Life of Pi by Yann Martel Selected for 2013 Nashville Reads Initiative

NASHVILLE -- Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) bestselling novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel has been selected as the 2013 Nashville Reads selection.  Nashville Reads encourages citizens across the city to read and discuss a common book with the goal of bringing the community together while broadening literary horizons.  The program, now in its second year, is spearheaded by the Office of Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Public Library’s Limitless Libraries initiative.

“Nashville Reads creates an invaluable space for community engagement, intellectual discovery, creativity and fun,” said Mary Cullinane, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility, HMH. “Life of Pi is a compelling story, and we look forward to the connections and ideas it will generate in Nashville.”

To kick off the community read, HMH will sponsor a free, public lecture by the novel’s author, short-story writer and essayist Yann Martel, on March second at the main branch of the Nashville Public Library.  HMH will also donate copies of Life of Pi to Nashville Public Libraries, extending access to numerous readers.

Anella Wetter, Director of Sales, HMH, has worked directly with Mayor Dean’s office to plan Martel’s lecture and to coordinate the book donation.  She noted, “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Nashville on this program which so clearly aligns with our mission of changing lives by fostering passionate, curious learners.  Our book donation will reach readers across the city, including the students we support through our curriculum solutions.”

Life of Pi, a “miraculous adventure tale” (Denver Post) framed by a flashback, is sure to launch engaging discussions amongst Nashville’s readers.  After the sinking of a cargo ship, a sixteen-year-old boy, Pi, embarks on an incredible journey of survival, spending 227 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean with an extraordinary companion – a 450 pound bengal tiger.

Widely considered a modern classic, the New York Times number one bestselling novel has been translated into more than forty languages and was awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2002. It was adapted for the screen by Ang Lee and the film was released in 2012 to great acclaim, receiving an impressive eleven Oscar nominations.

Nashville Reads 2013 is made possible by a partnership between Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Nashville Public Library Foundation, the Office of Mayor Karl Dean, Parnassus Books and Humanities Tennessee. 

Learn more about the Nashville Reads program at

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade & Reference Division
For nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook formats.  Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, forty-seven Pulitzer Prize winners, thirteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien, and Umberto Eco, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Lois Lowry, Chris Van Allsburg and David Wiesner.  HMH is also home to The Best American series®; The American Heritage® and Webster’s New World® dictionaries;  Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, The Gourmet Cookbook, and other leading culinary properties;  the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters including Curious George®, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company with the mission of changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners.  Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges.  HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 60 million students in 120 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit