Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 3 to December 22, 2021
Online via Zoom
This reading group has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Allison Escoto at email@example.com.
For the tenth year, Sheridan Hay leads readers through the epic adventure of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. By dividing the narrative into manageable sections of fewer than a hundred pages each week, in close reading the book’s vastness expands in all directions. Moby-Dick is not only a novel about a quest, a voyage of the soul. It is not only a novel about the maniacal dictates of one man over a diverse crew of men from the world over. It is not only a novel about race, democracy, faith and the loss of faith. It is not only about America’s past, her corrupted present, or simply about the rapacious and willful destruction of nature by men. It is all these things and more.
Full of conflicting philosophies, Melville describes the invisible world hidden within the visible one. As Andrew Delbanco puts it in his introduction to a recent edition, Moby-Dick “furnishes one dazzling solution after another to the persistent literary problem of conveying to an innocent reader the palpable reality of an unfamiliar world.” As current and pertinent as ever, Moby-Dick is a key to making sense of the past and even this particular present. Melville’s magnificent accomplishment must be met with the determination to see his quest through to the end. It is the voyage we’re all on. Join us. “I think ye do look brave.”
For the first session, please skip the Extracts and begin at Chapter One, “Loomings” (page 3) and read up to Chapter 20, “All Astir” (Page 104). Any edition will do, but page numbers correspond to the Penguin Classics edition, introduced by Andrew Delbanco.
Sheridan Hay holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Secret of Lost Things (Doubleday/Anchor), which features a lost novel by Herman Melville, was a Booksense Pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, shortlisted for the Borders Original Voices Fiction Prize, and nominated for the International Impac Award. A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice, foreign rights have been sold in fourteen countries. Sheridan has led the Center’s Moby-Dick reading group many times, as well as leading a popular Henry James group.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
Beyond the Tropes: Family Secrets and Burdens in Speculative Fiction with Marc Abbott (Online Only)
3 Monthly Sessions Sundays, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT October 24 to December 19, 2021
Structuring Your Story: Shaping Fiction with Julia Phillips — Sold Out$395
Once a week Thursdays, 7:30 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT October 28 to December 9, 2021
Prose Translation Studio with Daniel Hahn$395
Once a week Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 28 to December 9, 2021
KidsWriting Genre Workshops: Fall 2021
Saturday, 11:30 am EDT - 1:00 pm EDT October 30, 2021
Creating Audio Fiction and Nonfiction with C.J. Farley and Ann Heppermann$125
Thursday & Friday 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 4 to November 5, 2021
Crafting Personal Narratives with Zaina Arafat$125
Monday & Tuesday 7:00 pm EDT - 9:15 pm EDT November 8 to November 9, 2021
The Craft of the Unputdownable Story: How to Grab a Reader’s Attention and Keep It with Stefan Merrill Block$125
Friday - Sunday 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT November 12 to November 14, 2021
The Hardest Part: Writing Beginnings and Endings with Joe Wilkins$125
Monday & Tuesday 5:00 pm EDT - 7:15 pm EDT November 22 to November 23, 2021