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Blackwell Public Library will host Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma, a book discussion group which will explore literature in new ways with a humanities scholar leading the discussion.  The event is made possible by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities with generous funding from the Inasmuch Foundation and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund.

Exploring the theme of Young Adult Crossover Fiction: Crumbling Borders between Adolescents and Adults, the book discussions will explore the stories of “young adults grappling with the quest of coming to terms with their roots and identity, of learning to distinguish between authenticity and artifice, and of finding a place for themselves within the framework of life” as well as “expose some of the difficult challenges faced by young adults”.  The series will take place from August through December with one title being explored each month.  All sessions will begin at 5:30 pm and are open to the public.

The theme was chosen to appeal to the widest range of readers.  Many adults read young adult fiction.  Is it because coming of age is an experience not limited to one age or one time in life?  Life does not seem static in our time.  The crumbling of rigid distinctions between the conventional borders of young adult and adult experiences may well reflect the reality that good young adult fiction generates crossover works for adults.

The schedule of titles and the humanities scholars who will be leading the book discussions:

  • Tuesday, August 28th – After the First Death by Robert Cormier, discussion led by Dr. Jennifer Page, Assistant Professor of English at NWOSU
  • Thursday, September 27th – Monster by Walter Dean Myers, discussion led by Dr. Aaron Mason, Professor of Political Science at NWOSU
  • Tuesday, October 23rd – True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff, discussion led by Dr. Karen Neurohr, Professor at OSU, Edmon Low Library
  • Tuesday, November 27th – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, discussion led by Dr. Nathan Shank, Assistant Professor of English at OCU
  • Thursday, December 27th – Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, discussion led by Dr. Sara Jane Richter, Professor of English at OPSU

The mission of Oklahoma Humanities (OH) is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life.  OH is a private 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.  As the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we strive to stimulate discussion, encourage new perspectives, and to actively engage people in the humanities disciplines, such as history, literature, philosophy, and ethics.