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Thousand Oaks Reads: One City One Book
2011 Essay Contest
The “Stuff” of Life
French writer Marcel Proust famously dips his cookie – a petite madeleine – in his lime-blossom tea and is instantly transported to the security of his childhood. In Jamie Ford’s novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee feels transported back to his own adolescence as he watches the Panama Hotel manager open a fragile, dusty Japanese parasol. The discovery of long-abandoned steamer trunks brimming with once precious dresses, candlesticks, and other now “shabby knickknacks” rekindles bitter-sweet memories of bewildering events, tender love, and ultimate losses. Other objects -- an "I am Chinese" button, a worn vinyl jazz record -- have a profound effect on Henry.
Is there an object that triggers the memory of a profound, transformative time in your life? Small mementos from a friend or loved one, souvenirs from travels, sentimental gifts, meaningful or humorous family collectibles can have a huge personal impact. Almost any object can transcend the notion of “stuff” and prompt thoughtful reflection.
In no more than 800 words, write about a special
The winning essays will be presented to the community at the Thousand Oaks Reads — One City One Book author event featuring the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford.
This free community event will be held at 2:00 p.m. on November 12, 2011 at the Civic Arts Plaza Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks.Back to the Top