Participate in the Pulitzer Dialogues
To commemorate the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes, six libraries from across New Mexico are partnering with the New Mexico Humanities C...
Friday, September 30, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The list of my (April's) top ten favorite stories so far is below. Brandon said "The Swimmer" is his favorite Cheever story of all time. What stories stood out to you from the collection? Post your favorite stories in the comments below.
- Goodbye, My Brother, p. 3-21
- The Enormous Radio, p. 33-41
- The Sorrows of Gin, p. 198-209
- The Day the Pig Fell into the Well, p. 219-235
- The Five-Forty-Eight, p. 236-247
- The Housebreaker of Shady Hill, p. 253-269
- The Country Husband, p. 325-346
- The Angel of the Bridge, p. 490-497
- The Geometry of Love, p. 549-602
- The Swimmer, p. 603-612
Saturday, September 24, 2016
“My mother got lost when she was young in a coffee plantation (my father used to grow coffee) and she was lost for like three days and everyone thought she died and by the third day they just went and bought fucking—I mean, it shows you the difference, if a child were lost for three days today, we would still have hope, we would still be looking, but in the DR they were like ‘Three days? ’That kid’s fucking dead man’—they went out and bought funeral clothes, they were going to bury this little outfit and then my mother shows up. And my mother tells this story and she was like I had gotten lost and was just desperate and this mongoose came up and was like ‘you lost?’ ‘Well, I’m tired right now but I’ll come back tomorrow and lead you out.’ So he did and my mother arrived home the next day.” - Junot DiazThese are just a few things to keep in mind if you ever have a discussion or book club on this fantastic work. A little background can help a lot when discussing a book, especially one as closely tied to a time and place as this one.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
|More great discussion|
|Never a dull moment|
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
|First Meeting of the Readng Group|
Monday, September 19, 2016
The theme of this book is "a hopeful quest, sad love story, a nerd hoping to have a sexual relationship, moving toward his doom". The language used in the book is somewhat different - possibly the language that the author grew up with and language of the culture. A person may not know the exact meaning of some of the words or phrases used in the book, but gets the jest of what is being said/written. Junot Diaz puts an insight into the novel. He delves into the politics of their country/culture and ours. These things need to be known/studied.
Several participants in the book discussion commented on how they thought the footnotes were very helpful in understanding certain phrases, sections of the book and the history relating to the culture.
The novel begins with the narrator's description of the curse, called fake americanus—a curse which was brought over to the islands of Antilles when the Europeans came. Oscar seemed to be the person that was the "victim" of his family's fukú. Oscar is very polished, speaks in elvish - literary compliment. He is both heroic and foolish. He felt that this is what he had to do - his mission.
- Although there is no ghost in Erdrich’s novel as there is in Morrison’s Beloved, the past haunts the communities of this novel. What events haunt the characters of Plague of Doves?
- Erdrich uses multiple narrators in this novel. Why do you think she chooses to use changing perspectives? What do the different narrators reveal about the history of the communities in this novel?
- How does religion and spirituality effect the different characters’ lives?
- What is the role of the murder plot in this novel? Can this novel be called a murder mystery? How would you describe this novel?
Friday, September 16, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Please check it out and have a great day. I can't wait to see you all next Saturday.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
The first thing you'll notice reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is the language. If you Google the title you'll find article after article discussing the code-switching, the use of "Spanglish," no explanation of the Spanish words, and whether Diaz did this just to frustrate readers or he did it to make a point. There is a lot to discuss in "Wondrous," but I can't imagine having a discussion on this book and not talking about the language.
Why did Diaz choose not to include English translations to his Spanish words and phrases? What effect does the seamless blending of Spanish and English create? Why does Diaz choose not to italicize Spanish words the way foreign words are usually italicized in English-language text? These are just a few things to think about as you embark on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I've also included a recording of a 2008 NPR interview with Junot Diaz discussing his Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It's a great jumping off place for getting into the book!