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OCU Book Discussion Series Examines Hardships

by Rod Jones

The next Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma book discussion series starting this fall at Oklahoma City University will examine how people deal with hard times. The first book, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, will be discussed at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in Walker Center room 151.

The discussion series is titled “Hope Amidst Hardship.” It is made possible through a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

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 Harbour Winn at (405) 208-5472, e-mailing him at [email protected] or dropping by the Dulaney-Browne Library room 211 or 207.

Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Study through Film & Literature at OCU, hopes the series will help participants find a “commonality of hope and perseverance.”

“Recognizing ourselves in others, even as we read of hardship, is a major reason we find reading enjoyable,” Winn said. “Hardship comes in many varieties, and the books in this series offer varied examples but present a common theme: there is hope along the way. Sometimes this hope comes from deep within ourselves. Sometimes it comes from others in unexpected ways.”

The first book, “The Glass Castle,” explores the theme through a story about a dysfunctional family. Walls writes of her alcoholic, unemployed father whose genius combines with a quirky and dangerous zest for life to build a “glass castle.” His constant wanderlust and dreamy ambition lead the family to embrace life fearlessly and to abandon whatever they have and drive to the next unknown stop.

Other dates and books in the series include:

Sept. 29 — “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

Oct. 13 — “Where the Heart Is” by Billie Letts

Oct. 27 — “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd

Nov. 10 — “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

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