After a winter break, White Plains librarian Barbara Wenglin's popular “Love Stories” series resumes on March 16 with a discussion of Lorrie Moore's “Terrific Mother.” “It's a wry and witty tale in which the protagonist, Adrienne, tries to rebuild her life and ability to love following a devastating loss,” says Wenglin.
“Terrific Mother” is among the 19 selections compiled by Diana Tesdell in the Love Stories anthology (Everyman's Pocket Classics, 2009). Copies can be borrowed from the White Plains Public Library, and there is also one kept at the upstairs reference desk.
Eight of the love stories are in the spring discussion series, and as she did in the fall, Wenglin chose works from such contemporary writers as Moore, Margaret Atwood, T. C. Boyle and Tobias Wolff (all have been published in The New Yorker) as well as classics from Elizabeth Bowen, Colette, Guy de Maupasssant and Vladimir Nabokov. The latter's “That in Aleppo Once…” was written in 1943, 12 years before his best-selling and controversial Lolita, and the inspiration should be an intriguing part of the discussion.
Wenglin enjoys the give-and-take between herself and the attendees, what she calls “a vibrant discussion with motivated readers who have done their homework and enjoy sharing their insights. With our hi-tech world of e-books, smart phones and the internet, the book group appeal is the pleasure of gathering together to exchange ideas as part of a community. Indeed, today's library is the ideal setting for cultural and informational community programs.”
“And yes, we have a really good time!”
As they will this spring, in discussing what the Love Stories book jacket calls “a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealously and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together.”
Wenglin plans to complement each reading by playing what she calls “a musical selection that enhances and reflects the story's theme.” Among those used in the fall were “Love and Marriage,” “Strangers in the Night,” “What I Did for Love” (from A Chorus Line) and “Trees,” the 1950s' Mario Lanza hit to celebrate Ali Smith's love of a tree in “May.”
The free program is made possible with the support of the Friends of the White Plains Library. Here is the spring schedule, which will be held on these Thursdays in Galaxy Hall on the second floor from 2-4:15 p.m.:
♦ March 16: “Terrific Mother,” by Lorrie Moore
♦ April 6: “Dead Mabelle,” by Elizabeth Bowen and “Claire de Lune,” by Guy de Maupassant
♦ April 20: “Bluebeard's Egg,” by Margaret Atwood
♦ May 18: “Lady's Dream,” by Tobias Wolff and “That in Aleppo Once…” by Vladimir Nabokov
♦ June 15: “Armande,” by Colette and “Swept Away,” by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Refreshments will be served, and all are welcome, including newcomers. Registering once for the series is sufficient.
For more information, call (914) 422-1480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.