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NC Humanities Council Launches Statewide Read Program

From our friends at the North Carolina Humanities Council:

The North Carolina Humanities Council (NCHC) is launching its Statewide Read program – a virtual book club for residents across the state – that dives headfirst into a highly topical subject, climate change, through preselected works of fiction.

The program features two books in the so-called climate-fiction or “cli-fi” genre:, including the adult novel, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi.

“Our Statewide Read program is coming at a critical time in our society when people are actively seeking ways to explore and learn about complex topics,” said Sherry Paula Watkins, executive director of the North Carolina Humanities Council. “Even though these are works of fiction, the underlying themes and messages resonate with environmental events we are experiencing today. It is our hope that the Statewide Read brings people together and fosters a meaningful discussion about our environment and how water plays an important role in our communities and our state.”

Want to be in on the conversation? Join us on January 19, 2021 for a “Whose Water Is it Anyway?” panel discussion on the science behind science fiction featuring author and professor emeritus Dr. John Kessel and journalist and author Jacqui Castle in conversation about the themes of natural disasters, climate change, and the water supply as presented in The Water Knife. The panel will be moderated by Charlotte Readers Podcast host, Landis Wade.

Click here to register.

In The Water Knife, in the near future, the Colorado River has dwindled to a trickle. Detective, assassin, and spy Angel Velasquez “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, ensuring that its lush arcology developments can bloom in Las Vegas. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent south to hunt for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with her own agenda, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north. As bodies begin to pile up, the three find themselves cast as pawns in a game far bigger and more corrupt than they could have imagined. When water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.” Paolo Bacigalupi is a Hugo, Nebula, and Michael L. Printz Award winner, as well as a National Book Award finalist. He is also a winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, the John W. Campbell Award, and a three-time winner of the Locus Award. The Water Knife is a New York Times Bestseller.

There will be a book discussion of The Water Knife on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 6:30 pm. Register here.

A finale event is scheduled to be held on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, at the Discovery Place in Charlotte.

The Statewide Read is the keystone program of “Watershed Moments,” a two-year initiative by NCHC that explores our varied relationship with the environment, culturally and historically. Other “Watershed Moments” programs include an environmental journalism panel, film discussion series, and the statewide tour of the Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways. Learn more at www.nchumanities.org.

The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through grant-making and public humanities programs, the Council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about our shared human experience. The Council operates the North Carolina Center for the Book, an affiliate program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. To learn more visit www.nchumanities.org.