Saturday, October 16, 2004

Welcome Everyone!

Welcome everyone (especially the Books & Brunch crowd) to my blog (which is just a fancy, technical term for a weblog, a journal or a forum).

I've set up this blog to make it easy for my online friends and students to talk to me and I to them. :)

You all know me --Mary Tomaselli-- teacher at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens of the Books & Brunch course, poetry and memoir courses.

The way this thing works is I type up messages about books, reading and ideas and you read the messages and make comments or enter messages yourself. This is a brand new experience for me as I assume it is for you, but I think this is a great way talk and share information.

By the way, there is no cost for me or for you to use this forum.

So let's start!

First of all, I've been reading material for our Books & Brunch Winter Get-together in December. For people new to the Books & Bruch classes I host a get-together every Fall semester. We come together to chat and have coffee, tea and cookies. We also take time to discuss a book, play, short stories, etc. So what have I been looking at for our Get-together?

  • Death and the Maiden a play by Ariel Dorfman
  • Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  • Widows a novel by Ariel Dorfman

Death and the Maiden was originally produced in London at The Royal Court Upstairs in 1991. Later, in 1992 it moved to Broadway starring Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman. Ariel Dorfman, the playwright lived in exile during the dictatorship in Chile and now teaches at Duke University. The play was also made into a film starring Segourney Weaver and Ben Kingley and directed by Roman Polanski.

Ruined by Reading is a memoir about the joys of reading. The author has written several novels and lives in New York City.

Widows is a novel set in Greece in 1942 that tells the story of political repression as a recognizably, inescapably human evil and at the same time something so entirely alien that even the natural world rises up against it.

I'm leaning toward Death and the Maiden. Death and the Maiden is also the name of a musical work by Schubert which plays into the plot of Dorfman's work. If I can get a hold of it I'll play it during our Get-together.

If you have any comments about which book you'd like me to choose or have another suggestion, just click on "Comment" below.

I want to comment on the film Cry, the Beloved Country that members of Books & Brunch saw last Wednesday. When it was over there was hardly a dry eye in the house. About 10-12 of us watched the film (score by John Barry) We all pretty much agreed that the film served the book extremely well. The film was made in 1995 I think, and James Earl Jones who plays the Anglican priest, Stephen Kumalo, was perfect for the part. The film is in video stores in VHS format, so if you haven't seen it, go out and rent it. And if you haven't read the book by Alan Paton, by all means do. It was written in 1948 just before apartheid and is still in print! You won't be sorry!

This coming Tuesday and Wednesday the Books & Brunch classes will be discussing The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing. I know there will be people who love the book and those who hate it. And that's all right because it's impossible to choose books that everyone will love. :) As a matter of fact I like it when people feel strongly about a reading makes for really interesting discussion.

If you'd like to see my web page for the Books & Brunch classes, here's the link: Books and Brunch web page

Well, okay people, that's it for now. I'll see the B&B people on Tuesday and Wednesday and as for the rest of you, I look forward to hearing from you. Please write me and tell me what you think of this forum. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

the teach

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