Carver library plans book discussions
Searsport — Carver Memorial Library, Mortland Road, will hold a fall book discussion series titled Invisible New England: The Real New England? The novels and memoir that make up this series will take readers into New England’s more complicated and richer reality, and offer parts of the story that are often missing from the narrative created by Hawthorne, Melville, Alcott, Jewett, White or Frost. Even though these authors’ New England definitely had its dark side, it is a determinedly white Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. This series offers accounts of Catholic immigrants — Irish, Italian and French Canadian — of transplanted black Southerners and of Mainers scrambling to put together a living in a poor coastal community that is neither harmonious nor ordered and where a traditional way of life is challenged by a seemingly hostile world.
Family and tradition are important in every one of these narratives, as are class and the challenges of change. Taken together, they may serve to remind us that the richly textured population of New England constitutes the real New England. The series is sponsored by the Maine State Library and the Maine Humanities Council. Discussions will be led by facilitator Jeffrey Aronson. Those interested in participating are asked to sign up in advance. Books will be available in the library two to three weeks prior to each discussion, all set for Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the library.
Books to be discussed are: Sept. 19, “The Living is Easy” by Dorothy West, about the life of a middle class black family in Boston, inspired by West's own experiences and her observations about social class in the black community in the early 20th century; Oct. 3, “Like Lesser Gods” by Mari Tomasi, a novel about a community of Italian immigrant stonecutters living in a small Vermont town during the 1920s; Oct. 17, “The Family” by David Plante, an autobiographical novel about a Francophone family in a French-Canadian enclave of Providence, R.I., in the 1950s; Nov. 7, “All Souls: A Family Story from Southie” by Michael Patrick MacDonald, a memoir of the projects of South Boston in the 1970s and 1980s where poverty, drugs and violence besiege a predominantly Irish Catholic community; and, Nov. 21, “The Wooden Nickel” by William Carpenter, a novel about the struggles of a contemporary Maine lobsterman to survive in a world he no longer understands.
For more information, call the library at 548-2303.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.