Family: The Way We Were, The Way We Are: Seasons in the Contemporary American Family
For every human being, family life encompasses enduring seasons that form a cycle: growing up, breaking away or breaking down, making choices, looking back, surviving. Such categories may have little to do with age, economic status, or geographical location. But their commonality in American life, as reflected in these books, will challenge readers to define or redefine the meaning of “family” today and, in so doing, to discover something of themselves.
- This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind by Ivan Doig
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- Ordinary People by Judith Guest
- Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories edited by James Moffett and Kenneth McElheny
- “The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault
- “A&P” by John Updike
- “The Five-Forty-Eight” by John Cheever
- During the Reign of the Queen of Persia by Joan Chase
The humanities scholar’s essay was written by Julie P. Gordon, who is Associate Dean and Assistant Professor at Northwestern’s University College, the credit program in adult education.
Download the scholar’s essay, annotated book list, and supplementary texts (PDF) Please note: The American Library Association is the copyright owner of this essay and annotations. The credit lines embedded in the program materials and/or sponsor and funder logos must remain on all published (print and web) materials derived from these materials.
How-To Discussion Programming Guides
Developed to aid participants in “The Millennium Project for Public Libraries,” this how-to guide (PDF) provides basic information about developing and promoting book discussion programs.
When planning a “Let’s Talk About It” program, you may wish to consult the planner’s manual (PDF) for general how-to information about program format, selecting a scholar, promoting your series, evaluation, and more.