Reading Groups

Silenced Voices 

 

Led by: Sheila Kohler

 

Time: 6-7:30 pm

 

Meets: Mondays; six sessions

 

Dates: 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/17, 5/8, 5/22

 

Sign up:

Members: $150

Nonmembers: $175 

 


 

We will read three original works and three novels which come from voices silenced in the original: starting with Beowulf and John Gardner's Grendel; then Charlotte  Bronte's Jane Eyre followed by Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and finishing with Camus's The Stranger and Kamel Daoud's Meursault's Investigation.

 

With each book we will ask ourselves what role the hero or heroine plays and why the antagonist or dark double is not allowed to tell his/her story directly. Why have these modern authors taken up the story of these silenced ones: the monster, Grendel; the mad wife, Bertha; the unnamed and murdered Arab? Why do these new novels work so wonderfully well and could they exist without their forebears?

 

Please read Beowulf (Seamus Heaney's translation) for the first session. I will send out some questions to direct your reading and discussion when I have your names. 

 

Sheila Kohler is the author of ten novels: The Perfect PlaceThe House on R Street, CracksChildren of PithiviersCrosswaysBluebird or the Invention of Happiness,Becoming Jane EyreLove ChildBay of the Foxes, and Dreaming for Freud. As well as three collections of short stories: Miracles in AmericaOne Girl, and Stories from Another World. Kohler has been awarded the O. Henry twice, the Open Voice Award, and the Smart Family Foundation prize, and The Willa Cather Prize judged by William Gass for One Girl, the Antioch Review Prize, and two stories have been included inBest American Short Stories. She was nominated for an Impac award. Sheila Kohler has taught creative writing at Bennington, City College, The Chenango Valley Conference at Colgate, Sarah Lawrence, The New School, Suny Purchase, the West side YMCA, and in Montolieu, France at Brooklyn College. She was a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers in 2003-4 and a visiting writer at the American Academy of Rome in 2012 and 2013. Her new memoir, Once We Were Sisters will be published in January.

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