Book T.A.L.K. (Talk About Literature in Kansas) A Humanities Kansas program.
Our fall series is the Growing Up American series. Each of the four stories we will read this fall are classified as coming-of-age literature and capture the liminal state of adolescence. We get to see the world through the eyes of someone still a bit outside the adult world as they explore ethnicity, sexuality and the social expectations of the world around them. This kind of literature is categorized by the German term Bildungsroman, the psychological and moral development of a young person becoming an adult.
Our first novel is The Catcher in the Rye.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield recounts the days following his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a private school. After a fight with his roommate, Stradlater, Holden leaves school two days early to explore New York before returning home, interacting with teachers, prostitutes, nuns, an old girlfriend, and his sister along the way. J.D. Salinger’s classic The Catcher in the Rye illustrates a teenager’s dramatic struggle against death and growing up. Published in 1951, can J. D. Salinger’s classic still tell us anything about what it means to be young and American?
Our discussion will be led by Sister Rosemary Kolich. Copies of the book are available at the library.