Friends of the Library

Lewis Toland and Joe Bono prepare for the FOL book discussion on The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson.

May Book Discussion—’The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson’

Dianna Lucas

All Robson residents are invited to attend the next FOL book discussion on Thursday, May 19, at 2:30 p.m. We will meet in the Robson Library to discuss Mark Twain’s The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson. We hope the library will provide a comfortable setting for the discussion. Food and drinks, including water, wine, and bagged snacks will be provided. We request voluntary donations of $3 to $5 per glass.

Membership renewal month for FOL is coming up in June. There will be a table set up for new memberships and renewals outside the library in the hallway. If you renew at this time, your membership is valid through June of 2023.

Lewis Toland and Joe Bono will be leading our discussion. Many of you are familiar with Lewis and Joe from previous book discussions where you have seen them either on the podium or at the membership table.

Lewis comes with a 30-year history as an English teacher and vast experience with Mark Twain. He has read all of his books, starting when he was a young boy and continued on to discuss Twain as his chosen author for his PhD.

Joe has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from what was once the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He has the typical exposure to Mark Twain, having read the required works during his high school years. Joe was introduced to The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson by Lewis in preparation for this discussion.

The audience will certainly benefit from the different backgrounds of these two presenters. While Lewis is well versed in Twain’s nuances and previous writings that dealt with the issue of slavery, Joe brings a fresh look based on the book itself and the story that it contains.

Although the book is well written, it can at first be difficult to understand the dialect of the slaves. However, this does get easier as you continue reading what becomes an interesting, though offbeat, story. The slavery component resonates today as we are brought to contend with its evils and realize that society in general was affected by the mere existence of slavery in its midst.

Please enjoy reading about Pudd’nhead Wilson or watch a version of the movie. Both the book and the movie are available in our Robson Library. Then we ask you to join us for what promises to be a well-led, lively discussion on May 19 in the library.