Category Archives: Literary News

Writers’ Gathering Today

Like writing poems or short stories? Maybe you’re working on a novel or play. Or maybe you’ve always been curious but have only ever written academic papers before.

Please join Ruff Writers, the creative writing club on campus, for its first meeting today, Thursday, September 30th, at 4pm in the library’s large study room. (This is on the top floor of Brown Library.) Bring your pens, notebooks, imagination, and ideas for what you’d like to write and experience with the club!

Eaten Any Good Books Lately?

If not, here’s your chance! The VWCC Edible Book Festival is coming to the Brown Library, main floor, on April 13, 2010.

In celebration of National Library Week, April 11-17, Brown and students from the Culinary Arts program are participating in the International Edible Book Festival.

The Culinary Arts students will produce edible creations with book-related themes, such as a book title, a character, or a concept related to books. Dr. Sandel will then select one of the entries to receive the President’s Choice award! All attendees will have the opportunity to vote for a People’s Choice award. (Faculty, staff, and non-Culinary Arts students are invited to submit entries as well. Please contact Faith Janney, 857-6332, if you are interested in participating.)

2pm-4pm: The edible books will be available for viewing.

4pm-5pm: Eat the books!

There is no charge per serving, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Future Chefs of Virginia (the Culinary Arts student organization).

The International Edible Book Festival began in 2000. It is celebrated on or near April 1st each year in honor of the birthday of the French author, Jean-Anthelme Savarin, who wrote Physiologie du gout or The Physiology of Taste.

See some photographs of edible creations from previous festivals.

Make a Date with a Banned Book…

Stand up for your right to read!

The God of Small Things coverThe new Banned Book Club’s first selection is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Ms. Roy faced an obscenity trial in her native India for this, her first novel. She also won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction. To learn more about the book and the controversy surrounding it, see her interview. You may also be interested in this study guide, which includes themes, criticism, quotes, and more about this book.

The God of Small Things is available for checkout here in the Brown Library (call number PR9499.3.R59 G63 1997), as well as at your local public libraries. Google Books also has most, but not all, chapters available for reading online here.

The Banned Book Club will meet next Wednesday, October 21st, at 6pm in the library study room, top floor of Brown. We’ll also be picking the next book selection, so bring suggestions! Check out the American Library Association’s top ten lists of most frequently challenged books of the 21st century.

Send questions and suggestions to Amanda Hall at or Kalyca Schultz at The club is open to faculty, staff, students, and members of the community.

If you’re on Facebook, RSVP for this event here.

Banned Books Week is Here!

Did you know that September 28th-October 3rd, 2009, is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week?

The week celebrates the freedom we have to express our opinions— even if the opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week brings attention to the challenges that have been presented to this freedom by celebrating books which have been attempted to be banned in libraries across the country.

This year, the Student Activities Office and Brown Library are partnering on our campus to recognize Banned Books Week and the freedom to read!

Check out the following events:


  • Participate in the Word-of-the-Week Contest. Stop by the library this week to see the featured word and create a clever and funny definition for it. (We want your definition of the word, not the real definition.) Contest entrants get a chance to win a cool t-shirt from the American Library Association. Students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to participate! (Entries must be recieved by 3pm on Friday, October 2nd. There will be one student winner and one faculty/staff winner, and they will be notified this Friday.)
  • Visit Our Display on the Main Floor. See some examples of books that have been banned and find out the reasons behind it.

MONDAY, 9/28

  • Make Your Own Photo Bookmark. 10am-2pm, Brown Library steps. First 100 participants receive a free banned book. Choice of following titles: The Kite Runner, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, To Kill a Mockinbird, Fahrenheit 451, Their Eyes Were Watching God.


  • Papermaking. 10am-2pm, Brown Library steps. Use the art of papermaking to create your own bookmark or sheet of paper, using a variety of materials.


  • Film Showing: Good Night, and Good Luck. 1pm, library classroom. This award-winning film stars George Clooney and portrays the drama of journalists who provided critical commentary against popular opinion of the time. 93 minutes.

FRIDAY, 10/2

  • Word-of-the-Week Contest winners chosen!

…and start reading now for the upcoming Banned Book Club! The first meeting will be Wednesday, October 21, at 6pm (location tbd). The book to be discussed will be The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Roy both won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and faced an obscenity trial in her native India for this, her first novel. Club open to students, faculty, and staff.

The Brown Library has many books which have been challenged and banned, including:

  • Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Call number E185.97.A56 A3 1971
  • Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Call number PS3537.T3234 O4
  • Voltaire. Candide, or, Optimism. Call number PQ2082.C3 E5 2005
  • Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Call number PS3563.O8749 B55 1993
  • Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Call number PR6023.A93 L2
  • Walker, Alice. The Color Purple: A Novel. Call number PS3573.A425 C6 1982
  • Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Call number PS3537.A426 C32 1961
  • King, Stephen. Christine. Call number PS3561.I483 C4 1983
  • Eliot, George. Silas Marner; : The Weaver of Raveloe. Call number PR4670.A1 1967

For a short history of attempts at censoring books, please see The Online Books Page Presents Banned Books Online at the University of Pennsylvania. Included in this page are links to the actual texts of these works, available for free online.

VWCC Author Reading & Signing

 threefoldThe Brown Library, in celebration of National Library Week, is proud to present mystery novelist and VWCC staff member Susan Cain in her very first reading here on campus. She will be reading a selection from her first novel, Threefold, as well as signing copies of her book. Come on out and support one of your own!

Friday, April 17th, 2009——Right after Spring Fling


Main floor of the Brown Library

Refreshments will be served! Both cash and checks will be accepted when purchasing a book.susans-book-pictures-026


Susan R. Cain has previously published a memoir, Pride and a Tear, in 2004 with PublishAmerica. This is her first novel. She currently works as an Administrative and Office Assistant in the Health Technology division of Virgina Western Community College.