Celebrate One City, One Story - Events Planned for March 2017


PASADENA, Calif. — Chosen from a field of compelling nominees, the book selection for Pasadena’s 15th One City, One Story community reading celebration is The Sympathizer by author Viet Thanh Nguyen. The New York Times bestseller has sparked an intriguing blend of book talks, art and writing contests, films, workshops and other activities throughout March, encouraging the community to join in conversation about the book. All events are free and open to the public.


The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene’s and Saul Bellow’s, The Sympathizer is a sweeping story of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon. While building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles, he is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.


Author Viet Thanh Nguyen will join Pasadena Public Library Director Michelle Perera in conversation to discuss his experiences writing The Sympathizer. A question and answer session with the audience will immediately follow.
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.

All Saints Church, Sanctuary, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena.

Event parking is available in surrounding parking facilities. All parking is fee-based.


• Event - Author Experiences

Viet Thanh Nguyen will share his experiences as an author with college students, followed by a question and answer session. Nguyen’s books will be available for sale and signing following the program.

Thursday, March 2, 11 a.m., Pasadena City College, Creveling Lounge (Campus Center), 1570 East Colorado Blvd.

  • Workshop - Write Your Own One City, One Story

Discover techniques for writing your own One City, One Story with Laurie Richards, a lawyer and current writing instructor for the Extended Learning Institute at the California State University, San Marcos, who turned her analytical skills to the craft of writing. She has served as a director of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild and judge of the San Diego Book Awards.
Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m., Central Library/Studio on 4th, 285 E. Walnut St.

  • Community Panel - An American War Comes Home: Wars’ Impact On Communities

The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War took place from Nov. 1, 1955 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. Its impacts were felt not only throughout Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but also in the U.S. Join us for a panel discussion of the wars’ impact on America moderated by Larry Wilson, Columnist and Editorial Writer for Pasadena Star-News. Featuring panelists: Daniel D. Lee, Ph.D., Director of Asian American Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Asian American Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary; Florante Peter Ibanez, Adjunct Professor for Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University and Pasadena City College; Tomas Summers Sandoval, author and Associate Professor, Chicana/o~Latina/o Histories, Pomona College; and Jervey Tervalon, author, Executive Director of Literature for Life/Locavore Lit., and fiction writing professor at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m., Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut St.

  • Workshop - My City, My Story 

A photo-montage/collage workshop incorporating images and words that describe personal interests, views, experiences, contributions, concerns, etc. that relate to One City, One Story.
Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m., Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

  • Family Activity
  •      Trinh Mai: An Artist’s Vietnamese American Journey
  •      2017 One City, One Story Art & Writing Contest winners announced
  •      Ane Thanh Lion Dance
  •      Vietnamese Folktales by storyteller Barbara Wong
  •      Author Kim Fay discusses her book Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam
  •      Jonathan Gold’s 7 Picks for Vietnamese Cuisine
  •      Family Crafts

Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St.
• Family Activity - A Basket Full of Stories 
Flights of Fantasy storytellers Lorrie Oshatz and Theresa Amy bring folktales from Vietnam to life using a variety of engaging props and costumes. This unique interactive storytelling experience is sure to captivate any audience from kindergartners to grandparents. So bring the family! Join the fun and share the laughter!
Thursday, March 23, 3:30 p.m., Santa Catalina Branch Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd.

Inspired by the 2017 One City, One Story selection, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

  • Art Contest
    Pasadena children and teens in grades 3 - 12 are invited to submit their original artwork for the One City, One Story Art Contest.

Contest guidelines:

  • Single-frame illustration in pencil, pen, ink or paint depicting a traveler or traveling.
  • Size can range from 8” x 10” to 22” x 28.”
  • May be submitted to any Pasadena Public Library site.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a completed application form. Illustration must include artist’s contact
  • Entries will be judged based on creativity, technical skill and execution.
         Entry deadline: Monday, March 6

    • Writing Contest: “The Traveler”
    Pasadena children and teens in grades 3 – 12 are invited to submit their original short story about a traveler
    or traveling, true or fictionalized.

Contest Guidelines:
 • Stories must be 200-1000 words, writer’s choice, and must be legibly hand-written or typed.

  • Stories must be original and the writer’s own work.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a completed application form.
  • Stories may be submitted with a completed and signed entry form to any Pasadena Public Library site, or
    emailed to Jane Gov at jgov@cityofpasadena.net.
        Entry deadline: Monday, March 6

    A first, second, and third prize will be awarded in each category.
    Art contest winners will receive a gift basket of art items. Writing contest winners will receive a gift basket of literary items.

Winning entries will be displayed at the Pasadena Central Library and featured in a Pasadena Public Library publication (newsletter or the Teen Zine) and online. All participants, their families and friends will be invited to a special reception honoring their work at Pasadena Central Library on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Original art work will be returned to the artist.
Questions? Contact Jane Gov at (626) 744-4246 or jgov@cityofpasadena.net.

Art and Writing Contest forms are available at www.pasadenapubliclibrary.net  or can be picked up at any Pasadena Public Library.

Community Book Discussions

Saturday, March 4, 3:30 p.m.
Central Library/Studio on 4th
285 E. Walnut St.

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 p.m.
Hastings Branch Library
3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

Saturday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.
Allendale Branch Library
1130 S. Marengo Ave.

Saturday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.
Hill Avenue Branch Library
55 S. Hill Avenue

Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m.
La Pintoresca Branch Library
1355 N. Raymond Ave.

Saturday, March 25, 11 a.m.
San Rafael Branch Library
1240 Nithsdale Rd.

Monday, March 27, 11 a.m.
Lamanda Park Branch Library
140 S. Altadena Dr.


The March film selections complement and expand on the themes of the One City, One Story selection, The Sympathizer.
Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium • 285 E. Walnut St.
Presented by The Friends of The Pasadena Public Library.

March 1 • 1:30 p.m.
The Scent of Green Papaya (1993) NR

March 8 • 1 p.m.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) R

March 15 • 1 p.m.
The Children of An Lac (1980) NR

March 22 • 1 p.m.
A Healing, A Journey Back to Vietnam (1997) NR

March 29 • 1 p.m.
Owl and the Sparrow (2007) PG

March 16 • 6:30 pm
Last Days in Vietnam (2014) NR
March 23 • 7 p.m.
Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25 (2007) NR
March 30 • 6:30 p.m.
Pasadena Public Library’s annual One City, One Story program is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature in the community, engage participants in dialogue and bring Pasadenans together by promoting greater understanding of differing points of view. The novel is available for check-out at all Pasadena public libraries and for sale at local bookstores.
For more information, visit www.onecityonestory.com or call (626) 744-7076.

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