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University Engages in Scranton Reads Program

The Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gilead by Marilynne Robinson was selected for the 2017 Scranton Reads: One City, One Book, a joint venture of the City of Scranton and the Albright Memorial Library. As the premier sponsor of the program, University of Scranton students will study the book and lead group discussions about it in October at the Albright Memorial Library.
September 25, 2017

Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gilead was selected for the 2017 Scranton Reads: One City, One Book, a joint venture of the City of Scranton and the Albright Memorial Library. An annual event, Scranton Reads takes place each October, and seeks to encourage reading among people of all ages and to unite the community by means of discussions and activities featuring a specific book.

This year, first-year University of Scranton students will study the book and lead group discussions about it at the Albright Memorial Library as well as other venues throughout Lackawanna County. University of Scranton students are supported in this process by a 2016-17 University of Scranton Strategic Initiative Fund grant.

The University’s Strategic Initiatives Fund supports innovative projects – particularly those that will have a substantial, positive impact on the student experience – that advance the goals of the Strategic Plan: an Engaged, Integrated and Global Student Experience. English Professor Rebecca Beal, Ph.D., was awarded a grant from this fund to enable students in her first-year seminar not only to read, discuss and study the book, but also to apply their academic insights in service to the city of Scranton.

The students’ engagement with the city will begin in September, as they study Gilead. The book is a novel, written as part memoir, part letter by the fictional character Rev. John Ames, an older minister with a heart condition, writing to his young son about his life as a preacher in Gilead, Iowa.  He writes about baseball, vocation, his family history (his grandfather, also a Rev. Ames, rode with John Brown in Kansas before the Civil War, for instance, and his own father, another Rev. Ames, was a pacifist.) This book draws its readers to explore such important themes as anger, family, love, and what matters as we face the end of life.

After studying the book, students will meet with members of the Scranton Reads Committee and then, in October, facilitate group book discussions about Gilead in locations from North Pocono to Dalton, including regular Monday evening discussions at the Albright Memorial Library on Vine Street beginning at 6 p.m. Other lectures and events are also planned in October, including a kick-off event for First Friday.

In addition to the University as a premier sponsor, reoccurring Scranton Reads sponsors include: the City of Scranton, Scranton Public Library, Times-Shamrock Communications, Marywood University, The Pennsylvania State University: Scranton Campus, The Lackawanna County Historical Society, The Dearly Departed Players, GAR Civil War Museum and Library of Scranton, and the Lackawanna County Library System.

Additional information about Scranton Reads and its month-long series of programs for all ages may be found on its website at www.scrantonreads.org, on the Albright Memorial Library website at www.albright.org, or by phone at 570-348-3000.

 


 

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