Let’s Talk About It – Behind the Beautiful Forevers (December 1, 2022)

The final Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for September.

About the Book
In this breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.

As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. 

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget. 

WINNER OF: The PEN Nonfiction Award • The Los Angeles Times Book Prize • The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award • The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award

(Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker
Ken Hada is a poet and professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he directs the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Ken finds the natural order a powerful presence for writing. His work has received the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award, the 2017 SCMLA Poetry Prize, has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, received the Western Heritage Award, named finalist for the Spur Award and six-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards. In 2017 Ken gratefully accepted the Glenda Carlile Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. His published poetry collections include: Feral Skies: Selected Poems 2008-2020, Contour Feathers, Sunlight & Cedar,  Not Quite PilgrimsBring an Extry MulePersimmon SundaySpare PartsMargaritas & RedfishThe Way of the Wind and The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill. Ken enjoys reading his work at venues around the country. (Summary from kenhada.org)

Oklahoma Historical Society Photo Display

The Chickasha Public Library will feature Family Album: Photographs by Pierre Tartoue, an exhibit from the Oklahoma Historical Society, during the month of November. This collection of 22 black and white photographs were taken by French photographer Pierre Tartoue, who traveled throughout Oklahoma during the 1930s through the 1950s and documented Native American communities. The photographs depict a vibrant cultural renaissance led by multigenerational families who were able to preserve and pass on their culture, languages, and traditions to their children and grandchildren. There are portraits of families, daily life, and cultural events in several Oklahoma small towns, including Apache, Watonga, and Anadarko.

These photographs can be viewed at the Library any time during open hours until the end of the month. November is Native American Heritage Month, and there will be a display of books by Native American authors, as well as books about cultures and history.

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Let’s Talk About It book discussion will feature The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, who is Chippewa, and whose books center around Native American characters.

Let’s Talk About It Book Club to Meet November 14

The final two programs in the Let’s Talk About It book club series are coming up on November 14 and December 1, and both will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Let’s Talk About is a book club designed for adults who are interested in reading, learning about history and current events, and who enjoy discussing their thoughts and ideas with others.

The overarching theme of this program is civil rights, and each of the five books were chosen to reflect this theme in different ways. On Monday, November 14, Dr. Nyla Khan will present The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, a fictional story based on real events that occurred in the 1890s. This novel explores racial injustice and its effects on the relationship between Native and white communities in North Dakota in both the past and the present.

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, OK and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author four books, as well as several articles, book reviews, and editorials. She was named one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018 by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma, and was also recently selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year.”

On Thursday, December 1, Dr. Ken Hada will present Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a non-fiction book about the residents of Annawadi, a settlement in Mumbai, India, whose residents face extreme poverty. The book follows the interwoven lives of several people who live in Annawadi as they struggle to survive in various ways amidst religious and economic tensions in a city with massive inequality.

Dr. Ken Hada is a professor in the Department of English and Languages at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and the director of the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. He has published several collections of poetry and received the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award, the 2017 SCMLA Poetry Prize, the Western Heritage Award, a finalist for the Spur Award, a six-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards, and the Glenda Carlile Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

Both of these programs will include a presentation, refreshments, and small group discussions. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. To register, visit the Chickasha Public Library in person, call 405-222-6075, or email library@chickasha.org with your name, phone number, and which dates you would like to attend. Several copies of each of these books are also on display and available to check out from the library.

The Chickasha Public Library received a matching grant from Oklahoma Humanities for this program. Additional funding and refreshments are being provided by the Friends of the Library. Books, services, and other materials for this series are provided by Let’s Talk About It, a project of Oklahoma Humanities. Generous funding and support for this series was provided by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Oklahoma City University. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of Oklahoma Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Let’s Talk About It – The Plague of Doves (November 14, 2022)

The fourth Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Monday, November 14, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for November.

About the Book

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves—the first part of a loose trilogy that includes the National Book Award-winning The Round House and LaRose—is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Bestselling author Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long. (Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, OK and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Formerly, she was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. Author of several published articles, book reviews and editorials, she has edited Parchment of Kashmir, a collection of essays on Jammu and Kashmir, written four books, including The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan. Several of her articles have appeared in academic journals, newspapers and magazines in the United States and South Asia. They focus heavily on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir, India, where she visits frequently. She has reading competence in Arabic and Hindi and is fluent in Urdu and Kashmiri.

Dr. Khan was recognized at the OK State Capitol for her human rights work in 2018 and honored by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters as one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018. She was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma. She was also recently selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year which recognizes women in Oklahoma who epitomize leadership in both their professional endeavors and in the communities where they live.” Dr. Khan currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma. (Summary from Oklahoma Governor’s International Team). 

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

Are you looking to add to your personal book collection? The Friends of the Library’s fall used book sale is a great way to find lots of treasures! It will be held in the Library’s meeting room during regular business hours. There will be fiction books for children, teens, and adults, non-fiction, DVDs, and audio books.

Donations will be accepted as payment, and proceeds will be used to purchase new books and other materials for the Library.

Computer Q and A

Do you have questions about how to use your computer? Bring your laptops, tablets, and questions to the Library on Thursdays at 5 pm to receive individual help! Library staff will available to answer questions one-on-one, on a first come, first serve basis. Whether it is using email, navigating the internet, or finding information online, Library staff can help!

Preschool Storytime

Preschool Storytime is every Wednesday at 10 am! This program is for children 5 and younger, and all children must be accompanied by a caregiver.

October 12th – Animals
October 19th – Fire Safety – Fire trucks will come to visit us at Centennial Park
October 26th – Falling leaves & Halloween – dress up in your costume – we’ll be at Centennial Park

Weekly Children’s Programs at the Library

Raise Readers Early Literacy come and go activities

Tuesdays from 10 AM – 1 PM

Visit the library and explore different Early Literacy and Sensory Centers!

The program is free, and geared towards children five and younger and their caregivers. We welcome you to come learn and play together as they explore each center.

Preschool Storytime

Every Wednesday morning 10:00 am

Preschool Storytime is for children ages 5 and younger and their caregivers.

Children must be accompanied by an adult for these programs.

For additional information, please call 405-222-6075

Let’s Talk About It – Arc of Justice (October 6, 2022)

The third Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for September.

About the Book
In 1925, Detroit was a smoky swirl of jazz and speakeasies, assembly lines and fistfights. The advent of automobiles had brought workers from around the globe to compete for manufacturing jobs, and tensions often flared with the KKK in ascendance and violence rising. Ossian Sweet, a proud Negro doctor-grandson of a slave-had made the long climb from the ghetto to a home of his own in a previously all-white neighborhood. Yet just after his arrival, a mob gathered outside his house; suddenly, shots rang out: Sweet, or one of his defenders, had accidentally killed one of the whites threatening their lives and homes. And so it began-a chain of events that brought America’s greatest attorney, Clarence Darrow, into the fray and transformed Sweet into a controversial symbol of equality. Historian Kevin Boyle weaves the police investigation and courtroom drama of Sweet’s murder trial into an unforgettable tapestry of narrative history that documents the volatile America of the 1920s and movingly re-creates the Sweet family’s journey from slavery through the Great Migration to the middle class. Ossian Sweet’s story, so richly and poignantly captured here, is an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his era’s changing times. Arc of Justice is the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

(Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker
Teaching has been the passion of Professor Lloyd K. Musselman, who, after receiving his Ph.D. degree, came to Oklahoma City University in 1969 and has taught there ever since. An historian by trade, Professor Musselman has inspired students in all majors to seek the full development of their interests. In recognition of his teaching skills, Dr. Musselman was appointed the Darbeth-Whitten Professor of American History in 1978, presented the Sears Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence in 1990, and named the school’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2002. As part of a survey Oklahoma City University made of its past graduates, responders consistently named Dr. Musselman as one of the teachers who inspired them, including a former national social studies teacher of the year. Lloyd Musselman has also served as Department Chair, the Director of the Robert A. Taft Institute of Government, and the Acting Dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences. He has been notable for enriching the cultural life of the state by his participation in the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Let’s Talk About It program sponsored by the Oklahoma Libraries Association.

Coming Soon: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

This fall, the Friends of the Chickasha Public Library will begin enrolling children residing in Grady County into Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.  This program is designed for children from birth to age five and will provide a new, free, age-appropriate book monthly to the enrolled child.  Books are mailed directly to the child’s home until their fifth birthday.

“We are pleased to be able to initiate this program for young children to help foster a love of books and reading,” stated Jana Dabney, a former reading teacher.  Dr. Jeanne Mather, a former professor of Education at USAO reports, “We are focused on improving the educational reading experience of all Grady County children.”

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world.  The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has mailed well over 186 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.  The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five.  Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics.  Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com

More details on the official launch of this program and enrollment will be coming soon.

Friends of the Chickasha Public Library

Press Contact:  Susan Gearhart

SusanGearhart@gmail.com