READ ABOUT IT! American Life Stories is the title of a new book discussion series coming this spring to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main. Funded by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, this 4-part series will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm in the Director’s Conference Room . Titles and dates are:
March 9: The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
March 30: When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
April 20: Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Faroozeh Dumas
Mary 18: Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement by Dennis Banks
We are happy to announce that Dr. Liane Norman Ellison, a local author and poet, will be leading the discussion.
Who, you might well ask, is John Fetzer, and why I am taking the time to thank him?
John Fetzer (1901-1999) was an electrical engineer, a baseball fanatic, a radio and television pioneer, and a man who dedicated himself and his fortune to the “unseen elements” of life — the potential of love and forgiveness to create a better world. Currently operating with an endowment of over $400 million, the Fetzer Institute operates its own programs and services, but occasionally does offer grants that are competitively awarded.
That’s who John Fetzer was, and I am thanking him because in 2009 the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main was the recepient of a grant from the Fetzer Institute, as part of the Let’s Talk About It Series: Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom (LFW).
Our LFW reading and discussion programs were held here at Main from January through March, and we had a wonderful time. With over 20 participants at each of our five meetings, we were led by Dr. Heather McNaugher of Chatham University, and we discussed both classic and contemporary works of fiction with a focus on the role of forgiveness in the readings and in our own lives. When we discussed The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, we were treated to a reading of Act V, Scene III by a troupe of actors from Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Drama. And when we read the poetry of Rumi, we heard the poetry read aloud in both English and the original Farsi! We also read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen; The History of Love by Nicole Krauss; and Atonement by Ian McEwan.
My thanks, also, to everyone who participated — you came in the cold, you came in the snow, and you came ready to discuss!
Looking for a great way to welcome 2009? Beginning in January, 2009, the Carnegie Library-Main will begin a five-part humanities book discussion entitled Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom (LFW). The series will be held on Thursdays this winter, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Quiet Reading Room at the Main branch.
Our branch was one of 50 public libraries to receive a $2,500 competitive grant from the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute as part of their “Let’s Talk About It” series. Through the reading and discussion of five works of classic and contemporary fiction, and facilitated by our program scholar, Dr. Heather McNaugher of Chatham University, LFW will investigate how literature can increase our understanding of ourselves and one another. Space in this program is limited, so register early at the Carnegie Library website.
The five works in the series were chosen by Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, who has written a wonderful essay describing each selection and how each one relates to our topics. The five books we’ll be reading and discussing (and the dates) are:
We have some special events scheduled, including a presentation of the forgiveness scene from The Winter’s Tale by drama students from Carnegie Mellon University.
If you’d like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.