Slow Reading Spring Session

Library users may wonder about one of our newest reading groups: Slow Reading. “Slow reading describes my practice of looking at a text very closely in order to appreciate nuances of language and hence of meaning,” says Ellen Lambert, author (The Face of Love: Feminism and the Beauty Question) and White Plains resident, who holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale University. Lambert taught literature at Manhattan’s Dalton School for over 25 years (and intends to start a tutoring service for high school students.)

“In our discussions of short fiction, we often read particular passages out loud. We then examine them in detail and consider how they relate to the story's larger structure. It’s also a way of honoring the beauty of a particular author’s writing.”

Lambert, who is finishing her own book on slow reading, says that the term “invokes what the ‘New Critics’ of the 1940s and 1950s called ‘Close Reading.’ But with this term I also want to signal my affinity with the contemporary ‘Slow Food’ movement, because great art, like a great meal, nourishes us in so many ways.”

Readings can be found in the following sources: Nancy Culpepper by Bobbie Ann Mason; The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, 8th edition (for Eudora Welty stories);  and The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Here is the spring schedule:

⧫  January 27: “Blue Country” and “Lying Doggo” by Bobbie Ann Mason

⧫  February 10: “Spence + Lila” by Bobbie Ann Mason

⧫  February 24: “The Heirs” and “The Prelude” by Bobbie Ann Mason

⧫  March 16: “The Worn Path” and “Why I Live at the PO” by Eudora Welty

⧫ March 30: “Black-Eyed Women” and “The Other Man” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

⧫  April 13: “War Years” and “The Transplant” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

⧫  April 27: “I'd Love You to Want Me” and “The Americans” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

⧫  May 11: “Someone Else Besides You,” “Fatherland,” and “Two Essays” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Monday programs are from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Library’s first-floor Community Room (next to the café). For further information, email

-Steve Cohn

Categories: Authors & Books, Events, and Homepage.


  1. Carol Weintraub

    This looks wonderful! Are the sources for the readings available through ” Libby”? I could’t find The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction throgbh ” Libby”. Thanks, Carol

    • kthornton

      Hi Carol, the following readings are available in Libby: Going Away Shoes, Everything I Never Told You, and Olive Kitteridge. I would suggest contacting Ellen Lambert via her provided contact info to see if it’s possible to get the Norton readings elsewhere online.

    • kthornton

      Hi Linda, you’re welcome to attend as many sessions as you can. We suggest attending all but that’s no necessary. We have a parking garage to the left of our main entrance. Parking is $1 per hour.

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