Designed for lifelong learners with busy schedules and inquiring minds, the Newberry’s Adult Education Classes dive into the humanities from fresh perspectives. Explore your creative or intellectual pursuits in literature, music, history, philosophy, religion, language, genealogy, or creative writing. Taught by experts in their fields, each class fosters conversation, creativity, and an open exchange of knowledge.

We offer nearly 150 classes annually, ranging in size, duration, cost, and format and held over three terms (Fall, Winter/Spring, and Summer).

 

Adult Education

Annotations to Finnegans Wake

Annotations to Finnegans Wake

$44.95
More Info

The essential guide to Joyce's famously difficult book.

Roland McHugh's classic Annotations to Finnegans Wake provides both novice readers and seasoned Joyceans with a wealth of information in an easy-to-use format uniquely suited to this densely layered text. Each page of the Annotations corresponds directly to a page of the standard Viking/Penguin edition of Finnegans Wake and contains line-by-line notes following the placement of the passages to which they refer, enabling readers to look directly from text to notes and back again, with no need to consult separate glossaries or other listings.

McHugh's richly detailed annotations distill decades of scholarship, explicating foreign words, unusual English connotations and colloquial expressions, place names, historical events, song titles and quotations, parodies of other texts, and Joyce's diverse literary and popular sources. This thoroughly updated fourth edition draws heavily on Internet resources and keyword searches. For the first time, McHugh provides readers with a synopsis of the action of Finnegans Wake. He also expands his examination of possible textual corruption and adds hundreds of new glosses to help scholars, students, and general readers untangle the dense thicket of allusions that crowds every sentence of Joyce's nearly inscrutable masterpiece.

BIG SLEEP

BIG SLEEP

$15.95
More Info
Raymond Chandler's first novel, published in 1939, introduces us to Philip Marlowe, a thirty-eight-old private detective moving through the seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1930s. The case involves a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

$18.00
More Info
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - More than one million copies sold! A "brilliant" (Lupita Nyong'o, Time), "poignant" (Entertainment Weekly), "soul-nourishing" (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid

"Noah's childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa's history that must never be forgotten."--Esquire

Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award - Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy

Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy

$33.99
More Info
Written by major international scholars, this Companion combines analysis of topics crucial to Renaissance tragedy with the interpretation of canonical and frequently taught texts. Part I introduces key topics, such as religion, revenge, and the family, and, uniquely, discusses modern performance traditions on stage and screen. Bridging this section with Part II is a chapter which engages with Shakespeare's generic distinctiveness as well as the difficulties our familiarity with Shakespearean tragedy engenders for our appreciation of the tragedies of his contemporaries. Individual essays in Part II introduce important critical conversations about specific canonical tragedies and provide their own contributions to those discussions. Topics include The Revenger's Tragedy and the theatrics of original sin, Arden of Faversham and the preternatural, and The Duchess of Malfi and the erotics of literary form. Providing fresh readings of key texts, the Companion is an essential guide for all students of Renaissance tragedy.
Changeling: Revised Edition

Changeling: Revised Edition

$14.95
More Info

"The next good mood I find my father in, I'll get him quite discarded"

With these chillingly offhand words, Beatrice-Joanna, the spoilt daughter of a powerful nobleman, plots to get rid of the family servant who has crossed her once too often. The Changeling's vivid tale of sexual appetite, repulsion, betrayal and lunacy remains one of the most compelling tragedies of the 17th century. Exposing the vexed relationship between servants and masters, setting notions of `change' against the revelation of psychological 'secrets' as ways of explaining human behaviour, and exploring the idea of love as a `tame madness', the play reveals the terrifying consequences of ungoverned sexual appetite and betrayal. Featuring the full and modernized play text, this revised edition includes incisive commentary notes which explain the nuances of the play's vibrant, colloquial language and demonstrate its sly delight in the characters' conscious and unconscious wordplay. Michael Neill's illuminating introduction provides a firm grounding in the play's socio-political context, demonstrates how careful close-reading can expand your enjoyment of the play, explains the play's violent linkage of comic and tragic plots and gives theatrical life to the text via a discussion of its stage history, with a particular emphasis on the most interesting recent productions.

The New Mermaids plays offer:
- Modernized versions of the play text edited to the highest textual standards
- Fully annotated student editions with obscure words explained and critical, contextual and staging insight provided on each page
- Full Introductions analyzing context, themes, author background and stage history

David Copperfield (Revised)

David Copperfield (Revised)

$10.00
More Info
'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels' Virginia Woolf

David Copperfield is the story of a young man's adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature's great comic creations. In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his 'favourite child' - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by 'Phiz', a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel's autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

DOCTOR FAUSTUS

DOCTOR FAUSTUS

$14.95
More Info

In Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus a distinguished scholar turns away from learning and embraces necromancy to satisfy his yearning for knowledge, power and influence. Faustus trades his soul to Lucifer for the secrets of the universe, only to find that satisfaction remains beyond his grasp. His quest for fame and thirst for knowledge eventually results in his damnation.

One of the most spectacular and popular plays of the Elizabethan stage, Faustus' fantastical mix of high-minded theology and low-brow slapstick has allured generations of readers and playgoers in the ensuing centuries. Christopher Marlowe's Faustus has been regularly rewritten, adapted, performed, and parodied across the ages, speaking to its tenacious grip upon the public imagination.

This fully re-edited, modernised play text is accompanied by incisive commentary notes, while its lively introduction will helpfully guide you through the fume of fact and legend that has accompanied the play across the centuries, from its premiere in the late sixteenth century to its most recent incarnation on stage and film.

The New Mermaids plays offer
:
- Modernized versions of the play text edited to the highest textual standards
- Fully annotated student editions with obscure words explained and critical, contextual and staging insight provided on each page
- Full introductions analyzing content, themes, author background and stage history

Finnegan's Wake

Finnegan's Wake

$25.00
More Info

Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses, James Joyce set himself even greater challenges for his next book -- the night.

A nocturnal state...That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream. The work, which would exhaust two decades of his life and the odd resources of some sixty languages, culminated in the 1939 publication of Joyce's final and most revolutionary masterpiece, Finnegans Wake.

A story with no real beginning or end (it ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same sentence), this book of Doublends Jined is as remarkable for its prose as for its circular structure. Written in a fantantic dream language, forged from polyglot puns and portmanteau words, the Wake features some of Joyce's most brilliant inventive work. Sixty years after its original publication, it remains, in Anthony Burgess's words, a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (Revised)

Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (Revised)

$19.99
More Info

A New York Times bestseller, this definitive history of Ukraine is "an exemplary account of Europe's least-known large country" (Wall Street Journal).

As Ukraine is embroiled in an ongoing struggle with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence, celebrated historian Serhii Plokhy explains that today's crisis is a case of history repeating itself: the Ukrainian conflict is only the latest in a long history of turmoil over Ukraine's sovereignty. Situated between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine has been shaped by empires that exploited the nation as a strategic gateway between East and West--from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. In The Gates of Europe, Plokhy examines Ukraine's search for its identity through the lives of major Ukrainian historical figures, from its heroes to its conquerors.

This revised edition includes new material that brings this definitive history up to the present. As Ukraine once again finds itself at the center of global attention, Plokhy brings its history to vivid life as he connects the nation's past with its present and future.

Godless Citizens in a Godly Republic: Atheists in American Public Life

Godless Citizens in a Godly Republic: Atheists in American Public Life

$15.95
More Info

If the First Amendment protects the separation of church and state, why have atheists had to fight for their rights? In this valuable work, R. Laurence Moore and Isaac Kramnick reveal the fascinating history of atheism in America and the legal challenges to federal and state laws that made atheists second-class citizens.