The Covenant of Water
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Elaine Newton, Professor Emeritus of Humanities at York University, Toronto
The book to be discussed is
The Covenant of Water
by Abraham Verghese
Set against the lush backdrop of Kerala, South India, Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water presents a sweeping and profound narrative that unfolds across generations. The captivating tale follows a family burdened by an unusual fate — in every generation, at least one family member drowns in the omnipresent waters of Kerala. Anchored in a Christian legacy tracing back to the time of the apostles, family matriarch Big Ammachi witnesses a world undergoing unthinkable changes in her lifetime. With his trademark brilliance, Verghese artfully weaves fantastic moments of humor, poignant stories and lifelike characters to create a story brimming with authenticity. Join Elaine Newton as she discusses this literary masterwork, a beautiful tribute to the sacrifices made by past generations for the sake of those who come after them.
Please note: The Thursday lecture will be held in Daniels Pavilion. The Saturday lecture will be held in Hayes Hall.
Elaine Newton is professor emeritus of humanities at York University, Toronto, Canada. She has taught courses in literary theory and methodology, contemporary fiction, psychology and literature and archetypal criticism. Elaine was one of the founders of York University’s advising program and its much-emulated faculty of education. She is a recipient of the province of Ontario’s Teaching Award in recognition of excellence in university teaching and, in 1984, received a citation as Toronto’s Outstanding Professor. In 1996, she was the recipient of the university-wide Teaching Award. She has held appointments as professor of literature at Carlton University, Ottawa; University of Cape Town, South Africa; University of Sydney, Australia, Victoria University and the University of Otago, New Zealand. She has lectured throughout Canada and the U.S., London, Hong Kong, Zurich and Caracas. In 1992, she was a member of the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester-at-Sea. Elaine retains an abiding commitment to adult education and the role of the university in the wider community.
For over 40 years, Elaine has planned and conducted adult education courses throughout North America. This is the 34th anniversary season of Critic’s Choice literature series and the 28th year she has presented Four O’clock at the Movies. She also initiated and taught the pioneering Artis—Naples seminar discussion program, the Questors, for 12 years. Elaine has worked as a book critic for Toronto’s The Globe and Mail, been a special consultant to the Ontario Library Association, led movie and theater discussions and served as a consultant to the North York Board of Education. She continues to conduct an annual lecture series at the Toronto Public Library and makes frequent guest appearances on TV and radio. Elaine has an enthusiastic and loyal following each season as she offers insightful commentary about contemporary fiction and motion pictures.
View this month's program book to get general information about Artis—Naples and to read articles about this month’s activities.