Let’s Talk About It

Love and Forgiveness in the Light of Death

Death often seems to have the effect of bringing to light the truest, deepest values. Great writers, including Tolstoy and Joyce are fascinated by the way humans grope to forgive life for the suffering it inevitably brings—a forgiveness that arises from love.

Your Heart’s Desire

In these works of modern fiction, love and desire cross paths in the math department, on the analyst’s couch, in an Israeli garage—and often with surprising results: an arranged marriage heats up, a ménage à trois turns cozy.

What America Reads

The mass appeal of many fiction best-sellers seems to come from the combination of mythic characters and realistic, historically identifiable settings. These five novels, published between 1852 and 1971, are united not only by their reliance on a sense of place but also by the similarity of their myth making.

The Nation That Works

“The Nation That Works” focuses on the workplace—an area that brings Americans of disparate communities and backgrounds together because of economic need and occupational goals. “We live in neighborhoods separated by race, ethnicity and class, but we meet in the workplace, and our working lives are knit by small but symbolically resonant stories of nurturing and competition, support and betrayal, trust and fear,” said Valerie Smith, project advisor and professor of English at UCLA.

The Many Realms of King Arthur

Whether it’s Walt Disney or Monty Python, a Broadway musical or a bestselling book, the myth of King Arthur still holds sway in our culture today. Told as a religious quest, a love triangle, a tale of chivalry, a bawdy romp—this classic story still fascinates artists of every medium.

But it is in the realm of literature that perhaps the greatest variation on the Arthurian tale is to be found. This series explores some of the many different forms this story has taken over the centuries and looks at why it continues to both fascinate and instruct.

The Journey Inward

Bookstores, libraries, and newsstands are filled with the autobiographies of the rich and famous, of the heroic and brave, and of the historic and contemporary personalities that form our world. At one time or another, we all have gotten hooked on autobiographies. We enjoy reading the life stories of provocative people. We want to experience their triumphs and their disappointments. We want to meet the people they know and to learn the hows and whys of their lives.

Sovereign Worlds

Manifesto, history, and fiction collide in this series to present a multi-layered view of the condition of Native Americans. Eye-opening and thought-provoking, this series will teach you more about Native Americans than you ever learned in school.

Seeds of Change

This series examines Christopher Columbus and his effects on history from a variety of genres and viewpoints: cultural, historical, fictional, and satirical.

Seeds of Change: A Quincentennial Commemoration is a collection of essays tracing Old and New World exchanges of sugar, maize, potatoes, wine, horses, and other common plants and animals as well as disease, over the course of five hundred years.


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