Reading a book isn’t just about the time you spend with your eyes glued to the page. The experience can be expanded into something that broadens understanding and builds community.
Earlier this year, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell named Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones as the 2012 selection for the Mayor’s Book Club. The winner of the 2011 National Book Award, Ward’s novel draws its story from the floods of Hurricane Katrina.
With the storm building over the Gulf, fourteen-year-old Esch and her family have trouble looming in every direction. Esch and her three brothers are left largely to fend for themselves as their father retreats into the bottle. Their struggle over the course of twelve days is the heart of a loving novel in brutal circumstances.
As part of the book club, tonight Carver Branch is screening Trouble the Water. The 2008 documentary film captures the reality of what Ward’s fictional family would have gone through, and what thousands of real Louisiana families did go through. With footage captured by Kimberly Rivers Roberts in the Ninth Ward with her new video camera, the film isn’t afraid to tackle the tough issues of race, poverty, and survival that Ward’s novel also touches on.
The screening begins at 7 p.m. If you haven’t already read the novel, now would also be a good time to check out a copy.