The first discussion, scheduled for Monday, September 15, at 6:30 pm, is on A Diary from Dixie by Mary Boykin Chesnut. In this original diary, Chesnut, wife of a Confederate general, provides an eyewitness account of life in the South during the war. A passionate supporter of the Confederacy, Chesnut worked in hospitals throughout the war and witnessed the social costs of the war and the slow destruction of her way of life. In 1990, millions of television viewers were introduced to Chesnut’s diary when Ken Burns used extensive readings from it in his documentary television series “The Civil War.” The discussion leader will be Sister Rosemary Kolich, English instructor for the University of Saint Mary at Leavenworth and Overland Park. Copies of the book are available now for check-out.
The series continues with discussions on The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (October 13), March by Geraldine Brooks (November 17), and The March by E.L. Doctorow (December 15). All book discussions will begin at 6:30 pm in the multipurpose room of the library.
In a range of ways, the American Civil War was an unprecedented conflict. Its battles were fought across the full width of the country, from the east coast to Missouri and Kansas. During the war’s sesquicentennial is an appropriate time to reflect on its continuing legacy on the contemporary American scene.
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 leaders for the Parsons TALK series. For more information about KHC, visit www.kansashumanities.org.
Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St. To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact the library at 620-421-5920.