Library hosts famous author

Donelle Pardee Whiting

Thanks to a $68,200 grant from the state library, Washingtonians will have the chance to hear a talk by a famous author.

James Bradley, author of “Flags of Our Fathers,” will present “Doing the Impossible” at 7 p.m. in the Caterpillar Performing Arts Center at Five Points Washington.

Aside from offering Bradley’s talk at no cost, the library was also able to create a writing lab.

As part of the lab, there is a homework help center staffed by writing fellows from Washington Community High School.

The WCHS students receive credit to tutor other students, Tomka said.

The library was also able to have a summer writing camp in July where they created a mini tour guide of Washington.

“(Bradley’s) talk is the culmination of all we have been able to do because of the grant,” library director Pam Tomka said.

Drawing on his experience researching the Pacific War for his book, Bradley addressess the mindset it takes to achieve success.

Bradley cites examples of challenges that experts deemed impossible and illustrates how, by thinking outside the box, people succeeded despite the odds.

Bradley began researching the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima after the death of his father who was part of the famous photo that imortalized the Feb. 24, 1945 flag-raising.

In interviews, Bradley said his father never spoke of the flag-raising, preferring to remain anonymous.

After his father’s death in 1994, Bradley found a box with a letter to his grandparents from Iwo Jima.

After years of research and 27 rejections, Bradley’s book was published by Bantam Books.

In 2007, “Flags of our Fathers” topped the best seller list.

Since then, the book was made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg.

Tomka said she hopes a large audience comes out to hear Bradley speak and show him a warm welcome.

“I’m thinking his topic will bring something to all ages,” she said.