In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry
Hudson's first contact in North America and his sailing up the Hudson
River, One Book One New Paltz
selected the short classic Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
as the 2009 community read. Rip Van Winkle was
chosen because of its regional, historical, and cultural setting, as
well as for the timeliness and universality of its themes, and its
appeal to a large spectrum of ages.
We were pleased to have had the
involvement of many faculty, staff and students from the New Paltz Central
Schools and the State University. Teachers included the 2009 One Book,
Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, in their syllabi and developed
engaging relevant activities for their students. Librarians at all the
schools brought special attention to our One Book selection. State University faculty led discussions, and cultural events focused on Rip Van Winkle, including an evening
performance of Rip Van Winkle by the New Paltz High School Drama Club.
Special hats off to Rebecca Burdett at Duzine; Linda
Sinforoso and Sarah Holbrook at Lenape; MaryAnn Lis-Simmons, Sue Pereira
and Ron Constable at the Middle School; and to Mary Fakler, Andrew Higgins, Chirstopher Link, Joanie Perisse,
Anne Goding, Jan Schmidt, Sarah Wyman , Greta Winograd, Kerry Carso, Tom Mounkhall, and Reynolds Scott-Childress at SUNY New Paltz for their support.
The following letter to the editor of the New Paltz Times was written by One Book One New Paltz committee member, Maryann Fallek.
It is that time of the year, once
again, where the One Book One New Paltz (OBONP) Committee invites you to join
with us and others to read and talk about a particular book. As Harper Lee once remarked, folks who
participate in such an experience would “…have learned new things about
themselves and about each other, discoveries that can make for lasting good
The OBONP Committee agrees: good
things result from a community-wide reading program. For each of the last five
years, with community input, we have selected and encouraged everyone to read
One Book. We then have planned and
organized various activities focused on that book. The success of our effort to
foster community through shared reading and conversation has encouraged us to
continue the One Book One New Paltz program in 2009.
This year, with
the Quadricentennial in mind, we selected Washington Irving’s classic tale, Rip Van Winkle, for the shared reading
experience. During the week of November
15, we encourage you to participate in engaging activities based on this
story, including community book discussions, performances, a film showing/discussion
and an academic panel presentation.
Staying asleep for twenty years is a fascinating thought for
all of us. Whether you are nine or ninety,
you will enjoy talking about the many interesting questions that Rip Van
Winkle’s experience raises about how we live our lives. What if you had slept
through the American Revolution, as Rip did?
What would life be like if you slept for the next twenty years? Does
hard work lead to success? What is
success? What is work? To what degree, do you “participate” in your
own life? Did Washington Irving portray
Rip as a mostly positive or mostly negative figure? If Rip’s partner in life, how would you have
responded to him? The questions are
intriguing and endless.
We invite you to read the book, share your thoughts and
learn those of your neighbors. Benefit
from and celebrate our diverse ideas.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover the pleasure and power of
reading and discussing a single book with others in your community. Visit http://onebookonenewpaltz.org
for the details, including information
about the OBONP events from November 15 through November 22.
Enrich the life of our community by participating in One Book One New Paltz.
Borrow the book from Elting Memorial Library or purchase it at a bookstore on
campus or in the community.
Maryann Fallek 7 Outlook Farm Drive New Paltz, NY 12561 845 255 1398