Student in library

Program

Library Programs

Free, high-quality humanities programs to help libraries serve their communities.

Contact

Nicole Rancourt
Program Officer
(207) 773-5051

Details

Let’s Talk About It Full Series List

Cover of "Brick Lane"Across Cultures and Continents: Literature of the South Asian Experience

One legacy of India’s colonial past is fiction about the colonial experience, from the perspective of both the colonizer and the colonized. At the center of all the books in this series is an exploration of what the South Asian/Indian experience has been.

 

After FrostAfter Frost: Poetry in New England

Explore the variety and vitality of the region’s poetry, using Robert Frost as a touchstone. A specially created anthology begins with Frost’s work and includes thirty more recent poets representing a diversity of cultural points of view.

 

 

The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry coverAmerican Traditions/American Innovations: American Poetry of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Contemporary American poetry as defined by J.D. McClatchy’s Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry is a diverse and powerful endeavor. This series offers an opportunity to explore the depth and range of contemporary American poetry.

 

51eZsnTQAHL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Becoming American: Struggles, Successes, Symbols

In a society marked by unremitting change, an ethnic identity—whether fully realized or not—is one constant each of us possesses. Through this series, we journey not only perhaps into our own ethnic pasts—Hispanic, black, Jewish, American Indian, or Chinese—but also into those of our countrymen, our brothers and sisters.

 

Frederick Douglass book coverThe Civil War: Biographies

These five works of biography and autobiography provide an in-depth, personal view of life during the Civil War era. The experiences of these Americans–women and men, slave and free, Northern and Souther, famous and unsung–illustrate the close connection between individual lives and the larger events we call “history.”

 

Beloved MorrisonThe Civil War: Fiction

Beginning with the best-selling novel that was said to be one of the causes of the conflict, this series of five novels brings the drama of the Civil War and its aftermath to life. It also reveals, through the insights of major authors, what the Civil War has meant to Americans over a span of 140 years.

 

9780143104919Crossing Over: Works by Contemporary American Indian Writers

In these works, American Indian writers blend western writing techniques with oral tradition to mediate between two cultures.

 

 

Defining WildernessDefining Wilderness: Defining Maine

This series examines the Maine wilderness, how various people have experienced it and written about it, and how those accounts have influenced Maine and shaped its identity. It raises questions about what constitutes wilderness, the relationship between humans and the natural environment, about conservation and ecology, and not least about our personal relationship to the wilderness.

 

Lolita coverDestruction or Redemption: Images of Romantic Love

Romantic love is surely one of the most universal and one of the most puzzling features of the human condition. Sexual desire, the need for self-authentication, the urge somehow to complete oneself through another, all are fuel for the fires that sweep over nearly everyone at least once.

 

Song of RIta Joe coverEthnic Americans in Maine: Making a Life, Shaping an Identity

In the popular imagination, New England is peopled by crusty Yankees and rich vacationers.  A closer look at history reveals a diverse mix of natives and immigrants from many backgrounds. The literature in this series reflects the experiences of Maine’s ethnic Americans as they have shaped an identity amid pressures to preserve cultural traditions and to achieve assimilation.

 

The spirit catches you and you fall down coverExploring Human Boundaries: Literary Perspectives on Health Care Providers and Their Patients

A disease or a sick person? Health care professionals do not always focus on what is most important to the patient and the patient’s family. These classic 20th-century accounts of illness, death, and dying dramatically illuminate these complex issues.

 

Goodbye Tsugumi coverFamily and Self: Readings in Twentieth Century Japanese Fiction

In Japan, with its strong legacy of Confucian values and traditional emphasis of group over the individual, the family plays an exceptionally important role. This series explores five novels—two authored by women and three by men—each engaged with issues of both family and self in a changing Japan, but from widely differing perspectives.

 

 

Poland Spring coverThe Gilded Age: A Tale of Today?

This series will examine one the most pivotal yet most neglected eras of United States history, one that began to define the parameters of the modern world in which we live. Americans turned their attention during the last quarter of the nineteenth century from political debates over the nature of the nation and moral considerations of civil rights to economic projects of physical expansion and material wealth.

 

Momaday titleGrowing Up Between Cultures

Issues of cultural, ethnic or national identity move to the foreground in this reading series that includes memoirs, a novel, and essays. The central characters in these books wrestle with questions about their own individual identity, questions complicated by their experiences growing up among multiple cultures.

 

Dust tracks on a road coverThe Journey Inward: Women’s Autobiography

The quest for identity often involves undertaking a journey, whether literally or figuratively. The five autobiographies in this series tell of both kinds of journeys. Many women’s life stories have been “lost.” Fortunately, with the growing interest since the 1960s in women’s literature and in the private, rather than public, history of oppressed groups, we have begun to recover and understand these lost lives.

 

James Joyce coverLiberating Imaginations: Readings in Modern Irish Fiction

From the growing pains of de-colonization and independence, through the insular conservatism of mid-century, to the recent roaring prosperity of the so-called Celtic Tiger, Irish writers have, as Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus describes, forged the “uncreated conscience” of Ireland.

 

 Truth and beauty coverMaking a Difference: How Love And Duty Change Lives

Scientists tell us that compassion and empathy are what make us human, are what distinguish us from all other animals. What happens, though, when we are called to act upon what we perceive as our duty, especially when such action entails considerable sacrifice?

 

 Making a Living, Making a Life: Work and Its Rewards in a Changing America

An examination of work-related issues: women in the work force, a changing workplace, employment as identity, the puritan work ethic and the American Dream.

 

March coverMaking Sense of the Civil War

This series is designed as a series of five conversations exploring different facets of the Civil War experience, informed by reading the words written or spoken by powerful voices from the past and present.

 

The farming of bones coverOpening Windows: Women’s Stories from Five Cultures

Five writers. Five women from different cultures. Five very different stories. In this series we  will allow each story to be our guide in an exploration—in most instances our first—of the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of which it speaks and from which it grew. This series is an exploration of storytelling traditions in novels by women from Japan, India, Africa, and the Caribbean.

 

the-fire-this-time-9781501126345_hrRace and Justice in America

This series explores the complex, and often uneasy, relationship between black Americans and the American justice system. The books for Race and Justice in America provide historical analyses of selected events, court rulings, and public policies that help to explain the black American struggle for citizenship, civil rights, and equal treatment under the laws.

 

Refreshing the Whodunit Let's Talk About ItRefreshing the Whodunit: Moving Beyond Christie and Doyle

This series provides new and experienced mystery and detective fans with an opportunity for in depth conversation about how this genre has incorporated the contemporary world’s globalism; dilemmas of race, gender, ethnicity and class; religious conflict; historical revision; and others.

 

Rebirth of a Nation Let's Talk About ITRebirth of a Nation: Nationalism and the Civil War

How did America first begin to define itself and develop into a nation-state? By 1861 ideas about what America was and what it meant to be an American—the essence of nationality—had become elevated to the plain of irreconcilable principles. Civil war was the result.

 

Re-imagining the American Family 

What images does the “family” conjure in the American imagination? What does the “family” really mean in national, social, and political discourses? And how do we square societal expectations with reality?

 

Havana Red coverSo Near & So Far: An Exploration of Cuban Literature

Cuba is intriguing, it’s mysterious, it’s rich in cultural tradition, it’s just 90 miles off the tip of Florida, and…. it’s forbidden. The five books of the series explore the history, romance, political turmoil, spirit and cultural riches of Cuba. The writing is lyrical, compelling, and poetic.

 

The Duke of Deception coverTelling the Truth: The Subject of Autobiography

In this series, a variety of twentieth-century autobiographies lead us to consider how we define “truth” and who is capable of telling it. These five books share different perspectives on telling our own stories.

 

Raisin in the sun coverThe Way We Were, The Way We Are: Seasons in the Contemporary American Family

Family life encompasses enduring seasons that form a cycle: growing up, breaking away or breaking down, making choices, looking back, surviving. Such categories may have little to do with age, economic status, or geographical location. But their commonality in American life, as reflected in these books, will challenge readers to define the meaning of “family” today and, in so doing, to discover something of themselves.