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Friday, July 22, 2011

Long Novel Weekend, August 20-21, 2011

Held at Walker Creek Ranch, 1700 Marshall-Petaluma Road in rural Marin County.

This year’s Long Novel Weekend will include a dance party Saturday night themed with the novel, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe. Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina and places this autobiographical novel in the rural hill country of his youth. The area was settled by Scots-Irish immigrants who brought their music with them, so our Saturday evening will be filled with the music of the Humuhumus, back by popular demand. Two years ago, we danced to English and Scottish country dancing music (the novel then was Vanity Fair) provided by the same band and all had a great time.

This year, they will guide us through some contra and square dancing with music typical of the time and place of the novel we will be discussing.

The novel follows the trajectory of Eugene Gant, a brilliant and restless young man whose wanderlust and passion shape his adolescent years in rural North Carolina. Wolfe said thatLook Homeward, Angel is "a book made out of my life," and his largely autobiographical story about the quest for a greater intellectual life has resonated with and influenced generations of readers, including some of today's most important novelists. Rich with lyrical prose and vivid characterizations, this twentieth-century American classic will capture the hearts and imaginations of every reader.

"Language as rich and ambitious and intensely American as any of our novelists has ever accomplished." -- Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons

"Look Homeward, Angel is one of the most important novels of my life. . . . It's a wonderful story for any young person burning with literary ambition, but it also speaks to the longings of our whole lives; I'm still moved by Wolfe's ability to convey the human appetite for understanding and experience." -- Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian

"Wolfe made it possible to believe that the stuff of life, with all its awe and mystery and magic, could by some strange alchemy be transmuted to the page." -- William Gay, author of The Long Home

"As so many other American boys had before and have since, I discovered a version of myself in Look Homeward, Angel, and I became intoxicated with the elevated, poetic prose." -- Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

We will be using a paperback edition published by Scribner, a division of Simon and Schuster, which you will need to order and purchase from your local bookseller. The ISBN number is 978-0-7432-9731-8. Plan to arrive around 9:00 AM Saturday. In addition to three discussions of Look Homeward, Angel, you will enjoy four fine meals, entertainment and a party on Saturday evening and free time for exploring or relaxing. You will leave Walker Creek Ranch after lunch on Sunday. Cost: $165.00. For more information, contact Rudy Johnson, Coordinator, 925-846-6084, rudymargejohnson@comcast.net. For information and a registration form click here.