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Browsing Tom Averill’s keynote lecture to headline Wichita’s Big Read events

  • Eagle staff
  • Published Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Big Read contest

Who has more true grit? U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn or 14-year-old Mattie Ross? Tell us in 500 words or fewer how you define true grit and which character in Charles Portis’ novel by the same name – this year’s Big Read for Wichita – better exemplifies your view. Entries are due by Nov. 6. You may mail them to The Big Read Contest, Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202, or e-mail them to adavenport@wichitaeagle.com. Include your name, age and daytime phone number.

There will be two categories, for students younger than 18 and for adults 18 and older. The winners of each category will receive a $50 gift card. Winners must agree to be interviewed and photographed by The Eagle. The winning entries will be published Nov. 17.

Eagle employees or their family members are not eligible to enter the contest.

Events in Wichita’s Big Read heat up in the next few days, headed by Sunday’s keynote lecture by celebrated Kansas author Tom Averill. He will speak on “ ‘True Grit’ and the Western as a Genre” at 2:30 p.m. at the Alford Branch Library, 3447 S. Meridian.

Averill, author of “What Kansas Means to Me,” will examine how Western literature reflects America’s coming of age. His books will be available for purchase and signing.

The topic of justice will be the focus of a discussion at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Central Library, 223 S. Main. “Justice With a Side of True Grit” will explore Mattie Ross’ quest for an eye-for-an-eye justice for her father’s murderer. Her version of vengeance in “True Grit” will be the starting point for a look at the broader concept of justice in a democracy.

On Tuesday, a book talk and chili feed will begin at noon at the Wichita Area Technical College Southside Campus, 4501 E. 47th St. South. Students, employees and the public will listen to Wichita Public Library staff members give book talks throughout the day. Chili will be served at lunchtime.

Also on Tuesday, there will be an Art Start event for preschoolers age 3-5 at 10 a.m. at the Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd. To reserve a spot, call 316-268-4929.

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