News From Terre Haute, Indiana


February 20, 2014

‘Big Read’ features novel by author with Marshall connections

The Marshall (Ill.) Public Library is participating in the Wabash Valley Big Read, a Vigo County Public Library grant program.

The 2014 Big Read book selection, “The Magnificent Ambersons,” is a 1918 novel which won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize. The selection you may not recognize, but the author you may remember — Booth Tarkington.

Tarkington has some quite interesting Marshall connections, which will be detailed in a display in the Marshall Library throughout March. “Penrod and Sam,” Tarkington’s best known novel, featured prototypes of two local children. Find out who they were and more interesting tidbits, such as whose home in Marshall Tarkington visited as a child and what local family later vacationed at Tarkington’s guest house in Kennebunkport, Maine. Read this author’s message published in the 1935 Marshall Herald.

In 1942, Orson Welles wrote and directed an acclaimed film adaptation of “The Magnificent Ambersons.” At 6:30 p.m. CST on March 6, Marshall Library patrons may view the film — a brilliant, moving portrayal of an aristocratic American family in what many critics consider a masterpiece equal to Citizen Kane. The drama begins in the 1870s when the Amberson family is at the height of its wealth and prestige. But the day arrives when all the Ambersons are stunned by the truth of their financial ruin. As Aunt Fanny, Agnes Moorehead received Best Actress honors from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Stop in the Marshall library throughout March to pick up a free copy of the 2014 Big Read book while copies last and register for related book discussions.

Two book discussions will take place in the library during regular discussion group meetings. Enjoy coffee, tea and conversation at “Book Friends,” which meets at 10:30 a.m. CST on March 19 in the library’s Activity Room. An evening group, “Literally Speaking,” meets at 6:30 on March 24 in the Dale McConchie Meeting Room. Old National Bank sponsors light refreshments for the informal discussion group.

For more information or to register for the Marshall Library programs, call 217-826-2535 or email

The library is at 612 Archer Ave.

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