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Reading Groups

The Decline and Fall of the Family with Sheila Kohler

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Every Three Weeks Mondays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT February 21 to May 16, 2022

Online via Zoom

The ‘With Books’ option includes each title required for this reading group at a 10% discount.

Meeting Dates:
2/21, 3/14, 4/4, 4/25, 5/16

We will read three books during five meetings: the wonderful Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, in three parts, his first book written at 26, which plots the rise and fall of a wealthy mercantile north German family through four generations; the Booker prize winning The Promise by Dalmon Galgut, structured around four deaths in the family: the mother, the father, the sister, the brother, leaving only Amor, the youngest alive; and my own Love Child where a woman makes a will leaving her husband’s money not to his heirs, two boys, but to her own girl.

Before the first session, read up to the end of Part Four in Buddenbrooks, page 242, in the Vintage paperback translated by John E. Woods.

Reading List:


Led by

  • Sheila Kohler by Beowulf Sheehan

    Sheila Kohler

    Sheila Kohler

    Sheila Kohler is the author of eleven novels, three volumes of short fiction, a memoir, and many essays. Her most recent novel is Open Secrets (July 2020, Penguin). She has won numerous prizes including the O.Henry twice and been included in Best American Short Stories, most recently in 2013. Her work has been published in thirteen countries. She has taught at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, Bennington and at Princeton since 2007. Her novel, Cracks was made into a film with directors Jordan and Ridley Scott, with Eva Green playing Miss G. You can find her blog at Psychology Today under “Dreaming for Freud.”