One Book, One Wallingford

The goal of One Book, One Wallingford is to bring the community together in reading and discussing the same book. In 2022, we will be reading…

TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM by Yaa Gyasi

cover of Transcendent KingdomTranscendent Kingdom is narrated by Gifty, a 28-year-old PhD candidate at Stanford University who studies reward-seeking behavior in mice by addicting them to an energy drink and then placing them in a testing chamber fitted with a lever that administers randomly either the drink or an electric shock. But Gifty’s obsessive focus on her research has been diverted because her mother has come to stay, having had a relapse of the severe depression that she has struggled with since the death of Gifty’s beloved older brother. This visit disrupts Gifty’s carefully calibrated world, forcing her to confront the traumatic memories she has been trying to avoid. Religion has been her mother’s source of comfort, but Gifty has turned her back on it, nudged towards atheism by science, and towards science by her high school biology teacher’s belief that Homo sapiens is “the most complex animal, the only animal who believed he had transcended his Kingdom.” Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and shortlisted for 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Washington Post named Transcendent Kingdom “a book of blazing brilliance.” Gyasi’s depiction of Gifty’s struggle for connection in a place where science and faith are at odds is an achingly beautiful story of love, loss and forgiveness.

 

AUTHOR TALK AND BOOK SIGNING
Monday, April 4th at 6:30 p.m.
Paul Mellon Arts Center, Choate Rosemary Hall
332 Christian Street

Meet Yaa Gyasi as she discusses her award-winning book, Transcendent Kingdom. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Stop by the library to get your free ticket!

Yaa Gyasi is a Ghanaian-American novelist. Raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Gyasi received a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a National Book Foundation “5 under 35 honoree. Her debut novel Homegoing won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. It also won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, an American Book Award, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature.

BOOK DISCUSSIONS

There are plenty of opportunities to discuss the book with others! Some discussions will be available virtually. Contact Cindy Haiken, Readers’ Advisory Librarian, at chaiken@wallingfordlibrary.org or (203)284-6410 to participate.

Ashlar Village Book Group
Thursday, March 3rd, 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Ashlar Village*
*Open to residents

Thursday Night Book Group
Thursday, March 17th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Collins Room & on Zoom
Moderated by Librarian Cindy Haiken

Senior Center Book Club
Thursday, March 24th, 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Wallingford Senior Center
238 Washington St
Moderated by Librarian Cindy Haiken

Truth Be Told Nonfiction Book Group: Darkness Visible by William Styron
Thursday, March 24th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Collins Room & on Zoom
Moderated by Educator Susan Gomes

Spanish Book Club
Wednesday, March 30th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Gouveia Vineyards
1339 Whirlwind Hill Rd
Moderated by Daisy Lopez, SCOW

One Book, One Wallingford Book Discussion
Thursday, March 31st, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Collins Room & on Zoom
Moderated by Librarian Cindy Haiken

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS & EVENTS

We have so many other programs and events planned around our One Book, One Wallingford selection! These events focus on specific topics or themes relevant to the novel. Come to some or all!

GHANAIAN FOOD & CULTURE WITH OH SHITO!
Tuesday, February 1st, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room & on Zoom

Kwame Asare of New Haven County’s own Oh Shito! hotsauce will join us for a hands-on cooking demonstration of a traditional Ghanaian dish. Participate in person (space will be limited) or follow along at home!

Register

 

CONNECTICUT WOMEN IN SCIENCE
Wednesday, February 9th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Zoom

Women have been transforming our world through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for centuries – yet they have historically been left out of the conversation and even discouraged from participating in these fields. Today only 25% of STEM jobs in the United States are held by women and more than two-thirds of young women feel they must work harder than men to be taken seriously in STEM. This program traces the roots of those issues and demonstrates the myriad ways Connecticut women in STEM have transformed our world.

Presented by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Register

 

FAITH AND SCIENCE: AN INTER-FAITH DISCUSSION
Thursday, February 24th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room & on Zoom

Over the centuries, science and religion have sometimes been in conflict and other times have existed in harmony and collaboration. Some believe that the two concepts are inherently separate and at odds, while others believe that science and faith are necessary components of a broader understanding of the world and our place in it. Join local religious leaders as they offer their own perspectives on this complex issue.

Register

 

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN AMERICA
Tuesday, March 8th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room & on Zoom

In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. Addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. A panel of experts will discuss the origins of America’s opioid crisis, the current situation, and what is being done at a local and national level to address it.

Presented in partnership with Coalition for a Better Wallingford.

Register

 

UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION AND FINDING HEALING
Tuesday, March 15th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Community Room & on Zoom

In the United States, clinical depression affects 6-7% of adults and 15-16% of adolescents. What is clinical depression? What causes it? What are ways to combat it or support a loved one suffering from it? Michael Balkunas, MD, Chief of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, will answer these questions and more.

Register

 

CONVERSATIONS ON RACE: THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE
Tuesday, March 22nd, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Spanish Community of Wallingford & on Zoom
284 Washington St

The immigrant story is the American story. Listen as immigrants share their personal stories and experiences of coming to the United States, including their individual struggles and triumphs.

Presented in partnership with Spanish Community of Wallingford.

Register