The Fiction Book Group encourages its members to read and discuss together the fiction of the last several decades. We read recent winners of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Booker Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and other literary prizes. Members recommend books they have read, and the final selections are made by majority vote. Join us to discover some new authors and titles to enjoy. You’ll like the lively, informal discussions and the insights offered by the avid readers in this group.
The January Book selection is: The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss.
Class coordinator is Kay Moss.
Four sessions: Thursdays, 1:15 - 2:45 p.m, January 28; February 25; March 24; April 28
Nonfiction ranges widely: politics to biography; history to natural science; adventure to psychology; sociology to business—we read them all. Members recommend books they have read, and final selections are made by majority vote. Come join us and surprise yourself by reading some titles you might never have selected or enjoyed - PLUS enjoy the wide range of stimulating discussions and viewpoints!
The January Book selection is A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre.
Class coordinator is Jim Basford.
Four Sessions: Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., January 21; February 18; March 17; April 21
The Classic Literature book group reads and discusses classic literature with the goal of challenging each other for new insights into old favorites. This class will meet in the library of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The class is coordinated by Judy Kidd, but participants take turns leading discussions.
The January book selection is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Other books in the term will be The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy in February; Billy Budd by Herman Melville in March; and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith in April.
Judy Kidd has been active in Oak Ridge arts since 1957 and taught English for twenty five years at Robertsville Junior High. She participates in most ORICL book discussions and literature classes.
Four sessions: Mondays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m., January 11; February 8; March 14; April 11
Those who read mysteries learn history, culture, and forensic information as well as development of characters. Of course, they also read about criminals, sleuths and the solution to the crime. There are categories such as cozy cottage and suspense. Come and discuss authors and titles.
The January book selection is A Beautiful Blue Death (1st in the Charles Lenox mystery series) by Charles Finch.
Katherine Smith is the class coordinator.
Four sessions: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:10 p.m., January 26; February 23; March 22; April 26
This course is a continuation of the Summer 2015 course, “Short Stories before the Civil War.” It will continue the examination of the short story as written by such authors as Mark Twain, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, and the local color writers. The first stories covered will be Jumping Frog story, A True Story, and The War Prayer, all authored by Mark Twain.
Allison Ensor retired from the English Department of the University of Tennessee a few years ago. He regularly taught a graduate seminar in Mark Twain as well as courses in Southern literature, Appalachian literature, and American humor. A Tennessee native, he received his doctorate at Indiana University.
Five sessions: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m.—12:10 p.m., March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12
Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez is one of the greatest writers of our time, and his novels Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude are included in nearly every list of top one hundred books of all times.
In this class, we will study this master of fiction, but we will focus on his short stories instead of his novels. Among other things, we will discuss the term magical realism and Márquez’s ability to get us to suspend disbelief at times. I will be using the Collected Stories by HarperCollins, but you can find the works on line without buying a text. Go to http://www.openculture.com/2014/04/10-short-stories-by-gabriel-garcia-marquez.html and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the texts we will be using. It lists Harper Collins’ online preview of Collected Stories and includes the full text of The Third Resignation, The Other Side of Death, Bitterness for Three Sleepwalkers, and Dialogue with the Mirror, all from the author’s 1972 collection Eyes of a Blue Dog (Ojos de perroazul). We will also read from The New Yorker García Márquez’s story The Autumn of the Patriarch (1976) and his 2003 autobiographical essay The Challenge. From various university websites we will also read the following stories: Death Constant Beyond Love (1970), The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World (1968), and A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings(1955).
Dr. Deborah Scaperoth is a lecturer at the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in New Millennium Writings, Yemasse, Number One, Migrants and Stowaways, Literary Lunch, Knoxville Bound, and others. She has taught at the University of Tennessee since 1994, the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing China, University of Memphis, Columbus State Community College, and East Tennessee State University.
Four sessions: Wednesdays, 2:30 - 3:40 p.m., March 30, April 6, 13, 20
Political extremism, religious dogma, corruption at all levels of government, technology run amok, prejudice against minorities, fear of the Other, brainwashing for political control--these all sound familiar in our 21st century.
Take a few steps backward in time to Jonathan Swift's great satire of 1725, Gulliver's Travels, and you'll find that although the surface details have changed, the fundamental behavior of people differs hardly at all. Despite Samuel Johnson's dismissive summation ("When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest"), the careful reader can see quite readily that this amazingly contemporary book is about much more than physical size. Though, ever since its publication, some readers have called Swift himself "depraved" and "mad," mistaking the author for the main character, GT is actually a carefully considered, deeply ethical and refreshingly playful examination of the effects of what Alexander Pope called "reasoning pride"--on individuals and on a whole society. It covers the deepest questions that human beings can be concerned with--most basically "What does it mean to be human?"
I hope you'll join me for a reading and discussion of this great classic. In the first session, we'll consider 18th Century backgrounds and the life of Swift. We'll then devote one session to each of the four parts of the book. If you can find a Norton Critical Edition (doesn't matter which version), you'll have access to helpful resources. Any other edition (annotated to some degree, for help with 18th Century references) will be fine. I do hope you'll read each part before the discussion date.
In preparation for the first class, please read (or, more likely, re-read) Swift's famous short piece "A Modest Proposal": https://ia800300.us.archive.org/31/items/ost-english-a-modest-proposal-by-dr/A%20Modest%20Proposal,%20by%20Dr.pdf
Penny Tschantz earned her BA and MA degrees in English from New Mexico State University. From 1967 until her retirement in 2004, she taught literature and writing. She also designed and taught several Honors seminars and interdisciplinary courses in her two special interests: people and their diaries and the Desert Southwest.
Five sessions: Wednesdays, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m., February 17, 24, March 2, 9, and 16
"Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!"
King John, Act II, scene 1.
Join us as we begin tackling Shakespeare's history plays. We will read one each year, in historical order. This decision means we'll start with one of Shakespeare's least-performed plays, The Life and Death of King John.
Although King John is not one of Shakespeare's more successful dramas, perhaps it is one of his most overlooked plays. Certainly the play exposes a view of politics to steel you for the coming campaign year! Read with us to see if you agree with George Orwell, who praised the play in 1942.
"When I had read it as a boy it seemed to me archaic, something dug out of a history book and not having anything to do with our own time. Well, when I saw it acted, what with its intrigues and double-crossings, non-aggression pacts, quislings, people changing sides in the middle of a battle, and what-not, it seemed to me extraordinarily up to date."
The group reads orally in a round-robin manner, stopping for informal discussions as the group desires. Mispronunciations welcome! Bring your own unabridged copy of the play. Various editions pose no problem.
Jane Williams and Nancy Burwell are retired educators who know that the best way to learn is to teach. They enjoy organizing the class and absorbing Shakespeare along with the other readers. They like to have fun while learning and have discovered that the more people reading the play to one another, the more fun!
Seven sessions: Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:10 p.m., March 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26
The first part of this course will cover how to grab the reader’s attention from page one and hold it, character development, plot development, and will get you on your way to writing. The second part of the course will cover novel revision, publishing industry basics such as finding a critique group, agent etiquette and everything you need to know about researching an agent, and will compare traditional and self-publishing routes.
Sharon Pavon had many careers that provided fuel for her writing. Although she has yet to achieve her goal of being a best-selling author, she has had her foot in the door as a former client of both Inkwell Management in New York City, and Book Stop Literary Agency in California. She can tell you all about the journey you are about to embark on with various editors.
Eleven sessions: Wednesdays, 7:30 - 8:40 p.m., February 10, 17, 24; March 2, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27
This course will discuss concepts in writing to develop a plan for writing your memoir. You will engage in class activities that focus on memoir as a distinct writing form, strategies for generating and organizing ideas, writing style, and grammar.
You will also work towards your goals for writing a memoir and will develop skills for reviewing your work critically through in-class writing, individualized instructor feedback, and responding to the instructor's writing as a model for class participation in sharing and responding to written work. Appropriate for continuing and new participants.
Due to the nature of this course, enrollment is limited. Attendance in the class is strictly limited to those individuals who are officially on the class roll.
Linda Best graduated from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, NY; holds a Master’s in Education from Boston University; and earned an ED.D. in Cognitive Development/The Writing Process from the University of Rochester, NY. She has 38 years’ experience in the teaching of writing, and her work included a federal grant for training K-12 teachers on how to integrate writing into learning activities. Linda’s publications include numerous articles and book chapters on teaching and learning, her dissertation, two textbooks, and a memoir. Retiring from Kean University, NJ, in 2012 as a Professor Emerita/English, she relocated to East TN with her husband that same year.
Seven sessions: Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.—12:10 p.m., January 27, February 10, March 9, 23, April 13, 27, and May 11.
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