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September 09, 2016

Revisit classic literature with three book events this fall

Let's talk Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, banned books

Events Books
Books Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Jump into the world of books this September.

If you haven't cracked opened "Gatsby" since high school then maybe it's time to revisit the classics. Do it for fun and not just because of an impending pop quiz. 

This September, there is a 120th birthday celebration for F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Jane Austen-themed party and a discussion on banned books. Anyone who considers themselves a bookworm at heart can find a reason to celebrate books this month.

Celebration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Life & Legacy

If we believe F. Scott Fitzgerald's words that, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall," then September is the ideal time to gain a fresh perspective.

The Free Library of Philadelphia will celebrate "The Great Gatsby" author on the eve of his 120th birthday by hosting a free panel discussion on his life and legacy. Attendees will have a chance to hear different opinions, gain insight and revisit Fitzgerald's influential writing. 

Before the panel discussion, there will be a toast to Fitzgerald’s 120th with live jazz music and a 1920s-themed Instagram photo station in the library's lobby at 5 p.m. The author's granddaughter will be in attendance. 

And for those who want to make a full day out of celebrating Fitzgerald, there will be a screening of the 2013 adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" by Baz Luhrmann at 2 p.m. in the library's Skyline Room. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Sept. 22
7:30 p.m. | Free
Free Library: Parkway Central branch
1901 Vine St.


Jane Austen Night

On Sept. 24, Jane Austen fans can head to Philly's own English country estate for an Austen-themed party. At The Woodlands, near University City, attendees are invited to participate in 18th-century pastimes -- like playing a game of croquet and picnicking with fancy tea sandwiches.

At 7 p.m. the movie "Sense and Sensibility," based on Austen's beloved book, will be screened in front of the mansion. 

All attendees are encouraged to dress in character-inspired costumes for the occasion. Admission is $10 per person.

Saturday, Sept. 24
5-9:30 p.m. | $10 per person
The Woodlands
400 Woodland Ave.


Banned Books Hands-On Tour

Banned Books Week 2016 will take place on Sept. 25 through Oct. 1. The annual event brings the book community together to celebrate the freedom to read, while drawing national attention to the harm of censorship.

Books that have at one time been banned/challenged include "Canterbury Tales," "Ulysses," "The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin," "Beloved," "The Great Gatsby" and other famous works.

Since 1982, when Banned Book Week began, more than 11,300 books have been challenged according to the American Library Association. 

On the first day of the week, Philly's Rosenbach Museum will host a Banned Books Hands-On Tour. The museum's collection includes many books that have been banned, challenged or censored. During the tour, attendees will discuss the controversies surrounding the literature.

General admission to the museum is $10, with discounts available for seniors, students and children.

Sunday, Sept. 25
3-4 p.m. | $5 per person (in addition to the cost of general admission)
Rosenbach Museum
2008-2010 Delancey Pl.