I flew up from New York to Chautauqua today–you actually fly to Buffalo and drive another 90 minutes–for Week Nine geared toward “Health Care: Reform and Innovation.” This is a first-ever for the Chautauqua Institution, the beginning of a three-year initiative focusing on health care that includes an expanded program this week with 15 additional lectures at smaller venues intended to encourage more dialogue and Q-and-A.
As this week’s official selection of the Chautauqua Scientific and Literary Circle (CSLC)–“the nation’s oldest, continuous book club, founded in 1878”–I will have one of the traditional author presentation slots in the Hall of Philosophy on Tuesday August 20 at 3:30 pm where I will read from Immortal Bird. They’re giving me a little more time than I usually have, so I need to choose a few more passages to read, which I will probably do Tuesday morning.
On Wednesday August 21, I will be a presenter at the Young Readers Program in Alumni Hall at 4:15 pm which is aimed at young people in middle school or younger. The theme is how families cope with the terminal illness of a child. I will discuss Damon’s story in Immortal Bird and link it to two assigned books, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. I am looking forward to the Q-and-A and hearing stories from the audience, always the most interesting part for me although I also find it rewarding to share Damon’s story with new audiences.