Winter/Spring Short-Story Discussion Series

Join White Plains Librarian Barbara Wenglin via Zoom to explore compelling stories from the exciting, rich and bold anthology used last fall:

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories
Edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)
Marking the centennial of the Best American Short Stories annual series, this collection celebrates the diversity of the genre and the American experience from 1915-2015.

Available in print collection through our Catalog and as an eBook in Hoopla, as well as OverDrive and Libby.

Thursdays from 2:00 – 4:15 p.m. on Zoom

Selected stories deal with dramatic, often unsettling coming-of-age relationships in varied cultures and settings
Please register for the series through Zoom here.

February 25
“Brownies” by ZZ Packer (p.562 – 2000) – Black History Month Selection
Black and white girl scout troops are assigned to the same campsite for a weekend
filled with racial tension and ironic, sometimes humorous, misunderstandings

March 11
“Xuela” by Jamaica Kincaid (p.486 – 1995) – Women’s History Month Selection
A young girl in the West Indies must find her voice and place in the world after the death of her mother in childbirth.

April 1
”The Conversion of the Jews” by Philip Roth (p.211 – 1959)
“School” by Donald Barthelme (p.308 – 1975)
Two philosophical, darkly humorous school stories.

April 22
“Pigeon Feathers” by John Updike (p.242 – 1962)
When his troubled family moves to a farm, a young teen questions his faith, death, and an afterlife.
Story with film-short (American Playhouse, 1988, 40 min.) streamed free on Hoopla.

May 13
“Communist” by Richard Ford (p.394 – 1986)
Edgy story of a boy taught to use a gun who then goes hunting with his mother’s boyfriend.

May 27
“Everything That Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor (p.227 – 1962)
A mother and son clash during an eventful bus ride in the recently desegregated South.

June 10
“My Old Man” by Ernest Hemingway (p.36 – 1923)
A young boy follows his rootless, aging jockey dad through the tough racetrack world of Europe.
We’ll compare this poignant, heart-rending story to the film-short version of the same title
(Encyclopedia Britannica – 1970, 26min.)
and the feature film adaptation, Under My Skin (20th Century Fox – 1950, 1hr. 26min.)
starring John Garfield.

June 24 – Film Discussion – Lady Bird (2017, 1hr. 35mins.)

We conclude our series with this lovely, poignant coming-of-age selection.
An intrepid Catholic School senior from “the wrong side of the tracks” in Sacramento navigates
the trials of first love, family, and self-discovery as she dreams of escaping to college on the East Coast.
Nominated for 5 Oscars, Golden Globe winner Best Picture and Best Actress –
Starring Saoirse Ronan, directed by Greta Gerwig, with Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts.

To view before meeting: borrow as DVD or Blu-ray, streamed free on Library’s Kanopy, also on Netflix.

Please register for series through Zoom or at website calendar, or by calling 914-422-1480
This program is made possible with support of the Friends of the White Plains Library.
Questions? Contact Barbara at

Categories: Authors & Books, Homepage, and Library News.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *