H. K. Bush at the Oak Park Public Library, presented by the Hemingway Foundation

Event date: 

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

The allure of literary letters and rare first editions captures the imaginations of three professors of English literature and leads to tragedy in the wake of the Great Kobe Earthquake of 1995 in the first novel by author H. K. Bush

An English professor receives a mysterious package with several smaller packages within it, including a manuscript, from a recently deceased former student. The manuscript tells the former student's story--a story he had never revealed to anyone. As a newly-minted Ph.D. from Yale, Jack Springs, ended up in Kobe, Japan circa 1992, where he encountered a mysterious Japanese professor of American literature, named Goto. The second son of a family of immense wealth and power, Goto was a clandestine collector of literary rarities, manuscripts, and books. Through a series of meetings, Goto provided Jack with a systematic set of revelations about Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and other literary giants, all of which were supported by unknown documents in Goto's possession. With the allure of these revelations, as well as Goto's beautiful niece, Jack was drawn back to Goto's house again and again until the tragic events on the day of the Great Kobe Earthquake of 1995 threatened to destroy all that had been revealed--including Jack's sense of who he was and what he was capable of.

H.K. Bush is a professor of English at St. Louis University, a former Fulbright Senior Scholar in Freiburg, Germany, and a Senior Fellow at Waseda Institute in Tokyo. Prof. Bush is most noted for his work as a scholar of Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. His most recent book, Continuing Bonds: Parental Grief and Nineteenth-Century American Authorship (University of Iowa Press, 2015), is a cultural history of the deaths of children in the nineteenth century in America, and specifically how grief influenced the written works of major American authors. Previously, Lincoln in His Own Time, appeared in October of 2011 from the University of Iowa Press; and before that, Prof. Bush authored a highly acclaimed cultural biography, Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age (2007), and American Declarations (1999). In addition, he writes regularly in popular venues such as Books & Culture, Christian Century, The Cresset, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among others, and is also founder and contributing editor for the Heithaus Haven on-line blog community. The Hemingway Files is his first novel.

Admission is free but it is requested that you register here.

This book lecture series is brought to you in partnership with 






Event address: 

Oak Park Public Library
834 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60301