This spring Boise State Department of English’s monthly discussion group will focus on four books that show how mature authors compose portraits of their younger selves.
Literature for Lunch book discussions are held from 12:10 to 1 p.m. at the Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. The discussions are free and open to the public; no reservations are required.
Friday, Jan. 31: “The True Adventures of a Texas Sharecropper Kid,” by Lonnie Willis. Coming of age in post Depression-era Texas, Leon and his cousin Melvin Junior discover resilience in the hot cotton fields and the schoolyard. Humor and sharp detail carry this story of innocence lost and remade in the creation of a singular identity.
Friday, Feb. 28: “Traplines: Coming Home to Sawtooth Valley,” by John Rember. A story that explores the adage “you can never go home again,” this work also is a rich and tightly crafted reconsideration of home, place, memory and our private and shared mythos of the West.
Friday, April 4: “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog” by Dylan Thomas. Thomas fictionalizes his childhood in 10 vignettes of growing up in a vanishing Irish landscape. The youthful perspective of the narrator and the author’s adult perspective create touching and absorbing portraits of the people and spaces of the early 20th-century.
Friday, May 2: “Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life,” by J.M. Coetzee. In third person, this novella describes the trials of a young boy in the post-World War II years of segregated Cape Town, South Africa. Coetzee’s graceful, tight prose captures the youth’s inner monologues as he reflects on his ineffectual father and his attachment to his mother, developing the critical and self-reflexive vision that would be central to his identity as a writer.
Books are available at the Boise State Bookstore in the Student Union Building at a 25 percent discount. Books also are available at Rediscovered Books on 8th Street between Main and Idaho, at a 10 percent discount, as well as at Hyde Park Books at 1507 N. 13th St., at a 20 percent discount.
For more information, contact Boise State English professors Cheryl Hindrichs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Martin at email@example.com.