Burlington Writers Workshop member Anna Carey reflects on her experiences in the BWW’s Literature Reading Series and invites you to join. The series kicked off this summer with ‘Infinite Summer,’ an extension of a Burlington area reading group of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest hosted by Patrick Brownson and Rick Rowan, and has continued on throughout the fall and winter with a new book, chosen by BWW member vote, each season.
What’s up with those book titles regularly drumming ‘read me’ from your shelves—for years really?
Last spring, while visiting my son, we both noted that bold chartreuse print—INFINITE JEST—on recognizable shades of blue pulsating like a neon sign. Who can resist that two-word title, a perfect invitation to search for meaning and delight? Upon arrival home, the Burlington Writers Workshop serendipitously announced the ‘Infinite Summer’ literature reading group—an opportunity to actually hoist from the shelf and complete David Foster Wallace’s extraordinary novel.
This past summer, a group of us gathered weekly around a large table for 15 sessions. Encouraged by the respect and insight modeled by workshop leaders Patrick and Rick, our group combined the most erudite American lit discussions, hordes of cultural references to other books, movies, TV, music…and genuine jest. If David Foster Wallace didn’t have enough perspectives on our random universe, our group provided rich perspectives on style, interpretation and meaning—no small feat.
Expanding on the success of Infinite Summer, this fall a similar group of diverse folks read Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, which follows two women’s friendship from preschool into very early adulthood. One group member’s Little Italy childhood in Boston enriched our understanding of the novel. And again, Patrick’s enthusiasm and honesty enriched the atmosphere for a vibrant conversational volley that explored class, friendship, and creativity imagined astutely as the narrator herself transforms from girl to woman.
So why not consider a seasonal approach to your book collection crying for attention? Starting Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 6:30-8:00 pm, the BWW’s 2016 Winter Literature Reading Group will take on Don DeLillo’s White Noise. Especially inviting is that you can experience a warm winter activity that is free, social, and invigorating. I know absolutely nothing about the upcoming book (admittedly learned new term ‘eco-lit’ upon ordering) and yet still feel assured that reading and discussing White Noise will be a highlight of this winter.
There are still a few spots left. Sign up now >
—Anna Carey, BWW member