FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2008
CONTACT: Diane Nevill, (623) 930-3554, Public Information Officer
GLENDALE, Ariz.– The Big Read returns this September with Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.” This detective novel is a brilliant literary work, as well as a thriller, a love story, and a dark, dry comedy. The 1930 novel set the standard by which all subsequent detective fiction would be judged. This book spawned director John Huston’s classic 1941 film that starred Humphrey Bogart as the hardboiled private eye Sam Spade. Two other versions had been filmed prior.
The West Valley Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Glendale Arts Commission, is sponsoring the local Big Read, which runs during September and October. On Aug. 25, more than 100 copies of the book will be available to check out at the Glendale libraries – just look for the life-size Humphrey Bogart display as Sam Spade.
Eight library events have been planned in Glendale:
- Saturday, Sept. 6, 1 p.m. in the auditorium of Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St. – Watch the classic 1941 version of “The Maltese Falcon” and see clips from an earlier adaptation. No reservations are necessary. Call 623-930-3555 for more information.
- Thursday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St. – Cinema expert Fred Linch will bring movie detectives to life in “Sam Spade and Detectives in the Movies,” beginning with the quintessential private eye from “The Maltese Falcon.” He will be accompanied by a real detective to answer the questions you have always pondered. No reservations are necessary. Call 623-930-3573 for info.
- Friday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. in the large meeting room of the Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St. – Join a book discussion of “The Maltese Falcon” when the Real to Reel Book Group gathers to discuss The Big Read selection. Call 623-930-3555 to sign up.
- Monday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. at Velma Teague Branch Library, 7010 N. 58th Ave. – The 58th Ave. Book Club gathers to discuss “The Maltese Falcon.” The public is welcome to attend. Call 623-930-3431 for more information.
- Thursday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St. – The Fred Forney Quartet will musically transport the audience back to the time of the classic film noir period. Forney, the Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa Community College, is one of the most in-demand freelance trumpeters in the Phoenix metropolitan area and first call lead trumpet player for performers like Johnny Mathis, David Foster, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Al Jarreau. He also plays lead trumpet for touring Broadway shows from New York, such as “42nd Street,” “Wicked,” “The Producers,” “All Shook Up.” Dave Nathan, in “All Music Guide,” described Forney’s playing as “ingenious improvisation, delicate passion, incisive trumpeting and purity of tone.”
- Saturday, Oct. 4, 2 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room at Foothills Branch Library, 19055 N. 57th Ave. – “Maltese Falcon: A Film Viewing and Discussion” with film scholar Jeannie Berg. See the film and join the discussion of actors Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. Berg says, “The Maltese Falcon” has the big three – great writing, great directing (John Huston in his directorial debut) and great acting. It’s a classic film that never goes out of style.”
- Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room at Foothills Branch Library, 19055 N. 57th Ave. – Arizona Humanities Council Literature Director Christopher Burawa will lead a discussion on “The Maltese Falcon.” Call Sarah at 623-930-3844 for more details.
- Thursday, Oct. 16, 2 p.m. in the large meeting room at the Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St. – The Afternoon Readers Group will discuss “The Maltese Falcon” and everyone is invited to attend. Call 623-930-3549 for information.
For other Big Read events around the Valley, go to www.westvalleyarts.org. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. It is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.