Literary Review and Criticism of Multicultural Books

This class will focus on the reading, discussion and critique of fiction and non–fiction books about the many cultures that make up America and the world.

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Here are the proposed classes for the first few months. March Discussion: Book:The Pearl That Broke its Shell by Nadia Hashimi (Fiction) Set in Afghanistan, this novel uses alternating chapters to weave together the story of nine-year-old Rahima and her sisters with that of their great-great-grandmother Shekiba. Rahima and Shekiba share the experience of participating in bacha posh, in which young girls are dressed as and treated as boys until puberty. Like Shekiba, Rahima and her two older sisters endure the difficult and often horrific experience of being married off as young girls as second, third, or fourth wives to much older men. Although decades separate the distinctive stories of these women as they move from girlhood to adulthood, the hardships suffered by women in the Afghan culture remain the chilling tie that binds them. Chosen to coincide with Women’s History Month Lecture and Discussion led by Rebecca Starr, MLS* April Discussion: Book: The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison (Fiction) Set in Tibet in the late 1060s, the story revolves around the Chinese takeover of Tibet and the attempted destruction of the Tibetan culture. Involving a series of murders, the main characters are Tibetan monks and dissident Chinese in forced labor camps, and their captors and guards. Lecture and discussion led by Nina Wendt, JD, MLS* May Discussion: Book: From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp (non-fiction) Twenty-one years ago Massachusetts professor Gene Sharp sketched out a blueprint for nonviolent resistance to repressive regimes. It would go on to be translated, photocopied, and handed from one activist to another, traveling from country to country across the globe: from Iran to Venezuela--where both countries consider Sharp to be an enemy of the state--to Serbia; Afghanistan; Vietnam; the former Soviet Union; China; Nepal; and, more recently and notably, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, where it served as a guiding light of the Arab Spring. A clear guide to overthrowing a dictatorship by nonviolent means, it lists 198 specific methods to consider, depending on the circumstances: sit-ins, popular non-obedience, selective strikes, et al. Lecture and Discussion led by Jeanne Lauber, MLS* • Master of Library Science

Course sessions

    Sunday March 19

    1:00PM - 2:30PM ()

    Sunday April 9

    11:00AM - 12:00PM ()

    Sunday May 21

    11:00AM - 12:00PM ()