The Augusta Public Library will offer a three-part book discussion series September through November exploring the theme "The 1930s." Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place in the Community Room of the library.
The series is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council (KHC), a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program. KHC is furnishing the books and discussion leaders, supported by a gift from the Emporia State University Center for Great Plains Studies. For more information about KHC, visit www.kansashumanities.org.
The first meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. Susan Ann Carlson will lead a discussion of The Worst Hard Times by Timothy Egan. The story describes the first of the new storms that would come to define the Dust Bowl: “Wasn’t a sandstorm.... And it wasn’t a hailstorm, thou it certainly brought with it a dark, threatening sky.... It rolled, like a mobile hill of crud, and it was black.” Egan provides a masterful overview of the dust storms and their consequences for agriculture and people on the Great Plains.
Susan Anne Carlson is a professor English at Pittsburg State University, where she teaches classes on British Romantic and Victorian literature, 19th century women writers, and literary theory. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Ohio State University. Susan has published articles on Charlotte Bronte and Mary Shelley. A past TALK discussion leader, she re-joined the KHC TALK program in 2012.
For American history, the 1930s was a pivotal, critical era. In the early years of the decade, a range of fundamental challenges confronted the nation – the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, Prohibition, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan. Yet the later years of the decade are equally remarkable for the ways America mapped a route out of the crisis.
The series continues with All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren on October 5, and Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston on November 2.
To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact Carol Courtwright at the Augusta Public Library at 775-2681 or look on the website augustapubliclibrary.com.