2019 Winter/Spring Evening Literary Seminar Series
Come for one meeting or indulge in a slightly richer experience (and save a little money) by signing up for all four. Books are included in the price of the seminars and should be picked up at Kepler's (and read) prior to the meeting date.
* The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates - Monday, Feb 25, 7-8:30pm
* A Fairly Good Time, Mavis Gallant - Monday, March 25, 7:00-8:30pm
* Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris - Mon, April 22, 7:00-8:30pm
* Less, Andrew Sean Greer - Monday, May 20, 7:00-8:30pm
$160.00 Complete Series
Includes all four books for each seminar
Includes a copy of the book being discussed at the seminar
The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates
This memoir is one of the richest, most inspirational books I’ve read in years. Which may be no surprise considering that National Book Award-winning Coates has been called “the young James Joyce of the hip hop generation.” With the intelligence, perception and beauty of a true literary masterpiece, Struggle describes Coates’s boyhood in Baltimore in an erudite, fascinating, radical family. Whether discussing the outsized role of his Black Panther father or the ways in which dreamy Ta-Nehisi wasn’t well equipped for the crack-addled Baltimore of the 80s—all while hinting at the great things awaiting our young protagonist—the book cloaks page-turning content in the most beautiful prose.
A Fairly Good Time, Mavis Gallant
If you’ve never heard of Mavis Gallant, you MUST read this book. Best known for short fiction, this Canadian is hilarious, edgy and ridiculously smart. The New York Times calls A Fairly Good Time “very funny and very frightening.” Set in Paris in the 60s (published in 1970) the novel’s structure is fascinating and its characters unique and boldly memorable. Gallant’s prose takes a deep dive into marriage, women’s liberation and just how odd families are. Gallant will not only reveal her own genius but will give us ample opportunity to understand how the best fiction functions.
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris
Who needs to be talked into reading this comic genius?? Sedaris is so smart and funny, such a master of observation, that he is calling the seminars away from our usual fiction to immerse us in his hilarious world. Leavened with some of his smartest humor, this volume encompasses not only Sedaris’s singular childhood but the hazards of growing older. We will take a close look at how his humor works, how structure impacts the essays and why diction is key in any good writing. I can almost guarantee a significant lift in mood as soon as you settle in to this work by the man Oprah Magazine rightly calls the “funniest writer in America.”
Less, Andrew Sean Greer
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is arguably my very favorite book of last year—and I read a LOT. The (anti)-hero of this smart, accessible novel is a gay writer making a hilarious, ill-planned world tour invented upon receipt of his old flame’s wedding invitation. Greer tackles everything from the ridiculous world of publishing to the ridiculous American abroad, from the very nature of language to the very nature of love. The book reads as satire but the warmest, most appealing satire you’ve read in ages. We will delve into the deep appeal of contemporary writers, (looking, briefly, for resonance and contrasts with Fitzgerald and Sedaris and Coates). I sense this smart and charming gem will be a favorite of seminar-goers, who will join me in hoping Greer might have a whole trilogy up his sleeve.