One look at this year’s Go Big Read book will have you wondering more about its innovative author. Lauren Redniss’ Pulitzer Prize nominated book, Radioactive, demonstrates not only her writing skills, but her artistic talent as well. Art was always a part of Lauren’s life with her mother being a dancer, leading her to study dance. She also was very interested in painting, especially because a mother of a childhood friend was a painter. In addition, her grandfather had a grocery store where Lauren helped out behind the counter and when there weren’t many customers, she would explore her creativity. She made “jewelry for the customers out of rubber bands and garbage bag twist ties, or she would draw on the backs of cigarette cartons with a sharpie.”
Along with Radioactive, Lauren is the author of Century Girl: 100 years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis and Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Her writing and drawings have been in many publications, such as the New York Times. She currently is a professor at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her other accomplishments include:
-2008-2009: Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers at the New York Public Library
-2010: New York Institute for the Humanities Fellow
-2011: A Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for non-fiction for Radioactive
-2012: Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History
Interested in using Radioactive for a course? Go Big Read is designed to engage the campus community in discussion, and this year’s selection provides a great opportunity to get involved in the classroom.
Interested instructors can email Go Big Read and request a free review copy of the book. Once you’ve decided to incorporate Radioactive into your syllabus, fill out the Book Request Form. We’ll use this form to send coupons to each instructor in the fall, which students can redeem for free copies of the book at many campus libraries. Questions? Drop us an email and let us know!
We’re looking forward to Lauren Redniss visiting UW-Madison later this year and hope you are, too! As Radioactive was a 2011 National Book Award Finalist, the National Book Foundation has posted a video of author Lauren Redniss reading from the book and explaining parts of her process- a sneak peek at what’s in store for this year’s Go Big Read.
We’re getting geared up for Radioactive! Whether you finished the book early or are waiting for a copy, learn more about the book through the New York Public Library’s online exhibit– a beautiful collaboration between NYPL and Parsons The New School for Design. The site includes videos, games, and artwork inspired by Radioactive in a fun-to-explore format. Plus, learn more about the book itself, including Lauren Redniss’ writing process, cyanotype, character back stories, and more. Those yet to get their hands on a copy can preview select pages, too.
This video on cyanotype printing is one of many included on the NYPL site. Head over for more!