Join your friends and neighbors in reading Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, Ramona. Then join us for some very special events celebrating this classic American book.
One Book Discussion: Ramona
A special ONE BOOK STEAMBOAT community book discussion of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona, with special guests Valerie Sherer Mathes, a scholar on Helen Hunt Jackson and Indian reform, and Phil Brigandi, historian for the Ramona Pageant, moderating via conference call.
Discuss! Join your friends and neighbors in discussing this classic work of American literature. One of the greatest ethical novels of the nineteenth century, this is a tale of true love tested. Set in Old California, this powerful narrative richly depicts the life of the fading Spanish order, the oppression of Native American communities and inevitably, the brutal intrusion of white settlers. Ramona, an illegitimate orphan, grows up as the ward of the overbearing Senora Moreno. But her desire for Alessandro, a Native American, makes her an outcast and fugitive.
Need a copy of the book?
In addition to finding the book in the library's collection, book club copies of Ramona are set aside for participants in this book club discussion and are available for sign-out at the library front desk. Stop by to reserve your copy, then join the discussion.
About our special guest moderators
Valerie Sherer Mathes holds two degrees from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She is professor emeritus from City College of San Francisco where, from 1967 to 2003, she taught United States History, History of the American West, California History and a two-semester history of the Indians of the United States. Since 2004 she has been an adjunct professor at the same college. Mathes is the author of more than 40 academic articles including Helen Hunt Jackson and Her Indian Reform Legacy (1990) and Divinely Guided: The California Work of the Women's National Indian Association (2012, co-authored with Dr. Richard Lowitt), and is editor of The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson (1998).
Phil Brigandi was born and raised in Orange, California, during the last years of the Eisenhower Administration. He has been interested in local history as long as he can remember, and by the time he was 18, he was on the board of directors the local historical society. He finished his first full-length manuscript just before he turned 19, and published his first real book at age 23. In the meantime, he wrote for the local newspaper, developed historical society's archives, and did research whenever he got the chance. After college, he moved to Hemet, California, to become the historian and museum curator for the Ramona Pageant. Over the years, he has been a historical society volunteer, a museum curator, an archivist, a teacher, a public speaker, a historical consultant, a newspaper columnist, and an author. But he always like to say he's just a local historian.
This is a featured event in the ONE BOOK STEAMBOAT 2014 community read of Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona.