Thursday, February 28, 2008

Great Conversations!

Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of participating in the University of Texas at San Antonio's 8th Annual Great Conversations! Funds raised from this event go toward providing scholarships for students in the UTSA Honors College.

The premise behind Great Conversations is that each table has an academic or community expert speak about a topic in their field of expertise. You do this as you eat your dinner, much like any family conversation at dinnertime. While the expert may lead the discussion, the whole table is invited to chime in with their thoughts and points of view at any time which really makes for a wonderful evening of give and take discussions.

The table topic I selected what "Our Favorite Novels and Why We Love Them." Our expert was legendary UTSA academia instructor and poet extraordinaire Bonnie Lyons. Bonnie provided us with a list of her favorite novels broken up into two categories: "Today's List" and "Earlier." Here are the novels on her list--feel free to discuss!

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Philip Roth, American Pastoral
Philip Roth, The Counterlife
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Evan Connell, Mrs. Bridge
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
Louise Erdrich, Tracks
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
Margaret Atwood, Surfacing
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Eliot, Middlemarch
Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Henry Roth, Call it Sleep
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Woolf, To the Lighthouse