A meaty text chosen for Fairfield 'One Book One Town' program
Published 1:34 pm, Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The latest choice for "One Book One Town" may be hard for some to swallow, but Fairfield Public Library officials hope Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals" will spark some meaningful discussions among town residents.
"It's very different," Library Director Karen Ronald said after the fourth installment in the community reading program was revealed Wednesday morning. "It's a harsh subject matter, but one that's near and dear to our hearts in Fairfield where we have local organic farms."
Ronald described the book as part memoir, part investigative report as the author, about to become a parent for the first time, decided to investigate where meat comes from. She said the book examines food choices, but added it doesn't dictate those choices. "It's a book that needs to be shared," she said.
Glen Colello, owner of Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe on Unquowa Road, said he planned to run back to the cafe to get his library card and check out a copy of the book. "I haven't read it cover to cover yet," he said. "I think it's really going to create some intense conversation in town about what people are putting on their plate."
Youth Services Librarian Nicole Scherer said she read the book cover to cover in one night. "It's a very powerful piece of literature," she said. She admitted some townspeople might not like the book, but said not everyone has liked every book chosen for "One Book One Town" project.
Reference Librarian Mary Coe said the book is a challenging one, but added, "I think they will be up for the challenge."
The book was selected by a committee made up of library staff, community volunteers and representatives from Fairfield University, the Fairfield Arts Center, the public schools, the Fairfield Museum and History Center and Borders Books. They considered 38 different books, no easy task itself, Ronald said.
There are 100 copies of the book available at the main Fairfield Public Library and 50 each at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and the Pequot Library. Copies will also be available for purchase at Borders.
Beginning in January, there will be events ranging from lectures, a film series, art exhibits and, for the first time, a writing contest for children to adults on the subject of "food memoirs." It all leads up to a visit from the author in March. The full schedule will be released in January, Ronald said.
"This is an incredible program," First Selectman Kenneth Flatto said, as he prepared to check out the first copy of "Eating Animals." "We encourage everyone to participate."