Talking Books and More—Online

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Since 2000, Kelly Writers House has been offering online book discussion groups open to alumni and current Penn parents with “an email account, and a willingness to engage in free and perhaps freewheeling discussion of an interesting book with a member of Penn’s faculty or a member of the Kelly Writers House community.”

Some of this year’s groups run for 10 days, others for a full month. Members join a listserv for the group and can participate as much or as little as they like. The series got under way in September, but several groups are still available:

  • Kelly Professor of English and Writers House faculty director Al Filreis will lead a discussion of Mary Gordon’s memoir, The Shadow Man, from November 10 to December 10. (This will be a warm-up of sorts for Gordon’s visit as one of this year’s Kelly Writers House Fellows in March.)
  • Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal and Penn English doctoral candidate Julia Bloch will lead a group looking at the work of three contemporary women poets—Bernadette Mayer, Harryette Mullen, and Adrienne Rich—from January 11-21.
  • Two book groups will actually focus on film. One is a month-long (February 1-28) discussion of the films of Alfred Hitchcock led by Valerie Ross, director of the critical writing program; in the other, Al Filreis and Jacob Cytryn C’04 will lead a discussion of The Truce, a film based on Primo Levi’s memoir The Reawakening, describing his journey from Auschwitz back to Italy, from May 11-21.
  • Filreis will also lead, with David Roberts W’83, a discussion of John Cheever’s iconic story, “Goodbye, My Brother,” from March 6-16.

For more details on the program, or to register, visit the Kelly Writers House Online Book Groups website.

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