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WestportREADS 2018: Regeneration

WestportREADs 2018 Event Calendar
This year, a committee of Library staff and community residents decided to explore themes of healing and perseverance on the centenary of the end of WWI. There will be many opportunities to engage with the topics discussed in Regeneration through a month of events.


Book Reviews of Regeneration...

"In this fact/fiction hybrid, Barker book centers on the struggle back to sanity by British officers unhinged by WW I trench warfare. ...Don't look here for the dramatic sweep of a war novel; instead, you get a scrupulously fair reconstruction of Craiglockhart War Hospital, (a grim psychiatric facility) plus a moving empathy for both doctors and patients. The extent of that empathy earns Barker's work a place on the shelf of WW I literature." Kirkus Review

"[Regeneration] belongs to, the tradition of literary realism. Ms. Barker is a writer who is content to confront a cruel reality without polemics, without even visible anger and without evident artifice." New York Times Book Review  

Regeneration by Pat Barker
Regeneration begins with Siegfried Sassoon's open letter, dated July 1917, protesting the conduct and insincerities of the First World War. The letter has been published in the London Times and has received much attention in England, as many people are upset over the length and toll of the war thus far. The army is not sure what to do with Sassoon, as his letter clearly threatens to undermine the strength of the war effort at home. Read more...

WestportREADS Event
West Point Glee Club:  Music of World War I
Sunday, Jan 28, 2:00 pm
Saugatuck Congregational Church

The West Point Glee Club, one of the U.S. Military Academy’s most visible cadet organizations, performs music and writings from WWI. For over one hundred years, its members have touched audiences around the world through live performance in the nation’s finest concert halls, feature film appearances, and recordings. The Glee Club represents West Point and the U.S. Army at official events. Find out more about the Music of the Great War.

Pat Barker

Novelist Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, England, on 8 May 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics, where she read International History, and at Durham University. She taught History and Politics until 1982. She began to write in her mid-twenties and was encouraged to pursue her career as a writer by the novelist Angela Carter. Her early novels dealt with the harsh lives of working-class women living in the north of England. Her first book, Union Street (1982) won the Fawcett Society Book Prize, while her second, Blow Your House Down (1984), was adapted for the stage by Sarah Daniels in 1994. The Century's Daughter (re-published as Liza's England in 1996) was published in 1986, followed by The Man Who Wasn't There in 1989.

In 1983 she was named as one of the 20 'Best Young British Novelists' in a promotion run by the Book Marketing Council and Granta magazine. Her trilogy of novels about the First World War, which began with Regeneration in 1991, was partly inspired by her grandfather's experiences fighting in the trenches in France. Regeneration was made into a film in 1997 starring Jonathan Pryce and James Wilby. The Eye in the Door (1993), the second novel in the trilogy, won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road(1995), the final novel in the series, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. Another World (1998), although set in contemporary Newcastle, is overshadowed by the memories of an old man who fought in the First World War.  Read more...


An Interview with Pat Barker 

World War One in Books and Films