Nobody puts Emily St. John Mandel in a corner. Her first three novels often get classified as crime novels or…
Opening the 2014 season at Chautauqua Institution, author Roger Rosenblatt began each morning lecture with speakers close to his heart and craft. Experience the Week One morning lectures all over again through the Chautauquans busy tweeting and Instagramming in this week’s Storify recap.
Tuesday’s morning lecture conversation saw authors Roger Rosenblatt and Margaret Atwood wax poetic about cat videos on the Internet. Atwood mentioned a “pretty adorable” video of a porcupine that she had seen.
At 10:45 a.m. today at the Amphitheater, Atwood will be talking MaddAddam, its multiplicity of themes, and the writing process behind the trilogy. Roger Rosenblatt, writer and a friend of Atwood’s, will be present to bring the fact out of her fiction. He also hopes to delve into her lesser-known ability as a poet.
Go to breakfast with Margaret Atwood, and forget she is a novelist. Imagine her to be a scholar of 19th-century English literature, or medieval art, or the emergence of print culture. Imagine her as an environmentalist, a women’s rights activist, a Twitter maven, a world traveler.
Since it was first printed in 1985, the cover art for The Handmaid’s Tale has not changed. Almost three decades later, readers are still confronted by the image of two faceless women in red robes standing against an impressively tall brick wall. It’s hard to discern where they are or where they are going.
Perhaps the single greatest power, Margaret Atwood writes in The Handmaid’s Tale, is the power held by those who forgive or by those who can be forgiven.
That may be unexpected in a novel set in a dystopian future in which a citizen’s privacy is revoked, basic human liberties are demolished and a woman’s rights to her own reproductive system are nonexistent.
Tales of travel to another universe, a gorilla who lives in a mall, struggle with disability and loss, and a retelling of a classic romance are just some of the adventures awaiting young readers this season.
During the 2013 CLSC Young Readers program, children ages 9 to 14 have the opportunity to partake in the weekly book discussion, with titles selected by Teresa Adams, assistant director of the Department of Education and Youth Services and director of Special Studies.
“I look for recommendations from the students, the New York Times Best Sellers list and other faculty,” Adams said. “The idea is getting kids interested in reading and enjoying it.”
Young Readers participants who read four or more selections — at least one from each category of fiction, nonfiction and classics — as well as attend the weekly discussions will receive a selection of their choice.
To be a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection, a book must be important, and it must be well written. It must be very well written. Regardless of genre and of publication date, a CLSC book is one that even the Chautauqua reader might not have read before.
At least those tend to be the criteria for Sherra Babcock, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education.
The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, established in 1878, continues to bring together a group of diverse readers through a shared collection of literary works.