Fall-Winter Discussion Series

Chevy Chase Library

Fall-Winter Discussion Series

Home Sweet Home?

Is home a familiar space or a foreign place?  Can it be both at once?  Homes can be cozy spots of safety, fortresses against danger, battlegrounds, and concealments.  Homes are places where world dramas play out on domestic stages.  Homes are where people live, grow and test the boundaries of filiation and affiliation, where a reckoning develops between forming an identity and retaining a sense of belonging.  

In this series, we will consider the notion of “home” as a nebulous place of nostalgia, security and betrayal; it is a place that exists on a cultural and emotional level that is intrinsically linked with the physical attributes of architecture and design.

Each session will begin with a 30-minute lecture about the book, its author and its historical context.  A facilitated group discussion will follow each lecture. The books and discussion dates are below. This series will meet at Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. 

Please contact myra.remigio-leonard@dc.gov to receive emails about the program.  We are grateful for the financial support for the series from the Chevy Chase Library Friends, and hope you will join us for the series.
beowulf coverOct. 10, 2012
7 p.m.

Beowulf, Seamus Heaney translation
This classic first-millennium story is of a hero’s great success, followed by his return home to acquire the kingship of the land of the Geats.  His responsibility to his people is a more complicated matter than was his defeat of the monster Grendel and Grendel’s mother.
12th night coverNov. 7, 2012
7 p.m.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
As in many of Shakespeare’s comedies, Twelfth Night plays with mistaken identity and the havoc it creates. It is set in the “exotic” region of Illyria on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, a region today that includes Albania, Croatia and Montenegro. Viola, the leading character, is shipwrecked on these shores at the play’s opening.
maisie bookcoverDec. 5, 2012
7 p.m.

What Maisie Knew by Henry James
The young girl who lends her name to the title of the book becomes a pawn in her parents’ bitter divorce, as she’s shuttled from one to the other with little interest in how this is affecting her.  It is the gradual displacement of Maisie’s innocence to awareness of the adults around her that leads her to make decisions about her own life.
suite francaise bookcoverJan. 9, 2013
7 p.m.

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
It is 1940, and the Nazis are about to occupy Paris, having rolled through the French countryside. The impact of the Nazi occupation of a provincial French village on both the German soldiers and the French who lived there forms the heart of this novel, which, amazingly, was being written as the real-life events took place.
zeitoun bookcoverFeb. 6, 2013
7 p.m.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
The story of one family, Mr. and Mrs. Zeitoun, caught between America’s war on terror and the American government’s inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina, is riveting. It would be the plot and characters of a great novel, except that this story is true.
newlyweds coverMarch 6, 2013
7 p.m.

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
An international online courtship brings a young woman from Bangladesh to New York State to wed.  This story explores dichotomies of identity, belonging, gender roles and cross-cultural exchange in the hyper-connected present day.