakota seeks justice for an attack on his mother in this coming-of-age mystery novel about tribal jurisdiction that helped spark the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Read more

HOW WE BECAME HUMAN

By Joy Harjo

Poetry about nature, spirituality, violence, reservation life, and Native American culture and mythology, including poems from She Had Some Horses, make up this collection from Oklahoma Muscogee (Creek) Nation writer and musician Joy Harjo. Read more

TO LIVE

By Yu Hua

An influential book in China, Yu Hua’s epic novel To Live tells the story of a spoiled son of a rich landlord who transforms into a kind-hearted peasant as he and his family endure the ravages of war and starvation. Read more

PRETTY MONSTERS

By Kelly Link

Targeting both adult and YA audiences, Kelly Link’s humorous fantasy short story collection has teenagers confronting angst and awkwardness amidst ghosts, monsters, aliens, wizards and even stranger beings. Read more

STATION ELEVEN

By Emily St. John Mandel

In this post-apocalyptic novel about the power of art and relationships, a violent prophet threatens a band of traveling actors after a devastating flu pandemic wipes out civilization as we know it. Read more

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

By Celeste Ng

The oldest daughter of a Chinese American, biracial couple in 1970s small-town Ohio is found drowned in a lake, leaving her family to solve the mystery of her death and grapple with buried secrets. Read more

CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC

By Claudia Rankine

Combining poetry, commentary, visual art, quotations, slogans, and film scripts, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen lays bare moments of racism that can surface in everyday encounters, in sports, and in the media. Read more

GILEAD

By Marilynne Robinson

A Midwestern preacher in 1950s Iowa nearing his death writes a letter to his son about religion, faith, beauty, his abolitionist grandfather and pacifist father, and his love for life. Read more

THIS BOY’S LIFE

By Tobias Wolff

A mother and son travel out west to Washington state where a young Tobias Wolff endures the bullying of an abusive stepfather in this 1950s coming-of-age memoir. Read more

THE LATEHOMECOMER

By Kao Kalia Yang

The first memoir written by a Hmong-American with national distribution, The Latehomecomer is a first-hand account of the journey many Hmong families made from the jungles of Laos during the Vietnam War to a crowded refugee camp in Thailand to a life in public housing in St. Paul, Minnesota. Read more

BOOK OF HOURS

By Kevin Young

Kevin Young's poetry of grief and loss, and then renewal and joy, chronicles the day-to-day experiences of two profound events: the death of his father and the birth of his son. Read more

WAYS OF GOING HOME

By Alejandro Zambra

Alejandro Zambra is part of a generation shielded from reality by parents who were victims of, or accomplices to, brutal human rights violations in Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship, which he explores in his novella about a young boy and the writer who’s writing the boy’s story. Read more

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