Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Club for Writers Discussion

The library will hold its next Book Club for Writers discussion on Thursday, January 24. The discussion will focus on stories by Alice Munro and William Trevor, both regularly named by critics as among the very best short story writers at work today.

Participants will discuss “The Moons of Jupiter” by Alice Munro and “Sitting with the Dead” by William Trevor. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM at the library, and will be free and open to the public. Copies of the stories are available from the library in advance.

Canadian Alice Munro has won the Man Booker International Prize and has three times won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She has been hailed by Cynthia Ozick as “our Chekhov,” and is described by the Guardian as “a perennial contender” for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her fellow Canadian Margaret Atwood says, “Among writers, her name is spoken in hushed tones.” She has published thirteen collections of short stories, most recently Dear Life (2012).

William Trevor is an Irish author of novels and plays, but is best known for his short stories. He is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and has won the Whitbread Award three times. He has described the short story as “the art of the glimpse . . . its strength lies in what it leaves out just as much as what it puts in, if not more.” His most recent book is the novel Love and Summer (2009). Though he has lived most of his life in England, he considers himself to be “Irish in every vein.”

Book Club for Writers is a fiction discussion program that meets four times a year. Discussions are open to all, and focus particularly on questions of craft and technique that will interest writers and aspiring writers. Created by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Book Club for Writers is sponsored locally by a fiction writing group that meets weekly at the library.

The next Book Club for Writers discussion will be held on Thursday, April 25 and will feature “The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter and “Travels with the Snow Queen” by Kelly Link.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Book Discussion Series

"The Roaring Twenties" will be the theme for the library's Winter 2013 book discussion series. The series will focus on books published in the 1920s that are today regarded as classics of American literature. All discussions will begin at 7:00 PM and will be free and open to the public.

The books scheduled for discussion are:  

  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, Monday, January 28;  
  • Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, Monday, February 25; 
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Monday, March 25; 
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Monday, April 22. 
Copies will be available to borrow from the library in advance of the discussions.

The 1920s was a rich period in American literature. In addition to the writers featured in this series, that decade also saw the publication of major works by such authors as Willa Cather, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Katherine Mansfield, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, and Thornton Wilder.

The books chosen for the discussion series convey the range of the American experience during this vibrant period, from the small-town life of Winesburg, Ohio to the Midwestern, mid-sized city of Babbitt, and from the glamor of Jazz Age Manhattan and Long Island in The Great Gatsby to the post-World War I experiences of American expatriates in The Sun Also Rises. These books constitute a record of an extraordinary and influential period in American life and culture.

Immersion in the literature of the 1920s will also prepare readers for the new film version of The Great Gatsby scheduled for release in May.