First-Person Literature | Newberry

First-Person Literature

Led by Linda Levine. Eight sessions, 2 - 3:30 pm.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Tuesdays, October 3 - November 28 (class will not meet on November 21)

2 - 3:30 pm

This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by September 1): $210
Regular Price (after September 1): $231

This seminar is full. Please call (312) 255-3700 to be added to the wait list.

Seminar Description

This seminar will focus on memoirs and personal essays of literary titans. We’ll read from the following authors: Tobias Wolff, Russell Baker, Elie Wiesel, Elizabeth Alexander, Aleksander Hemon, Maya Angelou, and Trevor Noah. Each of the authors recollects powerful and poignant experiences that are compelling, informative, and testimonies to the human spirit. We’ll discuss the authors’ varied backgrounds, styles, and themes, as well as the moral questions they raise. Finally, we will view online segments of readings by and/or interviews with the authors. Eight sessions.

Linda Levine (MA in English Education, Northwestern University) has taught English and Humanities for several decades, including previous seminars at Newberry.

Materials List


  • Growing Up by Russell Baker. Signet, 1992. ISBN-13: 978-0451168382
  • Night by Elie Weisel. Hill and Wang, 2006. 978-0374500016
  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff. Grove Press, 2000. ISBN-13: 978-0802136688
  • The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander. Grand Central Publishing, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1455599868
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Spiegel & Grau, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0399588174
  • Additional materials will be provided by instructor.

First Reading:

  • Please read chapters 1 - 6 AND chapter 11 of Russell Baker’s Growing Up for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.