Your Heart’s Desire

In these works of modern fiction, love and desire cross paths in the math department, on the analyst’s couch, in an Israeli garage—and often with surprising results: an arranged marriage heats up, a ménage à trois turns cozy.

This theme is part of the Jewish Literature—Identity and Imagination series, which is an exploration of Jewish literature and culture. Other themes in the series include Between Two Worlds: Stories of Estrangement and Homecoming, Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination, A Mind of Her Own: Fathers and Daughters in a Changing World, Modern Marvels: Jewish Adventures in the Graphic Novel, and Neighbors: The World Next Door.

Book List

  • Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  • The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
  • A Simple Story by S.Y. Agnon
  • The Lover by A.B. Yehoshua
  • The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein

Program Brochure

The humanities scholar’s essay was written in 2004 by Jeremy Dauber, Atran Assistant Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University.

Download the scholar’s essay, annotated book list, and supplementary texts (PDF). Please note: The American Library Association and Nextbook, Inc. are the copyright owners 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.