Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Read Sister Carrie with the Glen Ellyn Historical Society Book Club this September

Attention Glen Ellyn area readers!

There is still time to pick up the September pick for the Glen Ellyn Historical Society Book Club. The next meeting is Thursday, September 22nd from 10am to Noon at the History Center on Main Street.

The Bookstore has paperback copies in stock, so stop in, pick one up and join us. Some of us are even thinking about following up with a Chicago area field trip based on the book.

Here's a post I wrote about it when I read Sister Carrie for the second time just last year:

Sister Carrie (Theodore Dreiser, 1900) is one of my favorite Chicago novels. I recommend Sister Carrie to our local book clubs because it offers moral ambiguity, an early feminist sensibility and layers upon layers of social commentary that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.

Sister Carrie is ripe with opportunities for an interesting historical Chicago Literary Tour. The online version of the Pennsylvania edition includes a list of all of the locations mentioned in the book, from Carrie's sister's flat at 354 West Van Buren to Carrie and Drouet's love nest at Ogden Place.

I would recommend starting your Sister Carrie tour on State Street, because Carrie was so easily seduced by the charms of department store windows. You could stroll through the old Marshall Fields (it will never be Macy's to me), and then have lunch or a drink in the historic Palmer House Hotel on Monroe Street (where Drouet and Hurstwood stayed in Chapters 24-27).

If you're adventuresome, your tour should include a visit to the near west side, particularly Skinner Park (formerly Jefferson Park), where Carrie meets Hurstwood ("on a rustic bench beneath the green leaves of a lilac bush") and they first discuss the possibility of running away together.

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If you're interested in joining us on a literary tour this fall, leave a comment here or stop in and visit Margie or Sue at The Bookstore. We hope you can make it to the Glen Ellyn Historical Society's book club meeting on September 22nd.