Big Read


We are delighted to announce that the award-winning Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín is our 2019 Big Read. We will distribute 3,000 free copies of Brooklyn to schools, libraries, businesses and prisons, and to university staff and students across Durham, as well as working with Durham County Council to deliver reading and writing workshops with community groups around the county.

Set between Ireland and New York in the 1950s, Brooklyn is a moving and exquisitely told story of emigration, loss, duty and love. Opportunities at home in Ireland for Eilis Lacey are scarce, so when her sister Rose arranges her emigration to New York, Eilis knows she must go. On arrival at a Brooklyn boarding house, Eilis battles feelings of homesickness and alienation but gradually begins to carve out a new life for herself, until she is abruptly called back to Ireland and faced with a terrible dilemma.

First published ten years ago, Brooklyn won the Costa Novel Award and in 2015 was adapted into a BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated film.

The Big Read in Durham Libraries

Library users all over County Durham will be sharing Brooklyn this autumn. Participating libraries will include Barnard Castle, Chester le Street, Consett, Crook, Durham Clayport, Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Seaham, Shildon, Spennymoor and Stanley. Get in touch with your nearest library for details, including how to access the audio and e-book version.

On Saturday 21 September at 11am, Charlie Darby-Villis will host a special free library book group meeting at Chester-le-Street Library. Members from all the library book groups are invited to join together for a discussion. There is no need to book for this event.

Big Read events


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