The Big Read: Expert Examines Jewish Identity as Presented in Old School

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, July 4, for Independence Day.

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2009
Contact: Paul Smith
The Big Read: Expert Examines Jewish Identity as Presented in Old School

The Kansas City Public Library welcomes Ben Furnish for a scholarly presentation complementing The Big Read called Beyond Mere Embarrassment: Jewish Identity in Old Schoolon Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.


A National Endowment for the Arts initiative, The Big Read in Kansas City encourages residents to read, enjoy, contemplate, and enjoy the Tobias Wolff novel Old School throughout April and May.


The earliest deceit in Old School centers on a high school student who conceals his Jewish heritage from his classmates. To understand his motivations, the reader must look beyond the novel to why many people of Jewish origin in America have historically felt compelled to downplay their heritage in order to fit into the wider culture. The stakes involved go beyond mere cultural embarrassment.


Furnish is managing editor of BkMk Press at UMKC and writes about Jewish literature.


Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online. Free parking is also available.


Through the combined efforts of the Libraries of Greater Kansas City, there are more opportunities than ever to join the Big Read. Visit our web site at for more details.

Kansas City Public Library Beta