"The ray of light has to know where it will ultimately end up before it can choose the direction to begin moving in.”

-- Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others

CHQ Assembly Week 2 on Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives

We like to think we have ultimate freedom of choice. Yet every product or experience we can possibly consider has been carefully selected for us by a mostly invisible class of societal gatekeepers and tastemakers. Our choices are not only limited, but also affected by everything from explicit advertisements and an industry of “influencers” to secretive campaigns and algorithms.

Browse titles by this week's assembly contributors here

More suggested reading:

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do Cover Image
Facebook: The Inside Story Cover Image
How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information Cover Image
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work Cover Image
Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State Cover Image
Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs Cover Image
The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity Cover Image
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism Cover Image
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do Cover Image
Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass Cover Image

"A glacier is essentially suspended energy, suspended force. It is time, in that sense, life, frozen in time. But now, these frozen rivers of time are themselves running out of time."

-- Dahr Jamail, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

The first CLSC presentation of the season goes live later today, Thursday 7/2, on CHQ Assembly.

EDIT 7.3.2020: We do not yet have the signed bookplates mentioned during the presentation onhand; if you would like your book to wait to ship until we can include one, please let us know in your order notes.  Thank you!

Available editions:

Staff Pick Badge
The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption Cover Image
Staff Pick Badge
The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption Cover Image
Staff Pick Badge
The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption Cover Image

“What happens when you plant a tree? What happens when you wield a shovel in one hand (a human artifact) and a tree (a provisional mystery) in the other?...What happens when you consider your actions in terms of your ecological and cultural legacy?”

CHQ Assembly Week 1 on Climate Change: Prioritizing Our Global and Local Response

How we talk about climate change is rapidly shifting. But amid the ongoing political debates, how are we — and should we be — responding?

Browse titles by this week's assembly contributors here

More suggested reading:

Staff Pick Badge
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore Cover Image
Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts about How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products Cover Image
The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here Cover Image
The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change: Second Edition Cover Image
The Climate Report: National Climate Assessment-Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States Cover Image
Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness Cover Image
Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? Cover Image
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference Cover Image
Here: Poems for the Planet Cover Image
Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate Cover Image

CHQ Authors Convening: Writers' Festival Authors

Here in the After: Writing Toward (More) Uncertain Futures
Wednesday, June 24 / 1 p.m. EDT-- Chautauqua Literary Arts

Join the 2020 (now the 2021) Chautauqua Writers’ Festival faculty for this webinar and Q-and-A about the role of writing about the pandemic, writing out the pandemic, and writing past the pandemic. How has our writing changed? Must it change, in light of recent events? In lieu of the festival, canceled due to the pandemic, the festival director and faculty will convene to talk about what it means to write toward an even (more) uncertain future and what this has meant for their own writing practices, lives, and communities. Featuring Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Martha Collins, Porochista Khakpour, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, and Jess Row.

Register on Zoom

Selection of Faculty Titles:

Children of the Land Cover Image
Night Unto Night: Poems Cover Image
Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity Cover Image
Somebody's Daughter: A Novel Cover Image
White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination Cover Image
How Narrow My Escapes Cover Image
Cenzontle (A. Poulin #40) Cover Image
Because What Else Could I Do: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) Cover Image
Sick: A Memoir Cover Image
Your Face in Mine: A Novel Cover Image

The Chautauqua Bookstore is Re-opening!

The Bookstore is very pleased to announce that it is reopening under a phased schedule. The store will be open for curbside pickup starting Saturday June 13th thru Monday the 15th. We will be open for regular in-store shopping starting on Tuesday the 16th between 9am and 5pm. It is expected that those will be the regular hours of operation (9-5) throughout the summer, but they are subject to change.

For curbside pickup, guests may call the Bookstore number at 716.357.2151 or email us at bookstore@chq.org. For the present, this service will be limited to book shopping. You can call between 9 and 5 to speak with someone, or leave a message for us to call you back at any time. Leave your name and number, and the title of the book if you know it. We will call you back to confirm we have what you want, take your charge card number and process the transaction inside the store. We will then meet you outside the Bookstore between 4 and 5 pm that day and give you a bag with your order in it. As we gauge the success of this process, we will expand the service to include other products. (Online orders including non-book items may use curbside pickup, as the desired items can be identified easily and accurately).

Once we bring guests inside the store we ask that they follow established procedures for keeping health risks for the community to a minimum. The Institution has been painstaking in its commitment to developing plans and procedures whose primary purpose is to maintain the health of staff, visitors, and community residents. Each part of the Institution has developed procedures particular to its role as a supporter of the community.

Inside the Bookstore those things will include:

  • Asking all staff, visitors, and guests to wear face masks while inside the store
  • Asking that everyone who enters the store sanitize their hands - sanitizing station located to left as you enter the store
  • Asking everyone to maintain the accepted social distancing space of 6 ft.
  • Asking that parents or guardians accompany all children under the age of 12
  • Asking that dogs be left outside of the store
  • Asking guests to pay with forms other than cash at this time. We will accept credit cards, gift cards and checks
  • Asking that guests pay attention to the markings on the floor that indicate which way traffic in an aisle should flow
  • Asking that guests be cognizant of the fact that only a limited number of people will be allowed into the store at a time; currently that number is projected to be 40

An important thing to let people know is that, at least for the time being, the Bookstore will not be carrying newspapers. In an effort to keep the number of guests in the store at a manageable level, and because the number of people coming in for only the newspaper can make that number swell significantly - especially on Sundays - this question has been carefully considered. It is certainly possible that as we gather more information about how the entire process is moving along, the decision will be reconsidered. In the meantime, we apologize for this very significant inconvenience.

This has certainly been a very challenging time for everyone. The Bookstore has, for many Chautauquans over the years, been a sanctuary.... even amongst the tranquil grounds of the Institution. Our hope is that we will be able to work out a way to make this continue to be true. Blessings to all of you, and wishes for a safe and health 2020 Season.

Earl Rothfus
Bookstore Manager

2020 Chautauqua Prize Winner Announced!

Chautauqua Institution is proud to announce Petina Gappah’s Out of Darkness, Shining Light (Scribner) as the 2020 winner of The Chautauqua Prize.

A powerful novel of exploration and adventure in 19th-century Africa, Out of Darkness, Shining Light is a captivating story of those who carried explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingstone’s body across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England. “Rather than repeating the usual legend of the Livingstone expedition, Gappah reinvents the story to reveal the tyranny and complexity of colonial power,” one reader wrote, and the author’s “inspired treatment and graceful prose breathes life into her riveting account.” Another called the work a “Homer-esque, cross-cultural mini-epic; … the odyssey itself is a pleasure in prose.”

Gappah said she was “delighted” to accept the 2020 Chautauqua Prize:

“My primary identity is that of a reader, so it is wonderful to receive an award that is given to books that offer a ‘richly rewarding reading experience,’” Gappah said. “I am grateful that through the power of this award, Livingstone’s companions will now travel to readers who might otherwise not have heard of them. Thank you so much to Chautauqua Institution for this honor, but most of all, thank you for your abiding belief in the power of literature.”

The Chautauqua Prize, this year awarded for the ninth time, is an annual prize that celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.

Read the full announcement and learn more about the Chautauqua Prize

Out of Darkness, Shining Light will count toward CLSC graduation requirements.  Registered CLSC members, remember to use the code THISLAND at checkout for 20% off this title!

Available Formats:

Staff Pick Badge
Out of Darkness, Shining Light: A Novel Cover Image
Staff Pick Badge
Out of Darkness, Shining Light Cover Image
Staff Pick Badge
Out of Darkness, Shining Light Cover Image