Talking About Books

Meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
At the Athens-Clarke County Library

The third Wednesday of the month, Talking About Books (TAB) Discussion Group, is made up of a diverse group of people, mostly retirees, who come together in the spirit of learning and friendship, to discuss literature, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary. Book choices are submitted throughout the year and voted on semi-annually by the group itself. Book choices are announced each month with time for purchase or PINES holds. Author biographies and discussion questions (when available) are provided. Anyone is welcomed to join us - all you need is a desire to read good literature and spend an hour in friendly conversation.

The Lacuna

Book Cover

February 15, 2012

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver: In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico-from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City-Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.

Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach-the lacuna-between truth and public presumption.

With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist-and of art itself. The Lacuna is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time. - Publisher

PINES logo

Login to your Pines Account

GALILEO: Georgia's Virtual Library

Past Selections