The Let’s Talk About It series Mad Women in the Attic will be held at the Iredell County Public Library beginning on January 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM. Let’s Talk About It is a book discussion series for adults sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council, the North Carolina Center for the Book, and the Iredell Friends of the Library. Participants read five books based on a common theme, and then meet every other week for five weeks to talk about the books. The discussions are led by scholars from North Carolina colleges and universities.
Mad Women in the Attic delves into what happens to a woman whose behavior defies social and domestic expectations. Perhaps she is locked in an attic; more often she is a woman involved in a quest to discover her identity. The works in this series - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, and Sula by Toni Morrison - may help us redefine “mad women.”
Let’s Talk About It will begin on January 14, 2013 and will meet at 6:00 pm every other Monday evening through March 11. The programs will be held at the Iredell County Public Library 201 N. Tradd Street, Statesville, NC . Call 704-878-3098 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Pick up the books at the checkout desk.
|Date & Time||Book||Discussion Leader|
|January 14||Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte||Roxanne Newton|
|January 28||Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys||Leon Lewis|
|February 11||The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman||Jill Channing|
|February 25||Surfacing by Margaret Atwood||Bruce Dick|
|March 11||Sula by Toni Morrison||Lynn Salsi|
Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr. Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr. Rochester’s past are revealed.
“When Rhys read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre as a young girl, she began to imagine the Caribbean upbringing of the character Rochester's infamous Creole wife, Bertha Mason. Years later, Rhys recalled, ‘I thought I'd try to write her a life.’ The result is one of literature's most famous prequels, a novel that seeks to humanize the racially pejorative characterization of a West Indian madwoman. An aesthetic experiment in modernist techniques and a powerful example of feminist rewriting, Wide Sargasso Sea gives voice to a marginalized character and transforms her original tragic demise into a kind of triumphant heroism..” —SparkNotes
“Charlotte Perkins Gilman was best known in her time as a crusading journalist and feminist intellectual, a follower of such pioneering women’s rights advocates as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gilman’s great-aunt. Today, Gilman is primarily known for one remarkable story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which was considered almost unprintably shocking in its time and which unnerves readers to this day. This short work of fiction, which deals with an unequal marriage and a woman destroyed by her unfulfilled desire for self-expression, deals with the same concerns and ideas as Gilman’s nonfiction but in a much more personal mode.” — SparkNotes
“Surfacing is the second published novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The novel, grappling with notions of national and gender identity, anticipated rising concerns about conservation and preservation and the emergence of Canadian nationalism. The book tells the story of a woman who returns to her hometown in Canada to find her missing father. Accompanied by her lover and another married couple, the unnamed protagonist meets her past in her childhood house, recalling events and feelings, while trying to find clues for her father's mysterious disappearance. Little by little, the past overtakes her and drives her into the realm of wildness and madness.”—Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
“This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines--from their growing up together in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation. The one, Nel Wright, chooses to stay in the place of her birth, to marry, to raise a family, to become a pillar of the tightly knit black community. The other, Sula Peace, rejects all that Nel has accepted. She escapes to college, submerges herself in city life, and when she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel, a mocker, a wanton sexual seductress. Both women must suffer the consequences of their choices; both must decide if they can afford to harbor the love they have for each other; and both combine to create an unforgettable rendering of what it means and costs to exist and survive as a black woman in America.”—Book Jacket
The daughter and granddaughter of mill workers, Roxanne Newton grew up in a small NC textile town. Currently she is dean of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division at Mitchell Community College in Statesville where she teaches English and humanities courses. At Mitchell, Dr. Newton has developed interdisciplinary courses including "Working Lives: Multicultural Perspectives," “Race in America,” and "The Immigrant Experience." Her classes have created history quilts and have collected oral histories of immigrants and workers in Iredell County. The NC Museum of History acquired the North Carolina Women’s History Quilt, made by Dr. Newton and her women’s studies students. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Cultural Studies and a graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies from UNC Greensboro. Her research interests include labor history, cultural studies, oral history, and narrative research. She is the author of Women Workers on Strike: Narratives of Southern Women Unionists.
Bruce Dick received his PhD in American Literature in 1988 from Florida State University. A professor of English, he has taught courses in American Literature, African American Literature, World Literature, and Film at Appalachian State University since 1989. He has published four books and over 40 interviews with a variety of writers and artists. He is also a documentarian and has produced videos on American youth soccer and Brazilian martial arts.
Leon Lewis studied literature at Oberlin College, the University of Pennsylvania and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught at several universities, including the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth, and is currently a professor of Film and Literature at Appalachian State University. He has written extensively on contemporary American and British literature including a study of Henry Miller (Random House) and many essays on poets including Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Donald Hall and June Jordan. Recent publications include “Famous Long Ago: Or, Frost Among the Infinities,” Shenandoah, Spring/Summer, 2008, 157-164 and “Aural Invention as Floral Splendor: Louis Zukofsky’s Vision of Natural Beauty in 80 Flowers,” The Writer’s Chronicle, February, 2008, Volume 40 Number 4, 24-29.
Jill Channing currently teaches English and Women’s Studies at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. Before coming to Mitchell, she taught English at institutions of higher education in New Mexico and Ohio. She earned a BA in English with a minor in Spanish, and an MA in English with concentrations in 20th Century literature, Rhetoric, and Women’s Studies from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring North Carolina, riding her motorcycle, reading and writing about literature, playing various sports, and spending time with Morpheus, her cat.
Lynn Salsi is an author, teacher, playwright and historian. The author of more than fifteen books for adults and children, she was the winner of the 2003 Anne Izard Storytelling Award, six-time winner of the Willie Parker Peach History Book Award for nonfiction books, 2001 American Library Association Notable Book Award, 2001 Historian of the Year, three-time winner of the Paul Green Multi-Media Award and winner of the Bill Smith Magazine Writing Award. She holds a BA degree from the University of the South and an MA in Creative Writing from Seton Hill University. Her newest book on Ray Hicks was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2008.
This program is made possible in part by a funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Iredell Friends of the Library also support this project.