Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) wrote in colloquial Hebrew and is widely regarded as the finest poet of modern Israel. Many of Amichai’s poems are remarkably accessible, vivid in their evocation of landscape and historical predicament. He also created some of the most moving love poems written in any language in the past two generations: some exuberant, some erotic, and some suffused with sadness over separation.
Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman has selected eight poems for our conversation from the 2015 collection edited by Robert Alter. For your own free copy of the poems, contact Harold Henkel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The discussion will be held on Friday, April 21 at 1:00 in the Library Conference Room. Distance students and faculty are invited to join in via Google Hangouts.
Over the years, Rabbi Zoberman’s annual spring visit has become an anticipated event at the Library. He is a scholar, teacher, and raconteur about Israel, history, and literature. This year, you need read only eight poems to qualify as prepared, so don’t miss this cultural opportunity!
Mali: The Niger River, which the author crossed using local transportation in 1971.
Author, educator, and public school reformer Dr. C. L. Kennedy’s memoir, One Hundred Pieces of Sun, charts a trajectory from her childhood in the Jim Crow Alabama of the 1950s and a not-exactly-equal-rights city in the Rust-Belt, to Sarah Lawrence College. The book ends with her junior year abroad at the University of Ghana, followed by travels through Africa using only local transportation. (Yes, her mother threw a fit when she first told her about her plans.) One Hundred Pieces of Sun is infused with the author’s enthusiasm for life and delivers a powerful, inspiring message: Have faith in God and yourself, be brave, and follow your dreams!
On Friday, February 24 at 12:00 in RH 105, Dr. Kennedy will present a reading and discussion of her book. A pizza lunch will be served. RSVP by clicking “going” on our Facebook event page or by e-mailing email@example.com.
For more about the book and three short excerpts, see the review on the Library blog.
“Christ did not die for the good and beautiful. It is easy enough to die for the good and beautiful; the hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt.”
― Shūsaku Endō, Silence
Japanese 1st edition of Silence (1966)
Shusaku Endo (1923-1996) was a Japanese Roman Catholic novelist. Silence, first published in 1966, has been hailed as Endo’s masterpiece and one of the most significant Christian novels of the twentieth century. To coincide with the January release of Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited film of Silence, the Library Book Club will begin 2017 with this book.
The subject of Silence is the persecution of Japanese Christians in the seventeenth century. In 1637, two Portuguese missionaries undertake a perilous search for their missing Jesuit tutor. The Shogun and Samurai have purged Japan of Western influence, rooting out Christians and subjecting them to torture until they renounce the word of God. Father Rodrigues knows that if they are discovered, they face the same brutal treatment as the Christian peasantry. The deeper Rodrigues journeys into Japan, the more he finds himself questioning the meaning of God’s silence in answer to their prayers and to the suffering of the Japanese Christians.
The Book Club’s discussion of Silence will take place on Tuesday, January 31 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Dale Coulter, professor of historical theology in the School of Divinity, will lead our conversation. Dr. Coulter has just published his reflections on Endo’s work in the influential journal of religion and culture First Things.
The Library has multiple copies of Silence. Distance students and faculty are invited to join in via Google Hangouts.
During January, the Library is also hosting an exhibition of artifacts associated with the persecution of Christians in Japan as well as responsive works by Makoto Fujimura. The works in this exhibition were on display last fall at Wheaton College, which is still hosting photos and outstanding explanatory materials on its website.
At only 100 pages (Penguin edition), Ethan Frome may be the shortest masterpiece in American literature.
Edith Wharton’s tale of forbidden emotions is set on a New England farm in the first decade of the twentieth century. Ethan Frome works and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeenie. But when Zeenie’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a “hired girl,” Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and the dream of happiness she comes to represent. In one of American fiction’s most intense narratives, Wharton moves the ill-starred characters toward their tragic destinies.
On Friday, December 9, professor of literature and film Pete Fraser will moderate a discussion of Ethan Frome. The discussion will take place at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. We will also view a clip from the 1993 film adaptation starring Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette, and Joan Allen. The Library has multiple print and electronic copies of the book.
Distance students and faculty are invited to us via Google Hangouts.
For a complete schedule of 2016-2017 book discussions, see the Library Book Club webpage.