Quest Lifelong Learning Community and Continuing Education for Older Adults in NYC

Fall 2021 Schedule / Literature

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, see more details at the bottom of this page.

COMEDY & SATIRE

Coordinators: Wayne Cotter, Leslie Goldman, Michael Wellner

This course will explore why, when, and how we laugh. It will feature writers, performers, and artists who brought us laughter over the years and explore the extent to which their humor reflected the times in which they lived. We think now more than ever is the time to enjoy a good laugh together.

CONTEMPORARY POETRY

Coordinators: Betty Farber, Martha Drezin, Sheryl Harawitz, Frieda Lipp

Contemporary poetry enriches the lives of its readers. Participants are invited to email coordinators their favorite poems several days ahead of class, so we can create a packet to distribute. In class or on Zoom, participants will introduce the poets, read the poems aloud, and engage the class in rich discussion about content and poetic elements. No previous experience with poetry is necessary.

CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORIES

Coordinators: Nancy Richardson, Mary Buchwald, Frieda Lipp

At each session, one or two class members present background and other information on a story they have selected, followed by a lively class discussion.

 

CONVERSATIONS EN FRANÇAIS

Coordinators: Ruth Ward, Donna Basile

If you speak some French, join us for conversations on subjects of interest to our participants. The class is conducted in French. Members have the opportunity to present mini-lessons and to lead group discussions on topics of their choice.

 

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Coordinators: Hilda Feinstein, Donna Ramer, Helen Saffran

 

Workshop your writing in a warm and supportive setting. We welcome all genres, from prose and poetry to script writing, fiction, even op-eds. Participate in class writing exercises and discuss writing approaches and styles.

 

FASCINATING NON-FICTION

Coordinators: Harriet Finkelstein, Bob Reiss

At each session, the presenter will tell you about a book you always wanted to read or about a book you never heard of but will be glad that you now have. Selections range from transit maps to Mt. Everest expeditions, American politics, Western women’s diaries, young Ernest Hemingway, black migration, the sinking of the Lusitania, Frank Sinatra, American restaurants, the evolution of mankind. Every semester an eclectic array of fascinating non-fiction awaits its audience.

 

GREAT CONVERSATIONS

Coordinators: Jane Lubin, Larry Shapiro

Great Conversations offers works by both contemporary and classic authors across many genres and disciplines, ideal for promoting discussion among readers. We will use the next book in the series, Great Conversations, Book 5. Authors include Euripides, Keats, Hawthorne, Richard Wright, Simone Weil, and Doris Lessing.

HOUSE OF MIRTH

Coordinators: Patricia Geehr, Arlene Curinga

Edith Wharton, the first woman to win a Pulitzer, is known for depicting the “tragedies and ironies” of life among members of the middle class and aristocratic New York society in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will read The House of Mirth, her first literary success. Through themes of gender, class, love, and friendship, Wharton depicts the destructive results of the pursuit of wealth and misplaced values that are still evident today. Recommended text: Scribner, paperback edition 2020.

HOWARDS END

Coordinators: Lynnel Garabedian, Sandy Kessler

E. M. Forster was a distinguished writer of novels, short stories, and essays whose career spanned several decades. During the fall semester the class will read one of his acclaimed novels, Howards End. Forster’s book sensitively explores conflicts of class and culture, politics, human relationships, and personal responsibility in a pre-World War I society that questions traditional English values as three families struggle to understand each other.

LITERARY HEROINES

Coordinators: Brynn Meehan, Sheryl Harawitz, Lis Klein

Why have some female characters stayed with us long after the last page? Do we still admire them? We’ll revisit favorite literary characters from our early reading years, for example, Nancy Drew and Scout Finch. Discussions will be based on excerpts, stories, novels, films and articles, available in advance of class meetings. Some classes may be thematic, such as “female detectives” or “Elizabethan heroines,” while others will focus on a single character. Discussions will include reflections from our own lives as well as thought-provoking questions concerning the heroic, touching on issues of culture, ethnicity, and gender.