Picturing America: Places in the Heart

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). In each, there is a deep connection between the characters and their surroundings, between them and the places they call home. Selected images from the Picturing America collection may be included in the series materials to enhance discussion of themes explored in the readings and in these masterpieces of American art. 

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  • Empire Falls, Richard Russo
  • A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean
  • Brothers and Keepers, John Edgar Wideman
  • Plainsong, Kent Haruf
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson