AUGUSTA — A Capital Read is once again looking to turn reading from a solitary act generally done in silence into something for the community to share out loud.

This year’s selection is Amy Waldman’s “The Submission,” a novel about the public and political reaction that follows after a jury chooses a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack in Manhattan, to learn the anonymous designer of the memorial is an American Muslim.

“The selection looks at the intersection of art, religion, politics and democracy,” Lithgow Public Library Director Elizabeth Pohl recently told city councilors. “And (it) asks many hard questions about the American values of tolerance, diversity and community. Despite what sounds like heavy themes, the book is a page turner and a very enjoyable read.”

It is also a book with a lot of issues that lend themselves to discussions and other events, which is also important for Capital Read selections, according to Shelby Monroe, adult services librarian at Lithgow.

Pohl said Capital Read began seven years ago as a way “to deepen the appreciation of literature through reading, discussion, activities and cultural events related to our chosen title. We’re doing it to enhance the feeling of community in our city and demonstrate the power of libraries to bring people together.”

Events sponsored by Friends of Lithgow Library are planned to occur throughout April and include book discussions, a night of poetry and music, and a discussion about human rights. On April 30, Waldman herself is scheduled to visit. The former New York Times reporter who covered the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks also has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic where, according to her profile on, her stories included a look at Islam in the courts.


Events are all free and get under way at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a first for Capital Read: a live dramatic adaptation performance of the book, at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center at the University of Maine at Augusta, which is partnering with Lithgow for Capital Read events.

Monroe said the cast includes some UMA students and is a modification of the book, which can serve as a sort of teaser that could help interest people in reading the book, if they haven’t already.

More information on this year’s Capital Read events is available online at

Monroe and Pohl said Lithgow has a lot of copies of “The Submission” circulating for people who want to read it and participate in a Capital Read. Pohl said the book is also available at a 20 percent discount at the UMA bookstore.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
[email protected]

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