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Students get the chance to meet best-selling author

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Photo courtesy of randomhouse.com.
Photo courtesy of randomhouse.com.

In a local library campaign, Colorado State University-Pueblo students had the opportunity to meet an award-winning author at this year’s Booklover’s Black Tie Ball on Oct. 25.

The Pueblo City-County Library District held their capstone event and select CSU-Pueblo students were chosen to attend. Students had the opportunity to enjoy an evening of elegance as guests of the English department.

Paula McClain is a New York Times bestselling author for her 2012 novel “The Paris Wife.” In the novel, McClain gives a fictionalized account of Hadley Richardson, the first wife of Ernest Hemingway. McClain was the distinguished speaker at Saturday’s festivities.

McClain took the stage to discuss the novel and her life experiences that led her to write the piece. Guests were given the opportunity to meet the author, and purchase signed copies of the novel.

The year’s festivities leading up to this event have included craft parties, guest speakers, interactive events, musical and art showcases. The events have related to the text and have initiated the entire reading population of Pueblo to read the same book at the same time. In choosing a book that is versatile and multi-faceted, the library aims to have individuals come together within the community.

The program also offers a companion book for younger readers. This year, “The Invention of Huge Cabret” by Brian Selznick and “Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans were chosen as youth materials.

“The Paris Wife” focuses on the love letters between Hemingway and his first wife Hadley. During their stay in Paris, the couple became influential within the community during the 1920s. McClain took an interest to the relationship between Hadley and Hemingway, and was inspired to give her account of the relationship by examining their communications.

Over 15 CSU-Pueblo students were chosen by members of the university’s English department to attend the event. Students were invited to attend the formal dinner in hopes of networking with others with interests in English and community leaders.

Students with outstanding educational merit were chosen by their English instructors to attend the formal event. Tickets are normally $100 a piece, but the event was an award for students who display leadership and achievement among their peers and leaders.

Following the event, students are able to discuss knowledge gained from reading the text, attending the event, and hearing the author contextualize her thoughts, in a classroom forum and can write an analytical paper incorporating those ideas.

Students are also be expected to articulate their thoughts on McClain’s writing based on their own knowledge, readings, writings and experiences in their English classes.