Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

Oliver Wolcott Library
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Sundays, May 31st & June 28th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Philip Roth: First and Last
A Book Discussion Series Led by Aimee Pozorski
Click Here to Register

Philip Roth is one of the most awarded U.S. writers of his generation and one of our most distinguished writers. He is the only author to receive the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. He has won the National Book Award twice, the National Book Critics Circle twice, the International IMPAC Dublin Literacy Award six times, the Pulitzer Prize and the Franz Kafka Prize.

Roth’s fiction, often set in Newark, is known for its intensely autobiographical character, for philosophically and formally blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, and for its provocative explorations of Jewish and American identity. This two-part series led by Aimee Pozorski will explore two of his books: his first novel, Goodbye Columbus, published in 1959 and what the author has stated will be his last novel, Nemesis published in 2011. 

Aimee Pozorski teaches contemporary American literature at Central Connecticut State University. She served as the President of the Philip Roth Society from 2009 to May 2015. She is author of Roth and Trauma: The Problem of History in the Later Works and editor of Roth and Celebrity, Critical Insights volume of Philip Roth and the forthcoming collection Roth After Eighty that she edited with David Goodblar. She is also the author of Falling After 9/11: Crisis in American Art and Literature published by Bloomsbury Press in 2014.

May 31:
Goodbye Columbus
Goodbye Columbus 
was the 1960 National Book Award winner and immediately established Roth as an exceptional writer. Goodbye Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The novella is accompanied by five short stories that range in tone from the iconoclastic to the astonishingly tender and that illuminate the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and friends and neighbors in the American Jewish diaspora. The New Yorker wrote, “Superior, startling, incandescently alive.” 

June 28: Nemesis
Set in a Newark neighborhood during a terrifying polio outbreak, Nemesis is a wrenching examination of the forces of circumstance on our lives. Bucky Cantor is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director during the summer of 1944. He is disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war. As the devastating disease begins to ravage Bucky’s playground, Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed. Moving between the streets of Newark and a pristine summer camp high in the Poconos, Nemesis tenderly and startlingly depicts Cantor’s passage into personal disaster, the condition of childhood, and the painful effect that the wartime polio epidemic has on a Newark community.  

Space is limited. Registration is required. Books are available at the library to borrow four weeks in advance of the discussion.



Thursday, June 4th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go
with Author Marcia DeSanctis
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Combining advice, memoir and meditations on the glories of traveling through France, 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go is for the woman dreaming of a trip to Paris. Written as a series of essays, and like all great travel writing, this volume goes beyond the guidebook and offers insight not only about where to go but why to go there. 

Award-winning writer Marcia DeSanctis draws on years of travels and living in France to lead you through vineyards, architectural treasures, fabled gardens and contemplative hikes from Biarritz to Deauville, Antibes to the French Alps. These 100 entries capture art, history, food, fresh air and style and along the way, she tells the stories of fascinating women who changed the country’s destiny. 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go is an indispensable companion for the smart and curious traveler to France. 

Marcia DeSanctis spent 18 years as a news producer for ABC, NBC and CBS News. She has written essays and articles for numerous publications including VogueMarie Claire, Town & County, and The New York Times. Her essays have been widely anthologized and she is the recipient of three Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism. She holds a degree from Princeton University in Slavic Languages and Literature and a Masters in Foreign Policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Her website is marciadesanctis.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.


Tuesday, June 9th
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Around the World at 75, Alone Dammit!
with John Guy LaPlante
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John Guy LaPlante decided that he wanted to celebrate his 75th birthday with an extraordinary trip around the world. He wanted to avoid the tourist traps and meet the natives, and he wanted to avoid some of the countries he had visited before, primarily in Europe. 

He did it all alone and inexpensively. He was on the road 147 days, got to 40 countries, and traveled 36,750 miles by plane, train, and bus for only $83 a day, including visas, malaria shots, and other essentials you would never think were necessary. John has great enthusiasm for travel especially outside of the USA. His engaging talk with give you tips on how to travel and will entertain with his stories from the road. 

John Guy LaPlante, now 87, lives half the year in Deep River, Connecticut and half in Morro Bay, California. He is a journalist, free-lance writer, author, public speaker, blogger, plus half a dozen other things. He entered the Peace Corps at age 77, served as a university-level teacher in what is now embattled Ukraine, and at 80 became the oldest volunteer of more 7,800 volunteers in close to 90 countries around the world. In Morro Bay, he hosts a weekly radio show on 97.3-FM called “Gabbing with old guy John.” His other books are Around Asia in 80 Days: Oops, 83! and 27 Months in the Peace Corps: My Story, Unvarnished. Light refreshments will be served. The author will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.



Thursday, June 18th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The Second Sister
with Author Marie Bostwick
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Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey’s boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged old sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson’s Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown. From New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick comes an emotionally rich, inspiring new novel about family, second chances - and the connections that bring women together in hope and healing.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Marie Bostwick had a rich and varied background on her path to becoming a novelist - from working in the bean fields of Oregon to singing and dancing in musical productions. She found her true calling while on vacation when she attended a writer’s workshop. Since then Marie has published over ten books, including Fields of Gold, River’s Edge and On Wings of the Morning. Drawing on her lifelong love of quilting and themes of special relevance to modern women, Marie’s Cobbled Court Quilt series has gained a dedicated following.

Today Marie lives in Connecticut with Brad, her husband of thirty-one years. When not writing or volunteering for her church, she enjoys quilting, watching movies and sipping tea on the front porch with her friends, and spending time with her family. Marie travels extensively, speaking at libraries, bookstores, quilt guilds, and at quilt shows. Visit her website at mariebostwick.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.

160 South Street, P.O. Box 187 Litchfield, Connecticut 06759 | Ph: 860-567-8030 | Fx: 860-567-4784

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