Elizabethtown College Face-to-Face Book Group
March 3, March 12, April 4, April 18
As we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we are once again reminded of the importance of commemorations, monuments, and public memory. Come join Dr. David Kenley, Elizabethtown College, and Michele Beauchamp, NCTA Alumna, for a fascinating book series on America’s twentieth-century wars in Asia. Rather than learning about the events of those wars, we will focus instead on the ways in which the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Americans choose to remember, commemorate, and celebrate these horrific events. At the conclusion of the series, we will participate in a field trip to Washington to critically read some of our nation’s war memorials. Participants can join all three book clubs as well as the field trip, or they can selectively choose those that best fit their schedule and teaching interests. Dinner will be included for each scheduled meeting.
Times and dates:
March 3, 6:00 pm: Karen Stelson, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
March 12, 6:00 pm: Ha Jin, War Trash
Ha Jin’s masterful new novel casts a searchlight into a forgotten corner of modern history, the experience of Chinese soldiers held in U.S. POW camps during the Korean War. In 1951 Yu Yuan, a scholarly and self-effacing clerical officer in Mao’s “volunteer” army, is taken prisoner south of the 38th Parallel. Because he speaks English, he soon becomes an intermediary between his compatriots and their American captors.With Yuan as guide, we are ushered into the secret world behind the barbed wire, a world where kindness alternates with blinding cruelty and one has infinitely more to fear from one’s fellow prisoners than from the guards. Vivid in its historical detail, profound in its imaginative empathy, War Trash is Ha Jin’s most ambitious book to date.
April 4, 11:00 am: Elizabeth Son, Embodied Reckonings
Embodied Reckonings examines the political and cultural aspects of contemporary performances that have grappled with the history of the “comfort women,” the Japanese military’s euphemism for the sexual enslavement of girls and young women—mostly Korean—in the years before and during World War II. Long silent, in the early 1990s these women and their supporters initiated varied performance practices—protests, tribunals, theater, and memorial-building projects—to demand justice for those affected by state-sponsored acts of violence. The book provides a critical framework for understanding how actions designed to bring about redress can move from the political and legal aspects of this concept to its cultural and social possibilities.
April 18, all day: Field trip to Washington D.C. to visit Washington Monuments and (possible) visit to Freer/Sackler Gallery. Participants wishing to join the free field trip must attend at least one book group.
To register, please click the link here: https://forms.gle/iauuEx9hczMTLUHb9
Registration is required.
Please register at least two weeks before the date of each book group session so that you will have time to read before attending.