Start: 6:30 pm
Each month, the Elliott Bay Book Club reads and discusses the best in contemporary fiction with the occasional classic thrown in for good measure. For February, we turn our attention to Point Omega by Don Delillo. In this potent and beautiful novel, Delillowhich The New York Times calls "prophetic about twenty-first-century America"looks into the mind and heart of a scholar who was recruited to help the military conceptualize the war. We see Richard Elster at the end of his service. He has retreated to the desert, in search of space and geologic time. There he is joined by a filmmaker and by his daughter Jessicaan "otherworldly" woman from New York. The three of them build an odd, tender intimacy, something like a family. Then a devastating event turns detachment into colossal grief, and it is a human mystery that haunts the landscape of desert and mind. "Point Omega has a vortex quality to itmonths after reading it, it still knifes through time, still charms, still resonates and forces me back to the core. This is the one that takes the skin away, that swings at the deep, raw edge." - Colum McCann. "This is a beautiful bookthe most surprising and structurally satisfying that Delillo has written. By slowing down and examining, frame by frame, the high-speed video violence in which our world is saturated, Delillo penetrates more deeply into the mystery of our mortality than you would have thought it was possible for anyone to go. His entire long and brilliant career is encapsulated here, intensely, movingly." - Jonathan Franzen.
Start: 7:00 pm
Thomas Holliday is a composer, conductor, opera educator, writer, and lecturer on operatic subjects and he has directed over fifty operas, operettas and musicals. He visits Elliott Bay tonight to discuss his book, Falling Up: the Days and Nights of Carlisle Floyd (Syracuse University Press), the first full-length study of one of our greatest living opera composers. Combining insights from hundreds of interviews with Carlisle Floyd, his family, and many of the last half-century's greatest singers, conductors, and opera administrators, Falling Up traces Floyd's Southern roots and the struggles and sacrifices that accompanied his rise to operatic stardom. The book includes a detailed evolution of Floyd's fourteen operas as of other works, and is essential reading for opera fans and professions alike. "Introducing a large cast of real characters central to the development of an American opera repertoire, Holliday captures the composer's poetic insight into the medium's essence." — Marc Scorca: President and CEO, Opera America.