SLAVERY, migration and racism are the themes of the book chosen for a nationwide reading project, launched in Liverpool this week. Small Island, by Andrea Levy is the chosen text for Liverpool Reads 2007.
Ms Levy will be attending the launch on January 11 2007 at Central Library (William Brown Street) and giving the public a rare treat by reading from her award-winning book. Entry to the launch is ticket only - see end of story for details.
If you can't get to the launch you can pick up a copy of the book by collecting vouchers published in city newspapers in the next week or so. Take the voucher to Central Library or any other branch library and you can collect your free copy of the book.
Liverpool Reads is part of the largest mass-participation reading project that Britain has ever seen and Bristol, Hull and Glasgow are also taking part.
The story tells of the arrival of black Jamaican immigrants - the descendants of enslaved Africans - in post-war Britain. It is particularly poignant for Liverpudlians to read this tale in 2007 as it is the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of British Slavery, of which the city played a part as a major port.
Liverpool City Council leader, Cllr Warren Bradley, said: "Set in such a beautiful location as the Central Library's Picton Reading Room, with the author herself, this will be a memorable launch for all those lucky enough to get tickets. I hope the project goes from strength to strength over the coming year."
There are fewer than 60 launch tickets left, but 10,000 FREE copies are available. You can pick up your free launch event ticket from Central Library (William Brown Street), Childwall Library (Fiveways) and Norris Green Library (Townsend Avenue) and vouchers for the free books will be available from January 11. The launch starts at 6.30pm, with light Caribbean refreshments on a first-come, first-served basis from 6pm.
For more details, members of the public can contact Bea Colley on 0151 794 2291, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Liverpool Culture Company, DCMS, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Riverside Housing Trust, the LCVS, and support from the Bluecoat Arts Centre, National Museums Liverpool, Excellence in Liverpool, Liverpool Libraries, the city's Education department, the Reader Office at University of Liverpool, Time to Read, and Business in the Arts.