ICA Launches Book Club Linking Art and Literature

'ICA Reads' kicks off with Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.


The first book featured in the ICA’s new book club.

Art and books have long since been partners in the storytelling business. Now the ICA in Boston is making the connections a central focus with their new “ICA Reads” book club, which spotlights contemporary literature relating to art on view at the museum.

To kick things off, the ICA is encouraging people to read Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. With prose, poetry, and artwork, the book explores racism in American society. The book was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry.

Citizen is a perfectly timed selection for the ICA’s book club, as the museum recently opened a new exhibition focusing on black life in the American South. “When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South” even features some of the artists whose work also appears in Rankine’s book.

Readers who want to take part in the ICA’s book club can do so in several different ways:

  1. Discussion guide: Readers can download a discussion guide to review on their own or with friends.
  2. Tour the exhibition: You and your friends can take a special tour of “When the Stars Begin to Fall” with a trained guide who will highlight connections between the book and art on view. (Book by emailing tours@icaboston.org or calling 617-478-3148.)
  3. Attend a gallery discussion: Collier Meyerson will lead a talk at the ICA connecting Citizen to artwork in “When the Stars Begin to Fall.”
  4. Read it, then tweet it: It wouldn’t be contemporary without a hashtag, would it? Readers can connect and discuss the book online with the hashtag #ICAreads.
  5. Meet the author: Claudia Rankine will speak at the ICA with museum director Jill Medvedow.

Learn more about ICA Reads at icaboston.org.