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MDC’s Big Read Miami to Highlight Vietnam War Novel “The Things They Carried,” Month-long Series to Feature Author’s Lecture, Film Screening and Teen Essay Contest


The Things They Carried, by award-winning author Tim O’Brien

Miami, March 28, 2013 - The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with Miami-Dade Public Library System, continues its month-long The Big Read celebration with a host of events centered on the novel The Things They Carried, by award-winning author Tim O’Brien. The Big Read kicked off on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Regional Library, with an appearance by decorated U.S. Marine turned filmmaker, actor and author, Benjamin Busch. Part of the national Big Read initiative, the series continues through mid-April and will feature a lecture by lecture, film screenings, a teen essay contest and much more. Free copies of The Things They Carried will be distributed throughout The Big Read series. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

About the Book
With more than two million copies in print, The Things They Carried is a classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene. It is a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.

Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage, fear and longing.

Below is a list of The Big Read Miami events.

Big Read Kickoff, Tuesday, March 19

Join us for a very special appearance by author, actor, filmmaker and decorated U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer Benjamin Busch. A star of the HBO series The Wire, Busch has written an unforgettable meditation on life and loss, in his extraordinary book, Dust to Dust: A Memoir. Event starts at 6:30 p.m., Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach.

 Keynote Lecture by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, Tuesday, April 9,

Tim O’Brien has been writing to wide critical acclaim since he published the first of his books at age 27. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize, The Things They Carried has been called one of the finest books about the Vietnam War ever written. O’Brien makes a very special appearance in South Florida to discuss and celebrate this novel’s place as a contemporary American classic. Event starts at 7:30 p.m., Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables


The Big Read Miami 2013 Film Series:

Tower Theatre

1508 SW 8th Street, Little Havana

All Tower Theatre screenings are at 7:00 p.m.

March 21 – “The Hurt Locker”

April 4 – “In the Land of Blood and Honey”

April 18 – “Apocalypse Now”

Coral Gables Library

3443 Segovia St, Coral Gables, FL 33134

March 25 – “Casualties of War”

Film screening is at 6:00 p.m.

Miami Beach Library

227 22nd St. Miami Beach, FL 33139

April 1 – “Hamburger Hill”

Film screening is at 6:30 p.m.

Other events include:

Teen Essay Challenge

Selected Miami Dade County Public School students will answer this essay question: If you were leaving for war tomorrow and could carry only one thing with you, what would be the thing you carry and why?

 Grand Prize: Free tuition to a future Talented Teen Writers Course at The Center and a meeting with author Tim O’Brien. The winner will also be featured on The Center website. The contest is held in partnership with Miami Writes. To participate, contact Nicole Swift at

Send a Book to our Troops: Join Operation Paperback 

At each Big Read 2013 event, we will collect gently used paperback books to send to veterans and deployed troops overseas through Operation Paperback, an organization that provides books to military and veterans hospitals located within the United States, as well as USO centers at U.S. Airport transit points. The book collection is held in partnership with South Miami High Cobra Readers and the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida.

Veterans Oral History and Art Project

Recordings of veterans’ stories made by MDC students and artwork by Miami artists will be part of an exhibit that will open with an Art Walk reception on Saturday, April 13, at 4p.m. at GAB Studio, 105 NW 23rd St. in Wynwood. The exhibit will be featured at the studio until May and continue in perpetuity at

Book Discussions

Miami-Dade Public Library System and other locations throughout Miami-Dade County.

Visit or for dates, times, and locations.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest. It is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture, bring its transformative power into the lives of its citizens, and encourage communities to come together to read the same book.

The Center is a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project. We will collect monetary donations at various events, 100% will go to Wounded Warrior. 

*Book quantities are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

About The Center
The Center for Literature and Theatre @ MDC, formerly the Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA), promotes reading, writing and theater at locations throughout South Florida by consistently presenting activities open to all. Literacy projects target children and teens, as well as college students and adults. Its creative writing program has national appeal, and courses are taught by local and visiting authors. The Center produces the annual Miami Book Fair International, regarded as the largest and finest literary gathering in the U.S. It is also home to Prometeo Theatre, the nation's leading Spanish language, conservatory-style program offering training for actors, and featuring performances throughout the year. In 2012, the Center celebrated its 10th year with a renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts.


For more information about The Big Read, visit or

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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