Out and About

May 19: The UCLA Marathon Reading is back

An all-day reading of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.”

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Toni Morrison
Timothy Greenfield-Sander

Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate and Putlizer Prize winner.

For the first time since 2005, the UCLA Department of English will be hosting a 12-hour marathon reading, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 19, in the Rolfe Courtyard.

This year, the English department will reintroduce the marathon reading of "Beloved," Nobel laureate and Putlizer Prize winner Toni Morrison’s canonical, fascinating and multivalent novel. Morrison’s book runs for approximately 12 hours when read out loud.

“Beloved” possesses a narrative architecture that is typical of a ghost story: a gripping form that ensures the text would be perfect for reading aloud. Morrison constructs the inner lives of slaves unable to write it for themselves. 

First established by the English department in the spring of 1996, the UCLA Marathon Reading was an annual literary event until 2005. Previous readings have ranged in length from 20 to 34 hours and have featured a wide variety of celebrity readers.

Attendees are advised to bring a copy of "Beloved," or purchase a copy at the event, and read along. Sleeping bags, blankets and food are recommended.

Admission is free of charge and open to the public, although donations are encouraged. All proceeds go toward student scholarships, funding future marathon readings and other English department programs. Attendees may also support the event by signing up for a 10-15 minute reading slot, assisting with construction of the set or helping to staff the event.

For more information regarding volunteering at the event, contact marathon@english.ucla.edu. Donations can be made online.

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