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Books and Lunch on Tuesdays - Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Join BLT (Books and Lunch on Tuesdays), Howe Library's book group. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at noon.  Bring your lunch and a healthy appetite for good discussion.

Tuesday, October 10th

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

by Emma Hooper

Hooper's debut is a novel of memory and longing and desires too long denied. On Saskatchewan's Great Plains grew 15 Vogel children. When Otto Vogel was still a child, half-orphaned Russell joined the brood. The Great Depression burned on, crops failed, and schooling was casual. One of the teachers was Etta, no older than Otto and Russell. World War II came. Otto left. Russell, broken leg improperly mended, could not. As Hooper's shifting narrative opens, now-83-year-old Etta awakens, intending to walk to Canada's east coast, leaving a brief note for her husband, Otto. She carries a bit of food, a rifle, and a note of her identity and home. To a Cormac McCarthy-like narrative--sans quotation marks, featuring crisp, concise conversations--Hooper adds magical realism: Etta's joined by a talking coyote she names James, who serves as guide and sounding board. With Etta absent, Otto begins baking from her recipes, his companion a guinea pig, always silent. Soon Otto becomes obsessed with constructing a menagerie of papier-mâché wildlife. Russell, shy lifelong bachelor and Etta's wartime lover, follows her, finds her, only to hear her urge him to seek his own quest "because you want to and you're allowed to and you can. You could have if you wanted to enough"--the novel's thematic heart. Russell disappears into flashbacks. Hooper reveals more of Etta and Otto in letters exchanged during World War II, where Otto by turns is terrified, sickened and enthralled. Otto marries Etta on return, a less than perfect union shadowed by damaged Otto striking out at Etta. With beautifully crafted descriptions--derelict farm machinery as "gently stagnant machines"--Hooper immerses herself in characters, each shaped by the Depression. The book ends with sheer poetry, stunning and powerful, multiple short chapters where identities and dreams, longings and memories shift and cling to one character and then another within the "long loop of existence." A masterful near homage to Pilgrim's Progress: souls redeemed through struggle. - Kirkus (starred review)

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Date: October 10, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Location: Rotary Room


Website:

click for calendar view

September 25, 2017
First Time Story Time
September 25, 2017
Cine Salon: Introduction to Chris Marker
September 26, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
September 26, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
September 27, 2017
French Club Field Trip
September 27, 2017
Chess Club
September 27, 2017
Becoming Wolf: Eastern Coyote in New England
September 28, 2017
Spanish Playgroup
September 28, 2017
We Sign Together Story Time
September 29, 2017
Music & Movement Story Time
September 29, 2017
Preschool Story Time
September 30, 2017
Chinese Story Time and Playgroup
October 1, 2017
Costume Swap
October 1, 2017
Paper Mache with Margaret Sheehan
October 2, 2017
First Time Story Time
October 2, 2017
Cine Salon: The St. Louis Bank Robbery & others
October 3, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
October 3, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
October 4, 2017
Chess Club
October 5, 2017
Spanish Playgroup
October 5, 2017
Evening Book Discussion: Emma and Otto and Russell and James
October 6, 2017
Music & Movement Story Time
October 6, 2017
Preschool Story Time
October 7, 2017
Chinese Story Time and Playgroup
October 10, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
October 10, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
October 10, 2017
Books and Lunch on Tuesdays - Etta and Otto and Russell and James
October 11, 2017
Chess Club
October 12, 2017
Spanish Playgroup
October 12, 2017
We Sign Together Story Time
October 13, 2017
Music & Movement Story Time
October 13, 2017
Preschool Story Time
October 14, 2017
Chinese Story Time and Playgroup
October 16, 2017
First Time Story Time
October 16, 2017
Cine Salon: Markerís Menageries
October 17, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
October 17, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
October 18, 2017
Chess Club
October 19, 2017
Spanish Playgroup
October 20, 2017
Music & Movement Story Time
October 20, 2017
Preschool Story Time
October 21, 2017
Chinese Story Time and Playgroup
October 21, 2017
Cine Salon: Home Movie Day 15
October 22, 2017
The Music of French-Canadians, Franco-Americans, Acadians and Cajuns
October 23, 2017
First Time Story Time
October 24, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
October 24, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
October 25, 2017
Chess Club
October 26, 2017
Bake for Good
October 26, 2017
Spanish Playgroup
October 26, 2017
We Sign Together Story Time
October 27, 2017
Music & Movement Story Time
October 27, 2017
Preschool Story Time
October 28, 2017
Chinese Story Time and Playgroup
October 30, 2017
First Time Story Time
October 30, 2017
New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality
October 31, 2017
Play Group for Children Ages Infants to 2 Years
October 31, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
November 1, 2017
Spanish Story Time
November 4, 2017
Full Moon Family Band with Lois Fein
November 6, 2017
Cine Salon: Soviet Vortex
November 7, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
November 8, 2017
Spanish Story Time
November 9, 2017
Jon Turk: Crocodiles and Ice
November 10, 2017
Closed for Veterans' Day
November 11, 2017
Closed for Veterans' Day
November 14, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
November 15, 2017
Spanish Story Time
November 20, 2017
Cine Salon: Polar Opposites
November 21, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
November 23, 2017
Closed for Thanksgiving
November 24, 2017
Closed for Thanksgiving
November 28, 2017
Drop-In Technical Help
November 29, 2017
Spanish Story Time
December 11, 2017
Cine Salon: All That Heaven Allows
December 22, 2017
Closed for Christmas
December 23, 2017
Closed for Christmas
December 24, 2017
Closed for Christmas
December 25, 2017
Closed for Christmas
January 1, 2018
Closed for New Year's Day
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