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Dowd-O’Gorman Reading group Spring Program, May 1

Thursday, May 1, 2014
President’s Dining Room, Reid Castle
Manhattanville College
Discussion Leader: Laurel Peterson

Into our reading group walks Nicole Strauss and tells us The History of Love, a
poignant love story, and as well, a story of the author’s love of story. Alma Singer, a fifteen year old is struggling to cope with the unimaginable loss of her father to cancer, Alma’s mother, a professional translator, struggling with the death of her husband, receives a request to translate A History of Love into English from a mysterious Jacob Marcus. Alma’s parents knew of and were moved by the love story told in this book, and in fact, named their daughter after the Alma of the story, Alma Mereminski. The young 15 year old involves herself in the correspondence between her mother and Jacob Marcus concerning the translation because she believes that the relationship will help relieve her mother’s depression. We follow in its intricate detail the trail of young Alma’s search for the identity of Jacob Marcus and the real author of this book. It culminates in parallel moments of self-fulfillment in the meeting of this young girl and a dying Leo Gursky, the real author of the book and lover of Alma Mereminski, who are the subjects of its love story.

 If you are interested in learning more, please contact Tom Taaffe at