The October LDCW book club pick is Mary Sharratt's book ILLUMINATIONS: A NOVEL OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN
Luann Dummer Center for Women (OEC 103)
This year, in honor of its March 2014 Women’s History Month speaker Haleh Esfandiari, the Luann Dummer Center for Women will focus its monthly book club selections on titles that relate to the theme "International Feminism and Diverse Women's Life Stories" and that also feature female characters with prominent roles.
October's selection is Mary Sharratt's Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 288 pages). Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt’s redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.
Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was entombed in a small room where she was expected to live out her days in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta’s masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some thirty years later, Hildegard broke out of her prison with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.
The LDCW book club is open to all members of the St. Thomas community and the public; feel free to bring a lunch and beverage. Those who have not finished or started the book are still welcome to join the conversation. For more information about future book club selections, check out the LDCW's website: http://www.stthomas.edu/ldcw/programs/bookdiscussions/.