Event—Adult Education



Learn more about an enduring literary genre by diving into several riveting examples.

Source: Braswell Memorial Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Class Description

This class will focus on memoirs by Tobias Wolff, Russell Baker, Elie Wiesel, Elizabeth Alexander, and Trevor Noah. Each of the authors recollects his powerful and poignant experiences in writing; and each is 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 of the authors.

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

Materials List


  • Russell Baker, Growing Up. Berkeley Reissue edition, 1992. ISBN: 9780451168382
  • Elie Wiesel, Night. Hill and Wang, 2018. ISBN: 9780374500016
  • Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life. Grove Press, 2020. ISBN: 9780802136688
  • Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World. Grand Central Publishing, 2016. ISBN: 9781455599868
  • Trevor Noah, Born a Crime. One World, 2019. ISBN: 9780399588198

First Reading:

  • Please read Chapters 1 - 6 + 11 from Growing Up by Russell Baker for the first session.

Cost and Registration

Six sessions, $255 ($230 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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