MEETING LOCATION CHANGE: We now have a more permanent location for our book club! (Hooray!) Barnes and Noble Metro Center will be hosting us in their alcove, which is a nice, quiet, pleasant meeting space for us to have lively discussions. I hope you all enjoy this new venue and find it convenient!
In August we will be reading three selections that fit the theme “Revenge and Selfhood”: Louise Erdrich’s Four Souls, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.
Louise Erdrich’s Four Souls
Four Souls begins with Fleur Pillager's journey from North Dakota to Minneapolis, where she plans to avenge the loss of her family's land to a white man. After a dream vision that gives her a powerful new name, Four Souls, she enters the household of John James Mauser. A man notorious for his wealth and his mansion on a hill, Mauser became rich by deceiving young Indian women and taking possession of their ancestral lands. What promises to be a straightforward tale of revenge, however, slowly metamorphoses into a more complex evocation of human nature. The story of anger and retribution that begins in Tracks becomes a story of healing and love in Four Souls.
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston's beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
A true literary wonder, Hurston's masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published - perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature.
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
This story of a woman's struggle with oppressive social structures received much public contempt at its first release; put aside because of initial controversy, the novel gained popularity in the 1960s, some six decades after its first publication, and has since remained a favorite of many readers. Chopin's depiction of a married woman, bound to her family and with no way to assert a fulfilling life of her own, has become a foundation for feminism and a classic account of gender crises in the late Victorian era.
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Reminder: We usually choose 2-3 books per month. You're welcome at our meeting whether you read all or none of the books. We read fiction, nonfiction, and plays, and usually try to cover 1 piece of classic literature monthly. We read books reviewed or mentioned on NPR, and try to mirror NPR's tone at our meetings: thoughtful, polite discussion & commentary, with no arguing or posturing, and no sacred cows or unmentioned elephants in the room.
Suggested Donation: $1, at the meeting. If you are able to make a $1 donation at the meeting, this is appreciated as it helps defray the monthly charge that Meetup.com applies to the group Organizer.