by Alice Bampton
Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, this year’s One Book Villanova selection, is the focus of February’s cultural window display, at the library entrance. Although the author visited the campus last month, the display serves as a reminder for the numerous other One Book events and discussions.
Across the top of the window is a large sign with text over a panoramic view of Tehran.
A map of Iran with geographical information serves as the left frame and to the right is a large reproduction of the book cover. Between these frames are three shelves of images and objects related to Rooftops of Tehran, as well as a number of copies of the book. There are framed portraits of young peoples’ faces to represent the time before the revolution; red ribbons in these suggest foreboding. There is also a sepia photograph of Mahbod Seraji, the author. A fragment of a Time magazine cover with a headline “Iran: Struggle for Stability” and part of a story with the headline “Embittered Shah Leaves for Egypt, and Exile, Today” help set the stage for the book.
Red roses, such as that on the cover of Rooftops of Tehran, and a box of Iranian cigarettes also relate to the text. Across the bottom of the window is a series of stylized views of rooftops of Tehran linked by swags of red net. This row of images was created by Jessica Schwartz of the Falvey Print Center. Other graphics were created by Joanne Quinn, the visual outreach coordinator for Programming and Outreach. Joanne designed and mounted the display.
One Book Villanova began in the 2005-2006 academic year as the result of a conversation between Joe Lucia, University librarian, and Terry Nance, Ph.D., professor of communication and assistant vice president for Multicultural Affairs. They believed that “books and ideas matter” and that a “one book” program would provide students with opportunities for discussion “about the pressing issues and questions of our time.” Others joined them in the development of the program.
The first One Book Villanvoa was The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini. Other books have been Blood Done Sign My Name by Tim Tyson, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, and Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza.
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