2017 Book Announced!

The Big Read Holland Area will return this fall, supported for the fourth consecutive year by an award to Hope College through the NEA Big Read.

This year’s program at Hope, running across the first three weeks in November, will feature Julie Otsuka’s book When the Emperor Was Divine.

When the Emperor Was Divine transports readers to 1942, as it tells the story of Japanese-American internment from five points of view. The NEA’s website for the Big Read says that the book “not only invites readers to consider the troubling moral and civic questions that emerge from this period in American history but also offers a tale that is both incredibly poignant and fully human.”

Read the full press release

Join the Conversation


  1. Deb, Trying again to register my Idlewood Beach Ladies Book Club with the Big Read. Our group has read every book and attended many of the fascinating events over the years . We would love to be part of this year’s Big Read.

    I can only imagine how much work these events must take on your part to pull it all together. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We all appreciate all your efforts!

  2. The Billy Clark Book Group (BCBG) has read and discussed all the
    “Big Read” books, even ahead of October. This year we have scheduled
    “When the Emperor Was Divine” for October. We hope we are one of the first 10 book clubs to register.
    Mary Pelto

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