The public and media are invited to meet bestselling author Daniel James Brown when he gives a free talk Wednesday, April 20, in Wilmington as the highlight of New Castle County Reads 2016.
Brown will talk about “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” at 7 p.m. at the Chase Center on the Riverfront at 815 Justison St. No reservations are required.
“Anyone who hasn’t read this book yet is in for something really special,” County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said. “This was a perfect choice for the county program not only because it’s an inspiring true story, but also because it goes far beyond rowing and the Olympics, with great and thought-provoking themes.”
Uncounted thousands of county residents – including members of more than 90 book clubs – read the book after its selection for New Castle County Reads 2016. The program, begun by county library staff in 2005, encourages reading, promotes discussion, raises awareness of libraries and creates free, public activities.
This year’s selection, with a special version for young readers, was described by Publishers Weekly as the “nautical version of ‘Chariots of Fire.’”
Brown tells the richly detailed Cinderella story of poor kids on University of Washington’s rowing team as they rise from obscurity in the Great Depression to represent the United States at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s rise. The book, years in the making, is set to become a major motion picture.
Hundreds of people have attended discussions of the book at county libraries and other events with Wilmington Rowing Club members sharing their special perspective and knowledge of rowing.
In a special feature Wednesday night, one reader of “The Boys in the Boat” will share a souvenir from the Olympics highlighted in the book. Paula Gatos of Wilmington has been invited to show guests a torch from the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which she inherited from her uncle who ran in the flame relay from Greece.
The evening hosted by the Department of Community Services, led by Sophia Hanson, ends with a book signing. Copies of “The Boys in the Boat” will be available for sale from Wilmington’s Ninth Street Book Shop.
Brown, of the Seattle area, also wrote other two historical non-fiction books, “Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894” and “The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride.”