Ka humThe TALK (Talk About Literature in Kansas) program is presented to us by the Kansas Humanities Council.  Each year, a theme and its books are selected by the Meade Friends of the Library.  The Friends have sponsored this program since 1986. 

The theme for the 2014 TALK program is “Native American Mysteries.”  The books are:  Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman, The Ghost Walker by Margaret Coel, DreadfulWater Shows Up by Hartley Goodweather, Dance for the Dead by Thomas Perry.

Native American Mysteries

The tales of detective fiction created by Edgar Allan Poe and the modern hard-boiled fiction by Sara Paretsky and Marcia Mueller have little in common, except that they belong to the same genre.   These works do reveal, however, the changing tastes of the reading public.  The plots, geographical locales, themes, heroes, and heroines reflect the changing social, ethnic and political face of America.  The writers in this series are creating ingenious, fast-paced plots, integrating Native American history and culture, and crafting resourceful, intelligent protagonists who solve the mysteries, in part, because they are familiar with Native American life. Many of these authors write about a particular locale and represent its habits, speech, manners, folklore and religion.

Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman

Two young boys suddendly disappear.  One of them, a Zuni, leaves a pool of blood behind.  Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police tracks the brutal killer. Three things complicate the search:  an archeological dig, a steel hypodermic needle, and the strange laws of the Zuni.

September 13 (Saturday), 2:00 p.m., Meade Library Community Room
Discussion Leader:  Sister Rosemary Kolich (Assistant Professor of English, University of Saint Mary at Leavenworth)

The Ghost Walker by Margaret Coel 

Father John O’Malley, head of the mission on the Wind River Reservation, discovers a body on a remote reservation road.  When the police reach the scene, the corpse has disappeared.  Arapahoes believe the deceased is doomed to walk the earth, creating death and destruction, until it receives a proper burial,  And, indeed, that is what happens.

September 27 (Saturday), 2:00 p.m., Meade Library Community Room
Discussion Leader:  Anne Hawkins (Instructor of U.S. History at Washburn University at Topeka–teaches U.S. and world history to homeschooled students across Northeast Kansas )

DreadfulWater Shows Up by Hartley Goodweather

Cherokee Thumps DreadfulWater, an ex-cop moved to a Montana reservation to shed memories of a killer who got away.  He serves as the town’s photographer, pursuing a relationship with Claire Merchant, head of the local tribal council.  After a murder at the reservation’s casino, Claire’s son becomes a suspect, and Thumps reluctantly tracks the real killer.

October 11 (Saturday), 2:00 p.m., Meade Library Community Room
Discussion Leader:  Martha Ortiz Sanchez (Community Educator and Adjunct at Friends University & Wichita State University at Wichita teaching Mexican American History and Spanish)

Dance for the Dead by Thomas Perry

Seneca Jane Whitefield, a “guide” who specializes in making victims vanish, conjures up new identities for people with nowhere left to run.  But when a killer stalks an eight-year-old boy, Jane faces dangerous obstacles that will put her powers–and her life–to a terrifying test.

October 25 (Saturday), 2:00 p.m., Meade Library Community Room
Discussion Leader:  Tom Prasch (Chairman of History Department at Washburn University, Topeka KS)


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