New York City first lady Chirlane McCray is launching a book club and welcoming New Yorkers who join into her home this spring, the Mayor's office announced Tuesday.
In its first season, McCray and notable New York City authors James Hannaham, Jacqueline Woodson and A.M. Homes will select six books — some for adult audiences, others for younger readers — touching on the theme of the city's diverse immigrant communities. The objective, McCray said in a statement, is "exploring how our multicultural population has helped us build a more dynamic city."
"The first lady is a writer and a poet, and so she feels very passionate about how sharing stories and shared reading can create shared experiences and community," said Elizabeth DeBold, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit chaired by McCray.
McCray came up with the idea in collaboration with the Gracie Mansion Conservatory and one of its members, Pulitzer-prize winning author Tracy K. Smith, De Bold said.
Its inaugural discussion will tackle the novel " Tanwi Nandini Islam's "Bright Lines," which the Denver Post described as a "Brooklyn-by-way-of-Bangladesh 'Royal Tenenbaums.'"
If you aren't one of the 100 lucky New Yorkers who get to discuss character development and allegory with McCray in her home, you'll be able to follow along via livestream on nyc.gov and the first lady's YouTube channel, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City told us. You'll also be able to pose questions by tweeting them with the hashtag #GracieBookClub.
Readers won't have to order "Bright Lines" on Amazon, because the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library systems have all vowed to stock up on extra copies.