Saturday, January 25, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Programs

The library will offer a series of programs in February exploring the character and inner life of Abraham Lincoln, presented by Haverhill Corner resident David Pruitt, a longtime student of Lincoln’s life and thought.

The programs will be offered on three Wednesdays: February 5, 12, and 19. They will be held at the Haverhill Congregational Church Parish Hall at 7:00 PM and will be free and open to the public.

The February 5 program will focus on “The Faith Journey of Abraham Lincoln.” Pruitt, himself a minister, will address such questions as:

  • Is it true that Lincoln never joined a church? 
  • Was he ever an atheist? 
  • Was he a Christian? 
  • What forces developed and deepened his faith? 
  • Was there anything central to his faith that we would find “hard to swallow”? 
  • Why was his second inaugural address one of the most astonishing sermons ever delivered? 
  • What can we learn from his journey? 

In two subsequent programs, Pruitt will draw on a wide range of sources to explore further aspects of Lincoln’s inner life and character.

Last fall, Pruitt presented a well-received program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the delivery of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, discussing its original delivery and subsequent historical and cultural significance. That brief speech is today regarded as one of the premier examples of American oratory.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Short Story Discussion

The library will hold its next Book Club for Writers discussion on Thursday, January 23. The discussion will feature short stories by George Saunders and David Foster Wallace.

Copies of “Mister Squishy” by David Foster Wallace, and of “In Persuasion Nation” and “The Semplica Girl Diaries” by George Saunders, will be available from the library in advance. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM at the library and will be free and open to the public.

George Saunders is a writer known primarily for his short stories. His most recent collection, Tenth of December, was published last year; it was a national bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award, and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. Last year, Saunders won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and he had previously been the recipient of both a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “genius grant”) and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His other books include CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. He teaches at Syracuse University.

David Foster Wallace was “one of the most influential and innovative writers of the past twenty years” according to the Los Angeles Times. He is best remembered for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Wallace was also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and he taught at Illinois State University and Pomona College, but after years of battling depression, he committed suicide in 2008. His unfinished novel The Pale King was published posthumously in 2011 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His other books include the story collections Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Oblivion, and the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster.

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 Haverhill Corner Library.

The next Book Club for Writers discussion will be held on Thursday, April 24 and will feature “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett.

Annual Meeting of the Haverhill Library Association - Jan. 20, 2014

The annual meeting of the Haverhill Library Association is Monday evening, January 20th at 7:30 pm.
The public is invited to attend.