Library series to discuss border issues

Published on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 by By Tara Nelson

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A series of upcoming events at Blaine library will explore life on the border.

Blaine librarian Debby Farmer said the themes were inspired by Jim Lynch’s novel “Border Songs,” which details the life of a dyslexic U.S. Border Patrol agent with a penchant for identifying wild bird calls. Lynch will speak about that book as well as his 2008 book “The Highest Tide” on Tuesday, February 22, at the Blaine performing arts center (PAC).

Border Songs won the 2010 Washington State Book Award and was picked as among the best books of 2009.

Book-it Theater in Seattle, which also performed Lynch’s first novel “The Highest Tide” in 2008, is also currently adapting it to the stage.

Lynch was also picked as one of six finalists for the American Booksellers Award for best fiction of 2009.

Farmer said the local setting and themes of Lynch’s books would be an opportunity to explore national issues such as immigration and how they affect communities like Blaine on a local level.

“We wanted to explore illegal immigration but stay away from the political side. We wanted to show the human side the subject,” she said.

The first event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, February 5, and will feature a documentary called “Letters From The Other Side,” exploring the unspoken issue of the collateral damage of illegal immigration.

This documentary film gives voice to women and children left behind – sometimes forever when Mexican men cross the U.S. border looking for work.

The following Saturday will feature “Birds of Border Songs” at 2 p.m., February 12, and will retrace the path local Audubon bird expert Joe Meche traveled with Lynch, helping him gather information for his book.

Then, at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 19, the library will host a Whatcom READS! discussion group about Lynch’s books.

“Both books are local so it’s really a great tie in, and both of the books provide lots of discussion material,” she said.

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