Kelly Writers House Expands Online Book Groups

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Following nine years and 40 successful online book groups, the Kelly Writers House is offering an extended lineup of 10-day and month-long groups for the 2010-2011 academic year, ranging in topic from medieval poetry to the effects of Internet anonymity on free speech. The groups are open to all Penn alumni and parents of current students, provided they have an email account and a “willingness to engage in free and perhaps free-wheeling discussion.”

The 10-day groups kicked off this fall with explorations of the poetry of Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth (September 20-30), anonymity and the Internet (October 4-14), and the problems of memory and bearing witness (October 19-29).  

The first month-long group—a discussion of Edward Albee’s debut drama “The Zoo Story” and his Tony Award-winning “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”—will be led by Kelly Professor of English and Writers House faculty director Al Filreis and Writers House staff member Jamie-Lee Josselyn, and will last from November 20 to December 20, 2010. 

From January 17 to February 17, Penn professor and Humanities Forum director Jim English will lead a discussion on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, an atmospheric and dystopian novel that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and recently adapted into a motion picture by Fox Searchlight Pictures.

In the spring, the 10-day “close reading” groups will return. Penn English Professor Emily Steiner will lead a discussion on Sir Gawain and the Green Night from March 15-25; Janine Catalano C’06 will lead a group exploring the food writings of M.F.K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, and Ruth Reichl from April 4-14; and Al Filreis and David Roberts W’83 will lead a discussion on Vladamir Nabokov’s Lolita from May 15-25.

For more information, or to sign up, visit the Kelly Writers House website.

—Ty Russell C’11

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