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FCLA’s Sixth Annual Big Read Program Celebrates Native American Culture

Lovemed 1

Miami, October 13, 2009 - The Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA) at Miami Dade College (MDC) will kick-off its sixth annual Big Read, initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest, on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The Big Read seeks to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. This year’s reading selection is Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich.

Love Medicine is an epic novel told in stories about two Chippewa families in North Dakota. The novel examines family, passion, cultural identity and healing. MDC students received more than 600 copies of the book to read as part of class assignments.

To enhance the reading experience, FCLA will also host lectures, readings and film screenings that bring to light Native American culture.

Big Read events:  

Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
Film Screening of Coming to Light at the Cosford Theater
Coming to Light examines the life of Edward Curtis, an early twentieth century photographer of Native Americans.

Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
Film Screening of The Only Good Indian at the Upper Eastside Gardens
The Only Good Indian follows a boy in the early 1900’s as he finds his place as a Native American in a white world.
Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
Film Screening of Miss Navajo at the Cosford Theater
Miss Navajo is a documentary about the Miss Navajo pageant. In the pageant, not only must contestants exhibit poise and grace, they must also answer tough questions in Navajo and demonstrate proficiency in skills essential to daily tribal life: fry-bread making, rug weaving and sheep butchering. The film follows Crystal Frazier, and through her perseverance, we see the power of Navajo women.
Oct. 28
Book Club Mixer at Books & Books, Coral Gables
Books & Books will host a mixer for book clubs throughout South Florida who are reading Love Medicine. Erdrich scholar, Lorena L. Stookey will host a discussion and answer questions.
Oct. 29
A Celebration of Louise Erdrich at the Main Library Downtown
Lorena L. Stookey, author of Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion will be lecturing on Love Medicine and answering questions. There will also be a film screening of Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris: Searching for a Native American Identity, an interview conducted by Bill Moyers.
Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
Film screening of Smoke Signals at the Cosford Theater
Smoke Signals is a film based on the short stories of Native American author Sherman Alexie.
Nov. 15
Native American Voices at Miami Book Fair International
Sherman Alexie will read from his new book War Dances.
Joy Harjo will present She Had Some Horses and For a Girl Becoming.
Debra Magpie Earling, author of the American Book Award winning novel Perma Red, will share her perspective on Native American literature.
Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
Film Screening of Nokomis: Voices of the Anishinabe
Nokomis: Voices of the Anishinabe documents Ojibwe women’s attempts to restore and preserve their Native American heritage.

For a complete listing of events and locations please call 305-237-3940 or visit the FCLA website at


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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