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WHAT: The Dubliners by James Joyce, Led by Jennifer Waters
In these masterful stories, steeped in realism, Joyce creates an exacting portrait of his native city, showing how it reflects the general decline of Irish culture and civilization. Joyce compels attention by the power of its unique vision of the world, its controlling sense of the truths of human experience.
WHAT: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, Led by Rev. Brian Sullivan
Jayber Crow, born in Goforth, Kentucky, orphaned at age ten, began his search as a "pre-ministerial student" at Pigeonville College. There, freedom met with new burdens and a young man needed more than a mirror to find himself. But the beginning of that finding was a short conversation with "Old Grit," his profound professor of New Testament Greek. "You have been given questions to which you cannot be "given" answers. You will have to live them out--perhaps a little at a time." "And how long is that going to take?" "I don't know. As long as you live, perhaps." "That could be a long time." "I will tell you a further mystery," he said. "It may take longer." Eventually, after the flood of 1937, Jayber becomes the barber of the small community of Port William, Kentucky. From behind that barber chair he lives out the questions that drove him from seminary and begins to accept the gifts of community that enclose his answers. The chair gives him a perfect perch from which to listen, to talk, and to see, as life spends itself all around. In this novel full of remarkable characters, he tells his story that becomes the story of his town and its transcendent membership.