Love and Forgiveness in the Light of Death

Death often seems to have the effect of bringing to light the truest, deepest values. Great writers, including Tolstoy and Joyce are fascinated by the way humans grope to forgive life for the suffering it inevitably brings—a forgiveness that arises from love.

This theme is part of the Love and Forgiveness series. Other themes in the series include Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom and Love and Forgiveness in the Presence of the Enemy.

Book List

  • Paula by Isabel Allende
  • Disgrace by J. M Coetzee
  • Jazz by Toni Morrison
  • King Lear by Shakespeare
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
  • Everyman by Philip Roth

Program Brochure

The humanities scholar’s essay was written by Betty Sue Flowers, PhD, former director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

Download the scholar’s essay, annotated book list, and supplementary texts (Word). Please note: The American Library Association is the copyright owner of this essay and annotations. The credit lines embedded in the program materials and/or sponsor and funder logos must remain on all published (print and web) materials derived from these materials.

How-To Discussion Programming Guides

Developed to aid participants in “The Millennium Project for Public Libraries,” this how-to guide (PDF) provides basic information about developing and promoting book discussion programs.

When planning a “Let’s Talk About It” program, you may wish to consult the planner’s manual (PDF) for general how-to information about program format, selecting a scholar, promoting your series, evaluation, and more.