New Yorkers Invited to Join Chirlane McCray’s Book Club

New York’s First Lady Chirlane McCray is launching a book club and welcoming New Yorkers to not only join, but also come to Gracie Mansion to discuss the selected books this spring, according to DNAinfo.

McCray and notable New York City authors James Hannaham, Jacqueline Woodson and A.M. Homes will select six books—some for adult audiences and others for younger readers. This year’s theme, “Envisioning Distant Neighbors,” aims to “open dialogue on New York’s diversity and rich immigrant community,” according to a press release.

“The first lady is a writer and a poet, and so she feels very passionate about how sharing stories and shared reading can create shared experiences and community,” said Elizabeth DeBold, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit chaired by McCray.

The club’s first selection is Tanwi Nandini Islam’s “Bright Lines,” which is about three young women and a Bangladeshi immigrant family struggling to reconcile the competing identities of Brooklyn and Dhaka. The Denver Post described it as a “Brooklyn-by-way-of-Bangladesh ‘Royal Tenenbaums.’”

“The many immigrant groups that have sought refuge here, and the beautiful languages and traditions they brought with them, help define New York City,” McCray said in a statement.

A discussion on the book will be held at Gracie Mansion on May 17 at 6pm. Ticket information will be released in the coming weeks. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library systems will have extra copies of “Bright Lines” available at its branches, and plan to host their own discussions on the book.

To sign up for the book club, visit

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