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Faulkner and Woolf: Avant-Garde of the Avant-Garde?

This class will examine four complementary novels by two of modernism’s most enduring and influential writers, William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf.  Themes will include literary style, narration, perspective, gender, and national history. Six Thursdays, June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 14


Toni Morrison: Not a Story to Pass On

An examination of three of Morrison's major novels: Jazz (1992), Beloved (1987), and A Mercy (2008). Among other things, this class will explore how Morrison addresses issues of race, gender, memory, history, and literary form. June 13, 27, July 11, 25, August 8, 15, 1 – 3 p.m.


Mutual Friends: Two Great Novels by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friend are arguably the two greatest novels of a career and of an era marked by masterpieces. Please join us for this four-week meander through Dickens’s London. Four Tuesdays: July 8, 15, 22, 29, 1 – 3 p.m.


Agency, Women, and Madness: Brontë’s JANE EYRE and Rhys's WIDE SARGASSO SEA

Explore how setting, class, and characterization affect the portrayal of women’s agency and sanity in Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. Four Wednesdays: July 9, 16, 23, 30, 1 – 3 p.m.


Reading the Short Story

Consider how different writers approach the elastic, eclectic, and burgeoning short story format with author Alicia Oltuski. This class is ideal for those seeking to understand more about the short story; broaden their reading habits; take away a skill or two for their own writing; or who simply enjoy reading wonderful fiction. Three Tuesdays: August 5 – 19, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

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Brave New World: Publishing a Book Today

Publishing a book has never been easier, but with all the choices, deciding how has never been harder. Novelist Jenny Milchman will help you make sense of the possibilities. Monday, August 25, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Understanding Middle East Politics through Literature, Part II

We’ll read five books by authors from the Middle East that address significant contemporary topics and political events in an effort to gain a better understanding of the region.  Five Fridays: September 5, 19, October 10, 24, November 7, 1 – 3 p.m.

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The Inspired Traveler: On Being a Writer-Traveler Rather than a Travel-Writer

What we bring to our journeys determines our experience; the right mindset will allow us to return with an enlarged understanding of the world, history, and ourselves. In this class, we will discuss various stages of travel and how they can inspire our creativity. Thursday, September 11, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Parlez-Vous Anglais? Survival French & French Travel Tips

This two-hour “crash course” will help you gain a better understanding of French life, language, culture, and habits, and will provide you with an approach that will help you fully enjoy your time in la belle France. Thursday, September 18, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Fish Without Bicycles: The Second Women's Movement in America, 1963-1983

This course will chart the progress and setbacks of the women’s movement in America, its supporters and opponents, from publication of The Feminine Mystique and passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 to the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1983. Four Wednesdays: October 1, 15, 29, November 12, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Americans in Paris: A Literary Journey to the City of Light

In addition to the sheer pleasure of reading and discussing good fiction and nonfiction, this class will offer insight into French and American history and culture, as well as the nature of the fundamental and historic relationship between France and the U.S.  Five Thursdays: October 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

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Fall Poetry Circle: Charles Baudelaire & Rainer Maria Rilke

An introduction to the poems of two of the most magisterial and influential European writers of the 19th Century: Charles Baudelaire and Rainer Maria Rilke. Six Tuesdays: October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 3 – 4:30 p.m.

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Faulkner: The Compson Novels

Examine two of Faulkner’s richest novels, The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! with a "slow reading" approach, spending about three sessions per book and in-depth analysis of character, style, and theme. Six Thursdays: September 4, 18, October 2, 16, 30, November 13, 1 – 3 p.m.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Short Fiction

This class will read the often overlooked short fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Discussion will focus on Fitzgerald’s place among 20th century writers, how the stories compare and relate to his novels, and the themes employed. Four Tuesdays: September 9, 16, 23, 30, 1 – 3 p.m.

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THE GOLDFINCH: Fool's Gold or the Genuine Article

Everyone’s been talking about Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch,even before it won the Pulitzer Prize. Join the conversation and add your opinion! The class will discuss the novel and the polarized reviews the book has received.  Monday, September 15, 1 – 4pm

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Two Sides of the Story: Novels by Evan Connell and Jane Gardam

We’ll consider two pairs of novels that look back on a life, and a marriage, from both the husband and the wife’s perspective, discussing how they complement one another and how they stand alone, and along the way delve into how the author’s use of perspective determines the story. Two Wednesdays: October 1 and November 5, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Shakespeare in Washington: KING LEAR and JULIUS CAESAR

What’s sure to be a lively conversation centered around questions of literature, philosophy, and human nature, all drawn from Shakespeare’s tragic plays King Lear and Julius Caesar. Four Fridays: September 5, 12, 19, 26, 3 – 5 p.m.

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Transatlantic Novels: TransAtlantic and Star of the Sea

A side by side look at to two best-selling novels both involving th adventure of a transatlantic journey: Colum McCann's TransAtlantic and Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea. Four Fridays: September 5, 12, 19, 26, 6 – 8 p.m.

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Virginia Woolf: A Novel of One's Own

This course will examine and compare Virginia Woolf’s The Years and A Room of One’s Own to understand her handling of theme, character, time, and setting. Six Fridays: Sept 5, 19, Oct 3, 17, 31, Nov 14, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Along with passion—intellectual and romantic—Possession revels in travel, history, scholarship, esthetics, and brilliant writing.  Come discuss A.S. Byatt’s brilliant novel with Virginia Newmeyer and Susan Willens. Session One: Tuesday, October 7, 1 – 3 p.m., Session Two: Wednesday, October 8, 1 – 3 p.m., Session Three: Thursday, October 9, 1 – 3 p.m.

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James Joyce's DUBLINERS

In honor of its centenary, this class will explore and discuss the fifteen stories of James Joyce’s Dubliners. Four Fridays: October 31, November 7, 14, and 21, 6 – 8 p.m.

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Bright Young Things: A Study of Three 20th-Century British Novels

This fall, join us for college capers, finishing school treachery, and teenage mobsters with three classics, Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, and Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Three Mondays: November 10, 17, 24, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Interpretations of Sherlock Holmes, Part II

Sherlock Holmes has been transposed onto stage, page, radio, and screen in a way that stretches the boundaries of his original inception. In this class, we will read original works by Doyle and recent fiction featuring the detective to explore what these characterizations show us about our understanding of human behavior and our broadening social norms. Six Mondays: September 8, 22, October 6, 20, November 3, 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Dorothy L. Sayers: Feminism and Detection between the World Wars

Examine turbulent years of 1920 – 1939 as Britain struggles to find itself in the wake of WWI through the brilliant and witty detective fiction of Dorothy L. Sayers. Five Mondays: September 8, 22, October 13, 27, November 10, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Watching the Detectives

This literary ride surveys the evolution of the quintessential American private investigator, in a historical arc from the 1930’s to the Baby Boomers.  Session I: Thursday, September 25, 1 – 3 p.m.  Session II: Tuesday, September 30, 7 – 9 p.m.

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This one session class will examine the most adapted Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles to deduce why this tale, often considered the most Sherlockian of stories, remains so popular despite the large absence of the detective himself from the narrative. Monday, October 13, 12 – 3 p.m.

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The Victorian Ghost Story

The Victorian era was the golden age of the ghost story and it is the short story, with its ellipses, blurs, suggestions, and incompletions, which offered the ghost story its fullest expression.  This October, join us for three evenings of phantom tales. Three Thursdays: October 16, 23, and 30, 7 – 9 p.m. in St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Spies: Classic Authors' Great Shots

This class will examine classic archetypes fired into our zeitgeist by two classic authors—Joseph Conrad and Eric Ambler. Session One: October 27, 1 – 3 p.m.  Session Two: October 29, 7 – 9 p.m.

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Agatha, Empress of Crime

Delve into the legacy, history, character-building, and plot-crafting of Dame Agatha Christie, whose world-famous mysteries have sold more than four billion copies.  Session One: November 18, 1 – 3 p.m. Session Two: November 20, 3 – 5 p.m.

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Right Brain Writing, Session A

Explore your creative side at this afternoon of guided writing exercises designed to get your subconscious energized and ideas flowing.  The workshop is designed for fiction writers and memoirists, beginners and veterans.  (Please note that Sessions A and B will feature a different book and different prompts; you may take both classes or select one.) Thursday, September 18, 1 – 3:30 p.m.

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Right Brain Writing, Session B

Explore your creative side at this afternoon of guided writing exercises designed to get your subconscious energized and ideas flowing.  The workshop is designed for fiction writers and memoirists, beginners and veterans.  (Please note that Sessions A and B will feature a different book and different prompts; you may take both classes or select one.) Thursday, November 16, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

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Mixed Level Memoir

Kick-start and finesse your writing process by breaking it down into pieces: linked personal essays. Four Tuesdays: September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

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Ethics of Memoir: Possible Moral and Legal Issues

Writing about oneself inevitably includes others. How do we morally, ethically and legally present people in our memoirs?  Monday, September 29, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Looking Back, Moving Forward: Writing about Grief and Loss

Participants will discuss examples of grief and loss in classic nonfiction and generate their own material with the help of writing prompts. Thursday, October 16, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Be Your Own Editor: How to Edit Your Own Work

Learn how to approach your work – whether it’s the first page or a completed manuscript – with an editor’s eye.  We’ll learn and apply practical techniques to engage audiences and find the core of our work. Four Mondays: September 8, 15, 22, 29

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Award worthy? A Look at Prize-Winning Children’s Literature

A look at some of the major children’s book award-winners – past and present – and how those decisions are made. In this class, you’ll also make predictions for the 2015 award winners!  Four Tuesdays: October 7, 14, 21, and 28, 3 – 5 p.m.

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How to Find Your Voice

You know you want to write. But how do you take that major first step, sit down and put pen to the page?  This class will focus on pinpointing and tapping into your passion and then move to translate it to your writing.  Wednesday, October 8, 1 – 3 p.m.

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Deconstructing Knitted Cables

Learn to knit cables like a pro! By the end of the class, you’ll knit a good-luck cabled symbol into a baby blanket or a loved-one’s scarf.  You will also learn to knit cables from charts, which is much less fearsome than it seems.  Four Tuesdays: September 9, 16, 23, 30, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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