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Big Read's 2010 book is by Zora Neale Hurston

This year's Big Read book, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, is a chance for Wichita readers to experience something different, said Wichita library director Cynthia Berner Harris.

Because Hurston was active in the Harlem Renaissance, readers will be able to gain a broader awareness of the cultural movement, Harris said.

The Big Read program, which is in its third year, announced its 2010 book Thursday. Events are scheduled throughout October, starting at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Wichita Art Museum.

The Big Read was made possible through a $17,050 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Wichita Public Library was one of 75 nonprofit organizations to receive money from the endowment. Previous selections for the Wichita program were "My Antonia" in 2008 and "Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe" in 2009.

Harris said the reading program is an opportunity to bring the community together.

"The power of the Big Read is about reminding people who maybe are lapsed readers... why that's important to come back, the power that it has not only from a literacy perspective but the power of ideas, the power of discussions," she said.

For a full schedule of events, go to www.bigreadwichita.org.

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