The events for Clinton County Reads 2021 will be held virtually this year. And the annual book-themed dinner prepared by the chef at the General Denver Hotel & Restaurant will be available as carry-out to coincide with events for this year’s choice, “The Girl With the Louding Voice” by Abi Daré.
The April 5 kickoff by Sherry Weller via Facebook Live will be an overview of human trafficking that will include how to recognize human trafficking in one’s community.
Weller is the executive director for New Life Clinic and part of a coalition that has been learning about the issues of human trafficking in Clinton County and beyond.
Copies of “The Girl With the Louding Voice” are available at the event’s sponsoring locations: the Blanchester Public Library, the Sabina Public Library and its New Vienna branch, the Wilmington Public Library and its Clinton-Massie branch, and locally owned booksnmore.org.
“The Girl With the Louding Voice” is an inspiring story of a girl in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself.
The narrator, Adunni, is barely a teenager but has had to drop out of school because her father can no longer pay school fees. Her father decides to marry her off to a local taxi driver for a modest dowry. Adunni flees and is eventually sold into domestic service in Lagos, Nigeria.
Author Abi Daré grew up in Lagos and has lived in the United Kingdom for almost 20 years. Along with studying law, she has a degree in international project management and a second master’s in creative writing.
“The Girl With the Louding Voice” is Daré’s first novel. It won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and also was selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. In late March, it was named to this year’s British Book Awards shortlists.
Events surrounding the Clinton County Reads choice of “The Girl With the Louding Voice” are:
• April 5 — Kickoff event, “The Victim Next Door,” by Sherry Weller via Facebook Live, at 7 p.m. at http://facebook.com/ClintonCoReads .
• April 8 — Book discussion hosted at 7 p.m. by the Blanchester Public Library, held at Grace United Methodist Church.
• April 21 — Book discussion at 6 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library, hosted by the Words and Wine Virtual Book Club. (Send email to [email protected] for a Zoom link.)
• April 22 — Nigerian carryout dinner will be available at the General Denver 5 to 6:30 p.m. It will include jollof rice, suya (a beef kebab, with the option of a sweet-potato kebab as a vegetarian option), fried plantains, bean fritter, kale and Brussels sprouts salad, and puff-puffs dessert (fried sweet dough). Pre-paid reservations for the dinner are required by Friday, April 16 by calling (937) 383-4141. The $15 per-person cost will include dinner, beverage, dessert, and gratuity. Please specify your pick-up time (between 5 and 6:30 p.m.).
• April 22 — Keynote speaker Dr. Obiwu Iwuanyanwu will discuss “The Girl With the Louding Voice” via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. at http://facebook.com/ClintonCoReads . Iwuanyanwu is an associate professor of world literature and critical theory in the Department of Humanities at Central State University. He studied in Nigeria at Abia State University and the University of Jos, and in the United States at Syracuse University.