Oklahoma City University | Book Discussion Series Goes ‘Shoeless’ Skip to content

Book Discussion Series Goes ‘Shoeless’

by Rod Jones

The Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma book discussion series at Oklahoma City University continues at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 with “Shoeless Joe” by W. P. Kinsella. The discussion will be held in Walker Center room 151, located near the center of campus at N.W. 26th Street and Florida Avenue.

The series is made possible through a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In “Shoeless Joe,” the author incorporates the 1919 Black Sox scandal with the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson returning to an Iowa cornfield to play ball with other long-dead historical figures. Along the way, the protagonist kidnaps author J.D. Salinger and builds a ballpark on his land in response to the magical messages — “If you build it, they will come.”

This season’s the theme is titled “Play Ball”: The American Sport Meets the American Dream. The series theme seeks to explore the literary side of the game of baseball. Harbour Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Study through Film & Literature at OCU, says the game has held up as America’s pastime in its richness, breadth and depth of literature written about it.

“Through the common territory of the diamond on which these human dramas are played, they accomplish a great deal more in chronicling American dreamers and showing us how to live our lives authentically,” Winn said.

At each session in the five-part series, a humanities scholar makes a presentation on the book in the context of the theme. Small group discussions follow with experienced discussion leaders. At the end, all participants come together for a brief wrap-up.

Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to preregister and borrow the reading selections and theme brochure by calling Winn at 405-208-5472, e-mailing him at [email protected] or dropping by the Dulaney-Browne Library room 211 or 207.

Remaining dates and books in the series include:

  • Feb. 9, “Bang the Drum Slowly” by Mark Harris
  • Feb. 23, “The Boys of Summer” by Roger Khan
  • March 8, “Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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