The Big Read continues at Maryville College

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, captures a time in America’s history of economic and environmental devastation. When the book was selected this spring as the text for this year’s Big Read project, no one anticipated the parallels that might be drawn between then and now.

On Thursday, Oct. 23, the keynote event for Blount County will present Dr. Ron Wells, director of the Maryville Symposium, and Dr. Will Phillips, assistant professor of English, who will offer an approachable and thought-provoking discussion on “The Literary and Historical Perspectives of The Grapes of Wrath.” Following the presentation, Dr. Wells and Dr. Phillips will invite questions from the audience.

The event will take place at Maryville College at 7 p.m. in the Lawson Auditorium of Fayerweather Hall. All Big Read events are free and open to the public.

For all of the Blount County events, participants are asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable food items to donate to our local food pantries. Items collected during this month will be donated to the Community Food Connection and the Blount County Food Pantry.

The grand finale of The Big Read in Blount County will be a showing of the film version of the “Grapes of Wrath,” starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford. The screening will be at the Palace Theater at 9 p.m. Oct. 31, after the Last Friday Art Walk.

For more information on this or other Big Read events in Blount County, contact Bonny Millard at 865-273-1210 or by email at

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