Pioneer Library System will soon launch its sixth annual Big Read and will kick off its month of programming with a cultural event featuring an array of activities centered on this year’s novel, “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan.

The event is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 2501 Conference Center Drive in Norman.

The evening will take place in the lobby and bar area of the hotel. It will feature performances by traditional Chinese Dragon Dancers and musicians John and Leah McGhaha on a traditional Chinese stringed instrument called a Guzheng.

An interactive touch screen station from the University of Oklahoma Confucious Institute will display and provide background on various elements of Chinese culture. Any guest who signs up for one of the the Big Read’s many book discussions will receive a free copy of “The Joy Luck Club.”

Essay contest participants are encouraged to attend, since the contest winner will be announced at the event. Following the announcement, winning author(s) will receive a grand prize of two free tickets to a private brunch April 28.

PLS Big Read events will run through April and will conclude with finalé events featuring two appearances by Amy Tan, one at the private brunch April 28 and a free, public appearance at 7 p.m. April 27 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

The PLS Big Read is made possible by major funding from the Oklahoma Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Norman Arts Council, Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Friends of the Norman Public Library, OU Outreach, OU College of Liberal Studies, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, OU Precollegiate Programs and the OU Confucius Institute. This project was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Norman Arts Council Hotel Tax Grant Program.

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