Vermont Reads 2021: “We Contain Multitudes.”
Join us In-Person (with masks) or from your computer by following this link at 6:30 on 1/20/22 – https://bit.ly/BMLBookDiscussion
“Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and devastating family secrets, Jonathan and Kurl struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship…and each other.
This rare and special novel celebrates love and life with engaging characters and stunning language…”
“Our Vermont Reads choice for 2021 is a novel in letters. It tells the paired stories of two very different teenage boys who are initially reluctant to participate in a pen-pal assignment from their high school English teacher, but ultimately grow well beyond the boundaries of the school project to reveal earth-shattering revelations about themselves and their families.
The novel contains many strands relevant to current community conversations including economic disparities, how veterans return from war, domestic violence, opioid addiction, bullying, and coming out. But lest it sound too heavy, it is also a beautiful story of friendship, poetry, coming of age, and aspiring to move beyond social expectations.
Canadian writer Sarah Henstra says she was inspired to write We Contain Multitudes by her own teenage kids, and how they communicate with each other and their friends, especially around complicated issues. She succeeds in capturing the wonderful, difficult, scary, joyful, and curious events that make up the lives of the two main characters, teenagers Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam Kurlansky.
As a bonus, the novel is also a lovely interweaving of the work of two great figures in American arts and letters – 19th century poet Walt Whitman and rock superstar Prince.” – Vermont Humanities
Vermont Reads – A Statewide Community Reading Program
For the last 19 years, Vermont Humanities has invited students, adults, and seniors across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to the book’s themes.