The Book Discussion Group at the McClelland Library is led by Dr. Joyce East (left), a retired professor of Irish Studies, and Mary Wilber (right), a retired librarian and current member of the Scottsdale Library Board. The group seeks to engage members of our community with the tradition and excellence of all forms of Irish Literature.
Meeting Time and Place
Book discussions will be held from 10:30AM to 12:30PM in the McClelland Library’s Norton Room. Don’t forget to check our library, your local library, local book stores, and the internet to find your copy.
September Book Discussion Guide:
Friel Making History
2017/2018 Schedule and Selections
September 30, 2017: Brian Friel, Making History (play, 1989) and excerpts from The Rough Field by John Montague (1972)
October 28, 2017: Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (novel, 1955)
December 2, 2017: Stuart Neville, The Ghosts of Belfast (novel, 2010)
January 27, 2018: Mary Beckett, Give Them Stones (novel, 1987)
February 24, 2018: Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark (novel, 1996)
March 24, 2018: Deirdre Madden, One by One in the Darkness (novel, 1996)
April 28, 2018: David Park, Truth Commissioner (novel, 2007)
Sources For Text
(1) The McClelland Library and local bookshops (2) Online sources, including Amazon and Kenny’s (kennys.ie)
(3) Friel’s play is in Plays Two, a text some of you may have purchased in the past.
A Note From Mary and Joyce
Norman McClelland, whose family was from Northern Ireland and for whom the library is named, died July 11, 2017. He was a friend and supported our book discussions. We are dedicating this year’s discussions to his memory.
Experience the discussion online
As a new feature in Spring of 2015, the McClelland Library Book Discussion Group is going digital! Join us to continue the discussion after meetings by becoming a member of our Facebook group.
History through Literature: The North of Ireland
As a political entity, Northern Ireland is less than one hundred years old. The six counties of Northern Ireland were carved out of the nine counties of Ulster in 1920 (leaving Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan as part of the new Free State). Despite Northern Ireland’s brief and conflicted political history, the larger, Ulster region has a long literary history. Under the broad theme, “The North of Ireland,” the upcoming book discussions at the Irish Cultural Center will focus on writers from this region. History and literature have been contested for years in Northern Ireland, where loyaltiesand grievances reach back into the 17 th Century. Several selections reflect the complicated and conflicted history of that area; others remind us of the private lives chronicled only in literature. Our discussions begin with Making History, a play that raises questions about histories and the roles that story, myth, and memory may play in shaping them. Our second work will examine the private life of a Belfast spinster. Several texts focus on the “Troubles” and on recent developments in the peace process. As was our practice last year, we will focus each month on one major text and one or two poems. A discussion guide will be posted early in the month.