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Reading Group

Wednesday Reading Group

student reading

Since the completion of the "first" Grainger renovation in 1992, lovers of literature within the department have been meeting at lunch time on Wednesdays to read a variety of works from world literature.

There are several unique aspects to our readings:

  • Works are nominated and approved by the group, which consists not only of departmental faculty, but also of faculty from other departments, administrators, and retired colleagues.
  • Works chosen are generally literary pieces which the majority of the group has not previously read.
  • Works are read at a slow and reflective pace, with weekly assignments rarely exceeding 15-20 pages.
  • Members may not read ahead of the assigned pages for the week.
  • There are no appointed discussion leaders.
  • Discussions are unplanned and unrestricted--except for a ban on references to campus politics--and tend to jump from one place to another.
  • Honoré de Balzac, Lost Illusions
  • Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks
  • Eric Kraft, Leaving Small's Hotel
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street
  • Larry Watson, Montana 1948
  • Anthony Trollope, The Warden
  • Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford
  • Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch
  • Murasaki Shikitu, The Tale of Genji
  • Alessandro Baricco, Silk
  • Smith, McCorkle, et al. Pete and Shirley: The Great Tar Heel Novel
  • Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans
  • Nick Hornby, How to be Good
  • Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
  • J. M. Coetzee, Foe
  • Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
  • Maureen Howard, Silver Screen
  • Marcel Proust, Swann's Way
  • Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove / In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
  • Günter Grass, Crabwalk
  • Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Julian Barnes, Arthur and George
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide