Hot Off the Press Fall 2021
Join the new session, launching September 21, 2021!
If you love a book conversation that’s lively and engaging, where we talk about the book thoroughly and thoughtfully, then this class is for you. Led by long-time teacher and publishing professional Lynn Rosen, this class tackles brand new literary fiction.
Class conversations include analysis of the book as well as background information provided by Lynn about the author and the book’s path to publication. We talk serious book talk, but have a lot of laughs too!
The 2021 session of HOTP includes five class meetings in which we will be reading some new books by authors some of whose past works we’ve enjoyed and which have won great acclaim.
Class meets virtually via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 7pm EST to 8:30pm EST on:
CLASS COST & LOGISTICS:
LOCATION: via Zoom; link to be provided to participants.
Books are not included in the cost.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Payment can be made by check or Venmo.
Special Offer: If you’re new to the program and want to try out a class or two, contact email@example.com and we’ll arrange that for you.
CLASS READING SCHEDULE:
Wayward by Dana Spiotta
An engrossing, interior mother-daughter story that expands into a sharp social commentary. — Kirkus Reviews
It’s time for us to discover a new writer, the highly regarded Dana Spiotta. The New York Times calls her work “quietly subversive.” In her newest book, Wayward, she tells the story of a mother and daughter, Sam and Ally, both of whom who are pivotal moments in their lives. As the book opens, Sam decides to buy a house, which she then realizes means that she has decided to leave her husband. The ramifications follow as we watch the characters muddle through midlife and early life crises. In the course of the book, we’ll take deep looks at social media, politics, and the many other things about which Spiotta’s characters are passionate. This book is sure to inspire throughtful discussion about a range of topics, all of which feel close and important to Spiotta’s readers.
Matrix by Lauren Groff
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vulture, The Guardian, and more.
Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.
At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie’s vision be bulwark enough?
Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff’s new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory, a powerful new book that asks an essential question: What are we doing to our children? They are our hope for the future, yet we seem to be leaving it up to them to figure out how we all survive.
Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son, Robin, is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.
What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, even while fostering his son’s desperate campaign to help save this one.
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Ruth Ozeki created an unforgettable world in her earlier book, A Tale for the Time Being (what’s your supapowa?), and she returns with more magic.
One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki—bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.
Selection to be announced.