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Literary Scholar Considers Immigrant Short Stories’ Relevance Today

Middlebury ~ Scholar Suzanne Brown will discuss three century-old short stories that cast a light on today’s immigration issues in a talk at Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury on November 6 at 7:00 pm. Her talk,Immigration Restrictions Then and Now: Short Stories of Edith Eaton (Sui Sin Far),is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public. 

Brown will discuss three 1912 short stories by Edith Eaton (Sui Sin Far) that examine the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its effects on the Chinese immigrant community. Eaton’s stories explore assimilation issues, family separations, discrimination, and fear of deportation in ways that still resonate in 2019. Audience members are encouraged to read the three short stories— “Mrs. Spring Fragrance,” “In the Land of the Free,” and “The Americanizing of Pau Tsu”—now available at Ilsley Library.

Suzanne Brown recently became a Resident Scholar after teaching at Dartmouth College for over thirty-five years. In 2018 she co-taught a course on the history and literature of Immigration. She is a writer of short stories as well as a literary critic; her articles have appeared in Modern Fiction Studies and other journals, while her stories have been published in Southern Review, Yale Review, and other magazines. She was a Fulbright scholar to Germany and received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the NH Arts Council. She has facilitated public programs on immigration and the place of religion in civic life.

Please note: This talk replaces the originally scheduled First Wednesdays talk, “Blurring the Lines Between Sacred and Secular” with Reverend Arnold Thomas.

About First Wednesdays

The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Middlebury are held at Ilsley Public Library unless otherwise noted. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public. See the full schedule of Middlebury First Wednesdays talks.

The statewide underwriter for the First Wednesdays 2019-2020 series is the Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries.

The First Wednesdays 2019-2020 series in Middlebury is underwritten by The Residence at Otter Creek.

“Immigration Restrictions Then and Now” is presented in partnership with Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ilsley Public Library is sponsored by Friends of Ilsley Public Library.

For more information, contact the Ilsley Public Library at 802.388.4095 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or , or visit www.vermonthumanities.org.

About Vermont Humanities

Vermont Humanities seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning.