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Madison Library meeting room

After opening the external doors of the library, the meeting room is located on your right.

Literary Giants: A Bend in the River

Date: 
Monday, March 29, 2004 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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Author: 
V. S. Naipaul
Title: 
A Bend in the River

V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man -- an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. Read more about Literary Giants: A Bend in the River

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Literary Giants: Saving Grace

Date: 
Monday, April 26, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
Lee Smith
Title: 
Saving Grace

Florida Grace Shepard, named for the state in which she was born and for the grace of God, is the daughter of a charismatic serpent-handling preacher. She is content with her early life in Scrabble Creek, North Carolina -- no easy task when her family moves whenever her father is arrested for conducting services with live snakes. With Southern style, Smith takes Grace from a young girl struggling with her own identity, though marriage, motherhood, and an adulterous affair that changes her very way of life. Readers go along on a journey of wonders, miracles, and tragedy with all the people Grace meets. This is not a tale of adventure but rather of Southern life and spiritual searching. Read more about Literary Giants: Saving Grace

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Literary Giants: Profiles in Courage

Date: 
Monday, May 24, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
John F. Kennedy
Title: 
Profiles in Courage

In 1954-55 a freshman U.S. Senator from Massachusetts wrote a book profiling eight of his historical Senatorial colleagues, such men as John Quincy Adams, Sam Houston, and Robert A. Taft. Instead of focusing on their storied careers, John F. Kennedy chose to illustrate their acts of integrity, when they stood alone against tremendous political and social pressure for what they felt was right. Read more about Literary Giants: Profiles in Courage

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Literary Giants: The Hornet's Nest

Date: 
Monday, June 28, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
Jimmy Carter
Title: 
The Hornet's Nest

With this intricately detailed novel of the American South and the Revolutionary War, President Carter becomes our first chief executive, past or present, to publish a work of fiction. By concentrating on Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas from 1763 to 1783, Carter takes a fresh look at this crucial historical period, giving life and originality to a story usually told from the viewpoint of the northern colonies. (Publishers Weekly) Read more about Literary Giants: The Hornet's Nest

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Literary Giants: The Emperor of Ocean Park

Date: 
Monday, July 26, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
Stephen L. Carter
Title: 
The Emperor of Ocean Park

In his triumphant fictional debut, Stephen Carter combines a large-scale, riveting novel of suspense with the saga of a unique family. The Emperor of Ocean Park is set in two privileged worlds: the upper crust African American society of the Eastern seaboard -- families who summer at Martha's Vineyard -- and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school. Read more about Literary Giants: The Emperor of Ocean Park

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Literary Giants: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Date: 
Monday, August 30, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
Mary Roach
Title: 
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. In her droll, intimate voice, Roach conducts an oddly compelling, often hilarious forensic exploration of the strange lives of bodies postmortem. Read more about Literary Giants: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

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Literary Giants: Age of Innocence

Date: 
Monday, September 27, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
Edith Wharton
Title: 
Age of Innocence

Old New York was a society of ironclad traditions, but for Newland Archer, they were too restricting to simply accept. Here is Wharton's story of human passion and satiric observation, as compelling today as when it was first published This 1921 Pulitzer Prize winner is a comic, profoundly moving story of thwarted love in Old New York. As Newland Archer prepares to marry docile May Welland, the mysterious Countess Olenska enters the picture and Archer's world is never again the same. (W.W. Norton & Co.) Read more about Literary Giants: Age of Innocence

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Literary Giants: A Prayer for Owen Meany

Date: 
Monday, October 25, 2004 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
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Author: 
John Irving
Title: 
A Prayer for Owen Meany

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary and terrifying. Read more about Literary Giants: A Prayer for Owen Meany

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Literary Giants: Crossing to Safety

Date: 
Monday, November 22, 2004 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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Author: 
Wallace Stegner
Title: 
Crossing to Safety

Beginning in the 1930s and finishing in the 1980s, this is a tale of a friendship of enormous beauty and power between two couples of widely different backgrounds. Called a "magnificently crafted story...brimming with wisdom" (Howard Frank Mosher in The Washington Post Book World), Crossing to Safety has, since its publication in 1987, established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage. Read more about Literary Giants: Crossing to Safety

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Literary Giants: The Handmaid's Tale

Date: 
Monday, January 31, 2005 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
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Author: 
Margaret Atwood
Title: 
The Handmaid's Tale

Highly respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives. The tale is told by Offred (read: "of Fred"), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be. Read more about Literary Giants: The Handmaid's Tale

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