Danbury Library, WCSU and city schools promote book reading
Press conference to launch One Book, One Community

DANBURY, CONN. — The Danbury Public Library, Western Connecticut State University and the Danbury Public Schools will conduct a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, in the Ruth A. Haas Library on the WestConn Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury, to announce the launch of the second annual “One Book, One Community” (OBOC), an effort to encourage everyone in Danbury to read the same book this fall. Although many communities across the U.S. sponsor similar reading programs, this project is one of the few where a city, public school system and a university have formed a partnership to coordinate a community-wide reading initiative.

The co-chairs of the OBOC committee, Library Director Mark Hasskarl and WCSU Provost and Academic Vice President Dr. Linda Rinker, will speak at the press conference, along with other local dignitaries.

This year’s book selection is the best-selling memoir “Hurry Down Sunshine” by Michael Greenberg, which details the true story of Sally, his 15-year-old daughter, who suddenly descends into madness. From her first episode on the streets of Greenwich Village to her time in a psychiatric ward, Greenberg painstakingly chronicles the effects of mental illness on his family. WCSU has assigned the book to all incoming freshmen as part of the university’s First-Year Experience. More than 100 books are available to check out at the Danbury Library. It also may be purchased at local bookstores.

In addition to being encouraged to read the same book, Danbury residents and students will be invited to participate in a variety of complementary programs. Events will include book discussions and a lecture by Greenberg in late October.

An Amazon.com “Best of the Month” in September 2008, “Hurry Down Sunshine” is reviewed on the bookseller’s Web site in glowing terms: “Michael Greenberg’s spare, unflinching memoir begins with a bang: ‘On July 5, 1996, my daughter was struck mad.’ ‘Hurry Down Sunshine’ chronicles the summer when 15-year-old Sally experienced her first full-blown manic episode — an event that in a ‘single stroke’ changed her identity and, by extension, that of her entire family. Simply told and beautifully written, Greenberg’s memoir shines a stark light on mental illness, painting a vivid picture of a brain and body under siege — mania as a separate living thing squatting within the patient. As a writer who lives ‘so much in his head,’ Greenberg is particularly anguished by his daughter's fractured psyche, and his honesty about being both sickened and fascinated by his daughter's condition is breathtaking.”

Greenberg has been a columnist for London’s Times Literary Supplement since 2003. His fiction, criticism and travel pieces are widely published.

Support for the OBOC project is provided by Danbury Hospital, FRIENDS of the Danbury Library, Savings Bank of Danbury, Union Savings Bank, Yankee Penny Saver, The News-Times, El Canillita and Tribuna Newspaper.

For more information, call the WCSU Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or the Danbury Library Community Relations office at (203) 796-8061.

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

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