LPL to host Winter/Spring “Let’s Talk About It” book series
The Lewiston Public Library will be hosting a reading and discussion series this winter entitled, “Crossing Over: Works by Contemporary American Indian Writers.” Registrations are required for this series which will take place on the fourth Wednesday evening of each month, January through May.
“Crossing Over” is one of several book discussion programs offered through the Maine Humanities Council’s “Let’s Talk About It” series, a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. This program is provided by the Maine Humanities Council’s Maine Center for the Book in cooperation with the Maine State Library.
Joseph Hall, Associate Professor of History at Bates College, will serve as facilitator for this winter’s series. His academic specialties focus on American Indian history, colonial North American history, and environmental history, with a current research focus on Wabanaki history of western Maine.
In the works featured in the series, American Indian writers blend western writing techniques with oral tradition to mediate between two cultures. Series writers reflect a diversity of tribal backgrounds, including Blackfeet, Ojibway, Mi’kmaq, Spokane, and Laguna, but also the myriad ways in which American Indians negotiate cultures—from struggles to successes to the complex experiences faced by all.
“Exploring ideas and issues through literature has a unique and fun way of creating community,” said Nicole Rancourt, director of Let’s Talk About It. “We find that there is great interest among adults in getting together to discuss what they’ve read with others. Having a discussion leader like Joe Hall, who is both excited about the readings and skilled in facilitating, can help to deepen this experience.”
The “Crossing Over” discussions will take place in the Library’s Couture Room at 6:00 PM on the fourth Wednesday of each month, beginning on January 24th. The book to be discussed at the first session is “Fools Crow,” by James Welch. “Fools Crow” is the story of a young Blackfeet Indian in 19th-century Montana, who finds himself grappling with the intersection between his traditional way of life and the changes brought by the arrival of Euroamericans. The other titles included in the series are “Ceremony,” by Leslie Silko; “Tracks,” by Louise Erdrich; “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” by Sherman Alexie; and “Song of Rita Joe,” by Rita Joe and Lynn Henry.
Participation in the programming is limited and pre-registration is required. To register for the series, call the Library’s circulation desk at 513-3134 or contact them via email at LPL@LewistonMaine.gov.