Reading programs

Mad Women in the Attic

What happens to a woman whose behavior defies social and domestic expectations? Perhaps she is locked in an attic; more often she is a woman involved in a quest to discover her identity. These works may help us redefine "mad women."

Journeys Across Time and Place: Mapping Southern Identities

People constantly rethink their personal and collective identities in the flow of history. This series will help us explore how the journey that shapes such rethinking is likely different for each of us.

Voices of Latin American and Latino Literature

In the mid-twentieth century, both Latin American and Latino writers bagan to attract wide audiences in countries throughout the world. This series allows us to hear voices that speak in several different languages, introducing us to cultures that are in some cases new to us, and in some cases, new to them. Each author is writing not only about a unique culture but about how we understand the concept of "culture" itself. Each book confronts us with many voices, but at the core with one common, universal humanity.

Divergent Cultures: The Middle East in Literature

In this series, readers explore ancient and modern conflicts to build understanding about the varied and richly textured peoples, cultures, histories, and geographies of the Middle East. A place of divergent cultures, faiths, and people, the literary landscape offers stories of tragedy, triumph, and perseverance.

Beyond the Battlefield: Alternative Views of War

This series features books about five different American wars. Rather than the physical landscape of armed conflict, readers examine the battlefield of the heart, the individual’s struggle through the emotional consequences of witnessing the ravages of war.

Law and Literature: The Eva R. Rubin Series

Blaise Pascal once wrote that "Justice is what is established."  In this series, writers who demonstrate the powerful interaction of law and human affairs invite readers to ponder the difference between what is established and what is just. This series is named for Eva Rubin, a leading scholar on public policy and the U.S. Supreme Court.

America's Greatest Conflict: Novels of the Civil War

Sometimes historical facts alone are not enough to evoke the truth of the past -- perhaps this is what Walt Whitman meant when he claimed of the Civil War that 'the real war will never get into the books.' In these selections, novelists use their imaginative powers to re-create the greatest upheaval in our history in a way that touches emotions and senses as much as the intellect.

Discovering the Literary South: The Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Series

As novelist, essayist, teacher, editor, and publisher, no single figure has done more to “discover” the literary South than Louis Rubin. So it is appropriate to name this series in his honor. The books in this series were published within the last twenty years by writers who have moved beyond the Southern hometowns of their youth. Yet they take a long look back, not for nostalgia’s sake, but to bear witness to the full panoply of time’s interactions with place, memory, and family.

Affirming Aging

This series captures the hard truths that come with growing old: the surprise of seeing a wrinkled face, the anger at not being able to do what was once easy. Each of the novels in this series takes a unique look at shared histories, mutual dependency, and the humbling experiences that come when the body wears out but the mind remains lively. 

Picturing America: Places in the Heart

The books chosen for this series suggest the ways in which human experience is shaped, even defined, by place. They are set in an urban ghetto (Brothers and Keepers), along one of the great scenic rivers in North America (A River Runs Through It), and in small towns from Colorado (Plainsong) to Iowa (Gilead) to Maine (Empire Falls).