Reading Willa Cather with James Kraft

  • Sunday, November 05, 2017
  • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Devonshire Estates 329 Pittsfield Road, Lenox

No meeting on Sunday, June 24th
due to instructor illness. New dates will be posted when confirmed.

OLLI is pleased to announce longtime OLLI instructor James Kraft will lead a monthly group entitled Reading Willa Cather in Lenox starting on Sunday, October 8th at 3pm, and on the first Sunday of each month (except for February) through June 2018.  Reading Willa Cather is free for all OLLI members. (If you are not yet a member, please join to take part in this program by calling 413.236.2190 or join online here. You must be an OLLI member to attend.)

The subject is the novels and stories of one of the foremost American writers, Willa Cather. She is best known for several works about life on the plains, especially Nebraska. She wrote many other novels that focus on significant locations and key social issues. The locations include New York City, Chicago, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, and a nineteenth century plantation in Virginia. The subjects are numerous and include woman’s role in the professions, the significance of music, the issues of adultery and homosexuality, the loss of the pioneer spirit, the importance of Native American and Hispanic cultures in the United States, and surprisingly an account of a female slave’s escape to Canada, a novel that Toni Morrison wrote about in Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.  Cather is a formidable figure in American literature and rewards a serious reading.

Both her novels and short stories will be read and discussed. The stories are in Collected Stories, a Vintage paperback. My Mortal Enemy is also in a Vintage paperback.  All novels are also in the Library of America series.  The volumes are called Early Novels and Stories, and Later Novels.

The meeting dates and novels are listed below. The short stories will be assigned later.

March 4               My Mortal Enemy
April 8                   Death Comes for the Archbishop
May 6                   CANCELLED
June 24 - new date                   Sapphira and the Slave Girl

All meetings are on Sunday afternoons at 3pm in Lenox, Mass. Please contact the OLLI Office for the address.
Reading Willa Cather is led by longtime OLLI literature instructor James Kraft who attended Princeton, King’s College, Cambridge University, and Fordham.  He has a doctorate in literature and has taught at the University of Virginia, Université Laval in Quebec City, and Wesleyan in Connecticut.  He was assistant director of the Whitney Museum for eight years, and now teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College and at the New York Society Library in New York City.

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