Book Discussion of this year’s 2021 Kentucky Reads selection “The Birds of Opulence”

Book Discussion of this year’s 2021 Kentucky Reads selection “The Birds of Opulence” image
  • August 25, 2021

This year, Kentucky Humanities has selected Crystal Wilkinson’s The Birds of Opulence for its Kentucky Reads program. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the dynamics of family and community, the strength of women, and the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

Winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. Crystal Wilkinson offers up Opulence and its people in lush, poetic detail. It is a world of magic, conjuring, signs, and spells, but also of harsh realities that only love—and love that’s handed down—can conquer. At once tragic and hopeful, this captivating novel is a story about another time, rendered for our own.

“Crystal Wilkinson’s beautiful and timely novel will encourage important conversations throughout the state that help us look at what it means to be from a place and to focus us all on seeing our commonalities rather than focusing on what separates us,” said Bill Goodman, Kentucky Humanities Executive Director.

We were thrilled to have Elizabeth Glass, Humanities professor at the University of Louisville, lead our discussion of the book in Oxmoor’s beautiful library on Wednesday, August 25.  The library at Oxmoor was the perfect place to have a book discussion.  We look forward to hosting more events like this one in the future at Oxmoor!

This program was funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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