Book discussion series reimagines classic works of literature.

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Hanes House

Join us for "Retelling Stories," a new fall book discussion series led by SECCA executive director William Carpenter. For our first meeting, we'll discuss "The Chosen and the Beautiful" by Nghi Vo, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." The event is free and open to the public.

"Retelling Stories" explores classic works of literature from different -- and often under-represented -- viewpoints. These novels give voice to the characters on the fringes of the original narratives, encouraging us to shift our attention to the contexts and subtexts of the original works. In these specific cases, the original works hold very privileged spots in Western culture, and the retellings help us consider how and why such privileging occurs. To read a classic through a new lens is to interrogate the social systems that bestow legitimacy and value.

Support our local book store by purchasing the book from Bookmarks, available here:

Make sure to mention SECCA's book club when checking out in-store at Bookmarks to get 20% off your book club purchase! For online orders, use discount code "20SECCA".


Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She's also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Nghi Vo's debut novel, "The Chosen and the Beautiful," reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.