Young people coming of age. Exiled immigrants balancing life in their new home with memories of the one they left behind. Globalization bringing people from different countries and cultures together. These are the themes of three new Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) book discussion series made possible with a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.
TALK facilitated book discussions immerse readers in captivating stories and introduce different experiences through literature. Each new series – Entangled World, The Exile’s Place, and Growing Up American – addresses different aspects of the human experience through conversations about sense of place and identity.
Globalization has accelerated the complex interactions of people and cultures in recent years. As a result, new languages, technologies, foodways, and lifestyles spring from cultures in collision where new multicultural identities give rise to new literary characters and plots. Titles in this series include:
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (2001)
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (2007)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2007)
Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje (2000)
The Exile’s Place
People in exile face complicated struggles as they come to terms with a home lost and a new home discovered. Although immigration and exile are deeply rooted in human history, the twenty-first century is providing new voices in the world of literature as immigrants give voice to their experiences. Titles in this series include:
The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon (2008)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi (2008)
Brick Lane by Monica Ali (2003)
Growing Up American
In this series, the authors have used the coming-of-age story to comprehend both the terrain of the personal and the historically specific time period in which that character lives. Titles in this series include:
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1951)
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl (1998)
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead (2009)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007)
Click here find out how to bring these new TALK series to your community. You choose the series, the titles, time, date, and location, and coordinate with the discussion leaders. KHC Resource Center Support grants provide the funds necessary. For more information, contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359.