Madison Public Library

Literary Giants: The Red Tent

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, October 30, 2006 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

A minor character from the book of Genesis tells her life story in this vivid evocation of the world of Old Testament women. The only surviving daughter of Jacob and Leah, Dinah occupies a far different world from the flocks and business deals of her brothers. She learns from her Aunt Rachel the mysteries of midwifery and from her other aunts the art of homemaking. Most important, Dinah learns and preserves the stories and traditions of her family, which she shares with the reader in touchingly intimate detail.

Literary Giants: Invisible Man

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, February 28, 2005 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.

Literary Giants: Nickel and Dimed

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, September 29, 2003 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson.

Literary Giants: The Wife

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, July 28, 2008 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Joan Castelman is en route to Finland to watch her husband win the Helsinki Prize when she decides to leave him. What follows is Joan's recollection of their marriage, his career, and her fading dreams. Starting with the beginning of the couple's professor-student relationships she continues through to the present, stacking up the unspoken regrets that lead to Helsinki. The story of what Joan sacrifices to support her husband and his illustrious career is just as astounding. Complete with a staggering twist ending, this is not one to miss.

Literary Giants: The Great Santini

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, September 25, 2006 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine --- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.

Literary Giants: The Handmaid's Tale

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, January 31, 2005 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm

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.

Literary Giants: All the King's Men

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

The rise and fall of Willie Stark, a southern political boss, graphically told by his right-hand man, Jack Burden, an idealist and a cynic. Willie rises from a decoy candidate, who sincerely wants to help the people of the state, to a successful governor who admits that a little graft is necessary to make the wheels go round and that every man has his price, until he is shot down by the outraged brother of his mistress..... a vital, compelling narrative. (Club Rating: 6.7)

Literary Giants: The Tortilla Curtain

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, August 25, 2008 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

Literary Giants: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, August 28, 2006 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

When three-month-old Lia Lee arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down moves from hospital corridors to healing ceremonies, and from the hill country of Laos to the living rooms of Merced, uncovering in its path the complex sources and implications of two dramatically clashing worldviews.

Literary Giants: Housekeeping

Location: Madison Public Library
Date: Monday, July 31, 2006 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm

This modern classic is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their grandmother, then of two comically bumbling aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. Their struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival.

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