Do you love Pittsburgh? How about karaoke? Are you a little rebel who reads banned books? Do you like free stuff, games and prizes?
If any of those things sound like your cup of tea (or coffee or hot chocolate), celebrate your freedom to read at FREADom, the ACLU-PA’s 20th annual reading of banned books tonight at 7pm at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater (that’s on the lower level).
A veritable rogue’s gallery of greats from the event’s past twenty years have assembled for tonight. Scrapbook documentarian and Pittsburgh treasure Rick Sebak will read from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Talk-show host Lynn Cullen will read selections from the Bible. Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes will read some of Vladimir Nabokov‘s Lolita.
Pittsburgh’s best jazz vocalist, Etta Cox, will sing “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday’s banned song that protested lynchings. There will be more singing throughout the night in the form of a banned-song karaoke singalong. Fun fact: I’m banned from this part of the event because my singing voice sounds like a cat giving birth to a helicopter and can literally cause paint to peel.
If you’re over age 21, don’t forget to get your Banned Books Week cocktail from the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC).
There will also be a Banned Books Quiz, featuring questions about frequently challenged Young Adult books (like The Bluest Eye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The House on Mango Street), organized by your favorite CLP librarians. And of course there will be prizes!
Best of all, it’s free!