N.C. Humanities Council Launches Virtual Statewide Read Program

Dozens of book spines.

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: the adult novel, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, and the young adult novel, Dry by Neal and Jarrod Schusterman. Both works are set in dystopian futures affected by climate change and pose critical questions about the human relationship to water and the environment.

“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.”

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NCHC is giving away free e-book codes for both books – between now and October 9 at bit.ly/StatewideRead. Participants will be invited to join monthly book club events over the next six months where they will hear from guest speakers and have the opportunity to engage in thoughtful dialogue and discussion with other participants across the state. 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.