Slow Reading Book Discussion Winter/Spring 2022

Whether the text is a short story or a novel, the Slow Reading group is dedicated to reading great works of literature slowly, in order to more fully appreciate what makes them excellent. In this year's spring sessions, we'll be discussing stories by two great Russian writers: Anton Chekhov (often said to be the inventor of the modern short story) and Chekhov's own talented predecessor Leo Tolstoy. Leading the discussions is Ellen Lambert, who has a Ph.D. from Yale in English and taught high-school English at The Dalton School for over 25 years.

Readings are:

January 10: Tolstoy’s “Master and Man” translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude (in Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy or online at Project Gutenberg).

January 24: Chekhov’s “Enemies” and “Gusev.” Note: All the readings by and about Chekhov can be found in Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories, edited by Cathy Popkin (Norton, 2014). For background: Aileen Kelly's essay “Chekhov the Subversive” (501-10) and “From Chekhov's Letters”: to his ne'er-do-well brother Nikolai (514-17); to his first patron Alexei Suvorin (523 and 526, 529, 535); and to his wife, the actress Olga Knipper (541-44).

February 14: Chekhov’s “Peasant Women” and “Sweetheart.”

February 28: Chekhov’s “On Official Business” and “In the Cart.”

March 14: Chekhov’s “The Name-Day Party.”

March 28: Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog.”

April 11: Chekhov’s “In the Ravine” (I-V, 428-48).

April 25: Chekhov’s “In the Ravine” (VI-IX, 448-61).

May 9: Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych” I-VI, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

May 23: Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych” (VII-XII) (in Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy or online at Project Gutenberg)

Categories: Uncategorized.


    • Kristen, Adult Librarian

      Hi Patricia, I believe Christiane sent you an email, but we don’t save the recording of this program. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  1. Phyllis Rodriguez

    I’d like to join the discussion on Monday, Jan 24th. What time will it take place?
    It’s late to get the Chekov from the WPPL. Can I read the stories online?

    • Kristen, Adult Librarian

      Hi Phyllis, the Zoom link/info on attending is here. A digital copy of the book is not available, but I’d recommend emailing Ellen at to see if she has recommendations for versions to read online.

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