Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The narrator of this debut novel is an unnamed South Vietnamese army captain with divided loyalties, balancing between two worlds. He is the mixed-race son of an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother who graduates from an American university, then returns to Vietnam as a double agent for the Communist cause. Set as the flashback of a coerced confession, the story follows him from the fall of Saigon, to refugee camps and relocation in Los Angeles, and finally to his return and subsequent imprisonment in Vietnam, recalling the events of the war from a uniquely Asian perspective. The book has been variously described as a thriller, a mystery, a war story, an historical novel, and a political satire. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, the 2016 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
THE HANDMAID'S TALE
by Margaret Atwood
Atwood's dystopian classic is set in the near future, in a totalitarian theocracy that once was the United States. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, thenew regime has subjugated all women and forces fertile women to breed children for childless couples. Offred is a Handmaid, still able to conceive, assigned to the Commander and his wife for purposes of procreation. Offred can still remember the years before, when she had her own name, when she lived with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, an daccess to knowledge. But all fo that is gone now. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life to join the resistance movement in hopes of ending this oppression.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 @ 7:30pm
ONCE IN A GREAT CITY: A STORY OF DETROIT
by David Maraniss
In 1963 Detroit was on top of the world. The city’s leaders were among the most visionary in America. It was the American automakers’ best year (think Mustang); the revolution in popular music (think Motown) and progressive politics was under way. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class. But while the era was full of promise, Maraniss shows that shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect and white flight. Before people trotted out the litany of rust belt infirmities--from harsh weather to high labor costs--and competition from abroad to explain Detroit's collapse. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts. Using a combination of historical eyewitness reports and sketches of larger-than-life figures, Pulitzer-winning reporter Maraniss draws a sprawling portrait of Detroit at a pivotal moment when it was "dying and thriving at the same time." (Booklist). This year’s Metro Net Everyone’s Reading selection.