With news headlines and graphic images underscoring recent racial unrest and injustices, Wilton Library has chosen Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir to explore the topic of racism and race relations for Wilton Reads 2021. In this stirring memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey reflects on the build-up to and aftermath of her mother’s murder. In doing so, she explores racism, grief, and legacy.

To encourage readership and to kick off Wilton Reads 2021, hardcover copies of Memorial Drive will be distributed to members of the community free of charge courtesy of Fairfield County Bank. Books will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis, one per person, on Tuesday, March 2, in the morning at 10-11 a.m. and in the evening at 5-6 p.m., at the Drive-Thru on Godfrey Place, while supplies last.

Copies of the book in print and audiobook on CDs, eBook and eAudiobook formats are also available to borrow. Anyone who is unable to receive a free book and who wishes to purchase one can purchase a copy from Elm Street Books; a portion of the proceeds benefits Wilton Library.

Memorial Drive has garnered awards and accolades including becoming a New York Times Bestseller, A New York Times Notable Book, A Washington Post Top 10 Best Book of 2020, An NPR Best Book of 2020, a Slate Best Book of 2020, a USA Today Best Book of 2020, an Amazon Best Book of 2020. Even President Obama has chosen it as one of his favorite books of 2020.

The Wilton Reads program will culminate with an author visit by Trethewey on Thursday, April 15 at 6 p.m. using a virtual platform. The author will be recognized with a Grodin Family Fine Writers award during her virtual talk. Elissa and Charles Grodin have been sponsoring the Grodin Family Fine Writers Awards for the library’s Wilton Reads programs.

Details of the library’s Wilton Reads 2021 programming will be on the library’s website in February.

This is the fifteenth season of Wilton Reads. The program originated with a reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. A complete list of all the Wilton Reads selections can be found on the library’s website.

The Village Market is the sponsor of the virtual author talk. The media sponsor of Wilton Reads is GOOD Morning Wilton.