Get Ready for One Book, One Philadelphia!

By Shannon G RSS Tue, September 15, 2009


Now for some positive news about the Free Library of Philadelphia (finally). The Library and the Mayor’s Office just named Marjane Satrapi’s The Complete Persepolis as the 2010 One Book, One Philadelphia featured reading selection.  Now in its eighth year, One Book is an annual city-wide program that encourages more than 10,000 people across the region to read and discuss a single book.  The program also serves as a reminder of the relevance of the Free Library, which is particularly apropos at this time.
We are all of course focused on advocating for passage of the state legislation that will prevent our libraries from closing, but at the same time we need to continue planning for the programs and services that make the Free Library such a vital part of our community. One Book, One Philadelphia exemplifies the type of program that adds to the quality of life in our region by promoting literacy, building community, and encouraging great conversations. And this year's selection certainly promises to fulfill the program's goals. 

The first graphic novel chosen for One Book, The Complete Persepolis is Satrapi’s poignant, humorous, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during a time of political revolution. Her first-person point of view presents readers with a unique glimpse into Iran’s political repression, the inner-workings of a family, and one woman’s experience as an outsider at home and abroad.

Want to be prepared for the One Book program kickoff on January 20? Start reading now—every Library has copies of The Complete Persepolis. And don’t miss your only chance to see Satrapi speak live in Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Parkway Central Library—this event is free and open to the public!

Stay tuned for a complete list of One Book, One Philadelphia events, suggested supplemental reading and film lists, a comprehensive resource guide, and much more! And check back in right here for ongoing One Book coverage during the reading period—every week from now through January, you can share your perspective as we post discussion prompts on chapters of The Complete Persepolis.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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I am very excited that this wonderful book has been chosen. It's an excellent choice in terms of subject matter, timing, getting more people to accept comic books and graphic novels as serious works. I loved her books, and I'll be glad to read them again and participate in One Book, One Philadelphia Events. However, your timing leaves a little to be desired. When trying to drum up support to keep the Libraries open, announcing something for 2010 distracts from the message. Let's get a budget passed and then look to 2010.
Johanna - Germantown
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hi Johanna, Thanks for your comment and enthusiasm about Persepolis - I too love this book and am excited about all the programs we are creating. Your point about timing is well-taken. Months ago when we were planning the announcement, we never expected that the Library would be under threat of closure. The author, Marjane Satrapi, lives in France and her schedule will not permit her to travel to Philadelphia this winter. Some time ago we made the arrangements for her visit to the Free Library next week. Since this will be her only appearance, we felt we needed to go forward with the announcement and promote her visit on September 23, so that as many people as possible could have the opportunity to hear her speak in person. Admittedly, it is difficult to plan for the future right now. It is our fervent hope that the budget will be resolved and we won't close libraries or lay off staff. Since our fate has not yet been determined, we have to plan for programs and services in the next months at the same time we are making contingencies for closing. One Book is a popular program that engages people throughout the region, and I hope that the announcement serves as a reminder of all the great programs and services the Free Library offers everyone in Philadelphia. Please join us next Wednesday at 7:30 for Satrapi's lecture.
Kathleen - Free Library of Philadelphia
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kathleen, thank you for a wonderful and detailed answer to that question - I was wondering the same thing. My fingers are crossed that the library system will stay open!
Claire - Philadelphia
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Could you please list in order by year the books that have been chosen for One Book, One Philadelphia?
Mary - The Big Library
Monday, January 4, 2010

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Newport Cigarettes -
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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Newport Cigarettes -
Tuesday, June 28, 2011