Fall Book Discussion – TALK Series

The Winfield Public Library will offer a four-part book discussion series September through December on “Faith in Fiction: Christianity.”  Members of the community are invited to attend these free programs at 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 for the Winfield Public Library TALK series.  For more information about KHC, visit www.kansashumanities.org.

The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 23, at 7pm.  Dr. Kevin J. Rabas will lead a discussion of A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.  Young Owen Meany, the hero of Irving’s comic bestseller, is barely five feet tall, brilliant, unconventional, and convinced that he is God’s instrument in the world; he is.  Kevin J. Rabas is an associate professor of English at Emporia State University, where he co-directs the Creative Writing Program.  He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas.

No form of literature, including fiction, has escaped the influence of human faith.  A story can show us – rather than tell us – something of the faith and hope that eludes expression and defies explanation.  The books in this reading series do not analyze or argue for faith; they pose unpredictable questions and offer no simple answers.  They promise to make readers think in a way that few books ever have.

Faith in these four novels is both mystery and sustenance, challenge and an ever open door to human freedom.  It is rooted in family heritage – yet becomes a new choice for each child.  It is a bulwark against evil, but not against pain.  It is not limited by formal religious creed, yet it inspires life-threatening fidelity.  Opening each one of these novels will begin for the reader a new journey.

As the series continues, readers will discuss Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya on Tuesday, October 21, The End of the Affair by Graham Greene on Tuesday, November 18, and Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin on Monday, December 15.  (Do note that the first three programs are on Tuesdays and the fourth is on a Monday.)

To check out books for the programs and for more information about the reading series, contact the library at 620-221-4470.