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Lecture on Darwinian issues in 'The Call of the Wild' at Centennial Library

The Dearborn Public Library will be presenting a keynote lecture, “Darwinian Issues in The Call of the Wild” from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday in the Henry Ford Centennial Library auditorium.

The library is inviting people to join those coming tomorrow night to 16301 Michigan Ave. to hear this lecture, presented by University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor Emeritus Dr. Lawrence I. Berkove, an internationally recognized authority on Jack London. London reportedly devoted his whole career to grappling with the implications of Darwinian thought, which also influenced other writers and thinkers of the day.

“It was probably a big part of what was going on back then,” Librarian Henry Fischer said. “We picked him (Berkove) because we did a search for people who are well-informed on Jack London, and it turned out we had one right in our back yard.”

Since the UM-D's own Mardigan Library is already partnering with the Dearborn Public Library (among other organizations) in The Big Read Dearborn, according to Fischer, it contacted Berkove.

“He was happy to do the lecture, and we're happy to have a well-known Jack London Authority speaking,” Fischer said. “What we hope to do is learn more about Jack London, and he plans to explain Darwinian issues in The Call of the Wild, which sounds very interesting, so I'm looking forward to hearing it.”

There should be a Q & A discussion after the lecture, Fischer said, and the library will also be passing out free copies of a tabloid edition of The Call of the Wild, which was created by Dearborn public school students (who added original illustrations and a community calendar of Big Read events). The calendar includes more than 35 events from March to May celebrating Jack London's The Call of the Wild.

The Dearborn Public Library is one of 25 organizations to receive a grant last May to host a Big Read program in their community. Themed “Call of the Wild: EmBARKING on Discovery,” The Big Read Dearborn will focus on Jack London's American classic through various activities and events.

DFCU Financial, Friends of the Library Dearborn, Dearborn Community Fund, Dearborn Education Foundation, Dearborn Public Library Foundation, West Dearborn Downtown Authority and Mardigan Library are sponsoring Berkove's lecture. For more information on the March 18 lecture, or other Big Read Dearborn events, call (313) 943-2330 or visit

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

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