TOPEKA – The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will offer a four-part book discussion series September through November called “Faith in Fiction: Christianity.” The discussions are free and open to the public with advance registration. All sessions will be held in the Hughes Room 205 at the Library, located at 1515 SW 10th Avenue.
The series is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program. The Council’s Resource Center is furnishing the books and discussion leader for the Topeka TALK series.
The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15th, at 7:00. Sara Tucker will lead a discussion of Rudolfo Anaya’s "Bless Me, Ultima." The story, set in New Mexico, centers on a young Catholic boy’s friendship with the elderly healer, Ultima, who comes to live with his family. Tucker recently retired as a professor in the history department at Washburn University.
As the series continues, readers will discuss "The End of the Affair," by Graham Greene (October 6th), "Go Tell It on the Mountain," by James Baldwin (October 27th), and "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving (November 17th). The books chosen for this series can be requested in the library’s catalog if they are not found on the shelf.
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.
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 inspired lift-threatening fidelity. Opening each one of these novels will be for the reader a new journey.
To register, check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact the Topeka Room at 785 580-4510. For more information about KHS, visit: www.kansashumanities.org