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Monday, May 12, 2014

One Book Bradford
Melanie Benjamin Visits on Tuesday

One Book Bradford’s season will end on a high note Tuesday when author Melanie Benjamin comes to town.

Benjamin, the author of “The Aviator’s Wife,” this year’s OBB book, will offer her perspective as an author of the book, a fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Benjamin’s talk will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Mukaiyama Room of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The program, the culmination of each OBB season, is free and open to the public. A book signing and refreshments will follow.

Benjamin will also hold a writers’ workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bradford Area Public Library.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants; reservations must be made in advance at the library.

One Book Bradford is a community-wide reading initiative. One book is selected and area readers are encouraged to read the book and take part in a variety of events. The season has traditionally ended with a visit by the book’s offer.

Often overshadowed by her husband, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was accomplished in her own right as a successful author and the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States.

The book, which has been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, has received many accolades since its release earlier this year, something each author hopes for, but may not be prepared for, according Benjamin.

“I think every author is always surprised when a book becomes a success,” Benjamin said. “We always have high hopes but we work in such a vacuum. Often the first indication that a book might do well is in house, at our publisher, but even then we’ve all seen books not perform as expected. “

One Book Bradford events this year included a public discussion of “The Aviator’s Wife,” a movie night at the Bradford Movie House to view Spirit of St. Louis, a Gift from the Sea literary luncheon and a “Kevin’s Best BBQ” fundraiser. All proceeds from these events are used to continue the One Book Bradford efforts.

Benjamin said she is looking forward to a lively discussion about the book with lots of questions and insights from the audience.

“I love talking with readers; I always learn something new about my own writing from them.

“I hope that the reader willingly steps into a different time when they read Anne’s story; that the reader doesn’t judge her actions based on our modern sensibility and hindsight. I think that’s so important when reading historical fiction; you do have to at least try to check your modern ideas and notions at the door.”

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