Books to be discussed at the Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center Literature Forum 2015-2016 season were announced this week. After screening and discussing scores of books, the Literature Forum steering committee has selected the following works of fiction, taking their readers to Mississippi, Illinois, rural France, England and North Korea:
“The Ponder Heart” by Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty lived her life in Jackson, MS and became famous for her stories from the heart of the American South. This classic novella, originally published in The New Yorker in 1953, is set in fictional rural Clay County, Mississippi. It tells the story of the Ponders, the richest family in the county, combining elements of tragicomedy with a murder mystery.
“Swann’s Way” by Marcel Proust (Part One – Combray)
Proust’s pseudo-autobiographical masterwork, In Search of Lost Time, is written in a stream-of-consciousness style and is considered one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and one of the finest novels of the 20th century. Davis Hammond will lead the discussion and recommends the Modern Library edition translated by Moncrieff and Kilmartin and revised by Enright . For those wishing to read the original in French, he suggests Pleiade’s edition of A la recherché du temps perdu – Vol. I, Premiere Partie (Combray).
“The Children Act” by Ian McEwan
British novelist Ian McEwen’s most recent work (2014) describes the dilemma of a female British judge who must rule on the opposing medical and religious interests surrounding a 17-year-old boy who will likely die without blood transfusions. She confronts this complex case while at the same time dealing with her husband’s recently discovered infidelity.
“The Master” by Colm Toibin
This Irish writer’s fifth novel was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize and depicts the American-born writer Henry James in the final years of the 19th century. It is a portrait of a complex and ambiguous bachelor in his mid-fifties coping with the troubling issue of his unresolved sexuality.
“The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson
This ambitious and darkly satisfying novel is set in the land of Kim Jong Il, the unhappy Potemkin Village land of North Korea, whose horrifying and cruel excesses might have dismayed Josef Stalin. It is a chilllng but compelling story by an imaginative young writer, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2012.
“Time Will Darken It” by William Maxwell
While perhaps best known as an editor at The New Yorker for 40 years, William Maxwell also authored six novels. Time Will Darken It is set in the fictional small town of Draperville, Illinois in 1912 and features a cast of classic small-town characters. The story centers around the reluctance of its main protagonist, lawyer Austin King, to give credence to the fact that the motivation of others won’t always be as honorable as his.
Meetings are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month from November through April at the Woman’s Club Room of the Community Center. Order of presentation is subject to change. Call the Friends office at 964-0827 for more information.