Literary Circle

The Amerikahaus Literary Circle is a free English book club open to the public. Meetings (usually) take place in the Amerikahaus in Munich on the first Wednesday of each month from October through July.

 

The titles are nominated and voted upon by the members twice a year.

 

Meetings and Titles for January - July 2020

 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.)

Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway

 

After bearing witness to the Pamplona fiesta in the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway was inspired to write of bullfighting in The Sun Also Rises. In 1932, he gathered his thoughts on the subject to publish this reflective guidebook that plumbs the ceremonies of the art and the metaphysics of the sport, wherein the future Nobel laureate found an elemental and passionate encounter of life and death, fear and courage.

 

 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

 

Published in 1969, this is an autobiographical account of the early years of Maya Angelou, the esteemed poet and writer. In a word, this inspiring coming-of-age story and Bildungsroman illustrates how—through a strength of character and a love of literature—

horrifying racism and sexual trauma can be overcome, eventually leading to a dignified self-possession that is more than capable of responding to acts of prejudice.

 

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.)

Educated by Tara Westover

 

Tara Westover grew up in a family preparing for the End of Days, where she was schooled at home in rural Idaho. Witnessing her father become increasingly more radical and her brother more violent, she realized at sixteen that she would have to leave her home for good. In this compelling memoir, she recounts her educational journey and its transformative power.

 

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.) (CANCELED)

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

 

A picaresque novel detailing the French Quarter misadventures of one Ignatius J. Reilly, an eloquent (though slothful) thirty-year-old man living with this mother in New Orleans and looking for work, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is that rare literary gem that garnered accolades as both a cult classic and mainstream success, including a Pulitzer Prize.

 

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.) - Digital Meeting

There There by Tommy Orange

 

Click here to view the handout for this Literary Circle meeting.

Published in 2018, this polyphonic narrative showcases a large cast of Native American characters living in Oakland, California that—amid the issues that come of social challenges like depression, alcoholism, and unemployment—reckon with questions of ethnic identity and authenticity. . 

 

 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.) - Digital Meeting

Henry, Himself: A Novel by Stewart O’Nan

 

Click here to view the handout for this Literary Circle meeting.

This is the story of a twentieth-century Everyman, Henry Maxwell of Pittsburgh, who, now seventy-five and retired, feels that the world has passed him by. While his wife and dog stand by him, his children are distant. As his strength and memory desert him, Henry weighs his dreams against his regrets to ponder those inevitable questions that abide.

 

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 (6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.) - Digital meeting

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

 

Click here to view the handout for this Literary Circle meeting.

Published in 1880, A Tramp Abroad observes and opines on Old World culture through a burlesque walking tour of Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy, which, in this entertaining literary travelogue of one American’s misadventures, is writ in the inimitable wit of Mark Twain, abounding in humorous sketches, autobiographical tidbits, and historical anecdotes.

 

 

The Amerikahaus Literary Circle is sponsored by the Amerikahaus Verein and the Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations.