Participate in the Pulitzer Dialogues

Read 5 Pulitzer Titles in 5 Months!

To commemorate the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes, six libraries from across New Mexico are partnering with the New Mexico Humanities C...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Questions for Donnelly Library's Discussion of Beloved

Donnelly Library’s Pulitzer Prize Challenge reading group has its first meeting in a little under two weeks on Thursday, September 1. Below are a few questions to think about for the upcoming discussion.

Take a look at the questions and post your own questions or discussion points for this novel in the comments below.

  1. How does Toni Morrison connect the idea of slavery and the idea of haunting? Is America haunted?
  2. The novel is a narrative about trauma and recovery. What does it mean to recover from trauma? How does Sethe recover?
  3. This novel is about the relationships between mothers and daughters. What kinds of relationships do the characters have? How do they change over the course of the novel?
  4. Is the ghost real?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Women and Power in Oscar Wao

In the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz discusses at great length the forms of power expressed through his masculine characters from the dictator Trujillo and his petty, corrupt officials to the gallivanting Yunior. What does power look like for the women, who are every bit as much protagonists?
"Beli, who'd been waiting for something exactly like her body her whole life, was sent over the moon by what she now knew. By the undeniable concreteness of her desirability which was, in its own way, Power. [...]. Hypatía Belicia Cabral finally had power and a true sense of self. Started pinching her shoulders back, wearing the tightest clothes she had. Dios mío, La Inca said every time the girl headed out."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Horror and Humor in The Plague of Doves

It's not long now until our first book discussion and we've got a good number of people registered. This novel is so rich it's hard to decide what to focus on. One thing that got my attention right off is the way Louise Erdrich uses dichotomies in The Plague of Doves to create conflict. There are the obvious ones, of course, like indigenous vs. white culture and Christianity vs. the Chippewa religion, but I’m intrigued by the contradictions of the sacred vs. the profane and humor mixed with horror that arise, especially in Mooshum’s stories; in particular, the use of humor before the lynching. I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on these ideas, and more!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Donnelly Library, Las Vegas, NM News Story About the Pulitzer Challenge

English Prof Leads Pulitzer Prize Reading Group

Las Vegas, N.M – An upcoming reading group at Highlands University will explore five Pulitzer Prize works of fiction that focus on the American experience.
The Pulitzer reading and discussion group begins Sept. 1 and will be led by Highlands University English professor and American literature scholar Brandon Kempner.
“All these novels and collections of short stories show how diverse and complex the American experience truly is, with the authors incorporating a variety of writing styles and perspectives,” Kempner said. “Our goal is to read great literature and have a good time discussing it.”
Kempner said the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is the oldest and most prestigious American literary award.