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Library Book Displays

A List of Current and Past Book Displays, Including Virtual Book Displays

The Bowie Book Club

The Bowie Book Club

David Bowie's top 100 books

READ Magazine cover.

David Bowie image © Copyright 1996-2019, American Library Association This document may be reprinted and distributed for non-commercial and educational purposes only, and not for resale.  No resale use may be made of material on this website at any time.   All other rights reserved.


The Bowie Book Club

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David Bowie pop art as imaged by Andy Warhol.

Credit: David Bowie Pop Art by Gil Zetbase, Wikimedia Commons



Doris Lessing Centenary Display

"Doris Lessing: Life and Legacy"

Dr. Russell Perkin, Department of English, gave a public lecture about the life and works of Doris Lessing at the Patrick Power Library on October 22, 2019. A book display accompanied the lecture.

Cover Art: Doris Lessing - Life and Legacy

Credit: Doris Lessing Stories (Flickr)


Doris Lessing Centenary

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Black and white portrait photograph of Dr. Russell Perkin.

Credit: Eamonn Mccabe, Photographer (Flickr)

A Book Display to Accompany a Presentation by Dr. Russell Perkin:

"Doris Lessing: Life and Legacy"

Patrick Power Library, October 22, 2019

Doris Lessing: Life and Legacy informational poster.


Doris Lessing, 1919-2013

Notes by Dr. J. Russell Perkin, Department of English

Doris Lessing is one of the most important English-language writers of the twentieth century.  Her novels played a significant role in the feminist movement in the 1970s.  In 2007, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Black and white portrait photograph of Doris Lessing.

Lessing was born Doris May Tayler to British parents in Persia, now Iran.  Her father worked in a bank; he had been injured in the First World War, and he met his wife when she nursed him after his injury.  In 1925 the family moved to a farm in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing left school at the age of fourteen, and moved to Salisbury, the capital of Rhodesia, where she was married twice, and had three children.  With her second husband Gottfried Lessing, she became involved in the small local Communist party.  When her second marriage ended, she moved to England with her third child, Peter, along with the manuscript of her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, which was published in London in 1950.  She wrote a series of five novels between 1952 and 1969 under the collective title Children of Violence.  They follow the life of a woman called Martha Quest from adolescence to the end of her life, and explore issues of gender and race.  Martha’s story is loosely based on Lessing’s own life, though

the end of the last volume, The Four-Gated City, is projected into a post-apocalyptic future.

Following the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, Lessing repudiated her commitment to Communism, and her later work is inspired by the teachings of Sufism.  She re-examined her political commitments in her best-known novel, The Golden Notebook (1962), a work which has been important for many women writers.  In 1974, Lessing published The Memoirs of a Survivor, a dystopian novel that describes the collapse of western civilization from the point of view of a middle-aged woman and a teenager who is mysteriously left in her care.

Much of Lessing’s later fiction rejected the conventions of realism.  Some of it explored what she called “inner space”: the world of the unconscious and of mental disturbance.  Another series of novels, Canopus in Argos: Archives (1979-1983) is best described as science fiction.  In 1984 she returned to a more realistic mode and to the realm of women’s experience with The Diaries of Jane Somers.

Lessing published a large number of books, and a complete bibliography can be found on Jan Hanford’s very useful website, Doris Lessing: A Retrospective.  She was a great lover of cats, and wrote several books about them.  Lessing is best known for The Golden Notebook, but she was also an outstanding writer of short fiction, and stories such as “To Room Nineteen,” “Our Friend Judith,” and “An Old Woman and Her Cat” are often included in anthologies.

For further information:

Jan Hanford’s website, Doris Lessing: A Retrospective, was produced with Lessing’s assistance, and it contains a wealth of information about her life and work:

The website of the Doris Lessing Society also has a lot of excellent material, including reading guides to some of the novels:

Margaret Atwood is a writer who was significantly influenced by Lessing, and she wrote a generous obituary tribute, “Doris Lessing: A Model for Every Writer Coming from the Back of Beyond.”  Guardian 18 Nov. 2013.

Nick Holdstock catalogued Lessing’s large collection of books after her death, and he writes about the experience in “Doris Lessing’s Library: A Life in 4,000 Books.”  Guardian 7 Feb. 2017.


Black and white portrait photograph of Doris Lessing in 1950.                            Cover Art: The Memoirs of a Survivor

Lessing in 1950

Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images, Guardian 13 Nov. 2015


Top photo credit: Doris Lessing, from the dust jacket of The Summer Before the Dark (1973)

Environmental Science

About Environmental Science at Saint Mary's University

A major or minor in Environmental Science will provide students with the necessary academic preparation to understand environmental and resource-oriented issues and to prepare them to contribute to an environmentally sound future.

Red-eyed tree frog.

Credit: Red-eyed Tree Frog.  Andrew Morrfew, Photographer (Wikimedia Commons)

Graphic Novels

Living Ovid

“Living Ovid"

To celebrate the life of the Roman poet, Ovid, Dr. Goran Stanivukovic of the English Language and Literature Department, created a book exhibit in collaboration with the Library, which accompanied Dr. Stanivukovic's presentation on the topic.

Black and white drawn portrait of the Roman poet, Ovid.

   Credit: Latin Poet Ovid (Wikimedia Commons)

Living Ovid

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Marie DeYoung, University Librarian, and Dr. Goran Stanivukovic, English Department, standing in front of the Ovid book display at Patrick Power Library.

Marie DeYoung, University Librarian, and Dr. Goran Stanivukovic, English, September, 2017 

Living Ovid informational poster used for advertising and promotion.

Poster designed by Goran Stanivukovic

The Prison Readings of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s Prison Readings - Celebrating 50 Years since the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Canada

Black and white photograph of Oscar Wilde.

Credit: Napolean Sarony, photographer (Library of Congress)

Almost 120 years ago, Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for the crime of homosexuality. As little as 50 years ago, members of the LGBTQ+ community would have faced similar persecution, even in Canada.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in 1969.

These two events- the 50 year anniversary of decriminalization and the “round number” of 120 years since Oscar Wilde’s death- prompted Dr. Goran Stanivukovic, Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature, to approach The Patrick Power Library with an idea: to collect and display in the Patrick Power Library the books that Oscar Wilde requested while in prison. The list of books appears in Wilde's Complete Letters, pp.791-793, and is included in Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde, pp.319-322, by Thomas Wright (2009).

Dr. Stanivukovic launched the display on September 12, 2019, with opening remarks about Wilde, the significance of the collection, and the context within which Wilde was tried and convicted. Anthropology Student Jared Blois performed excerpts from Wilde’s prison writings, reading aloud from De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Notes by Shawna Murphy, Outreach and Engagement Librarian

The Prison Readings of Oscar Wilde

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The Prison Readings of Oscar Wilde displayed booklist.

Credit: Loz Pycock, photographer, "Oscar Wilde's Library, 'Inside, Artists and Writers in Reading Prison'" (

A Book Display to Accompany a Presentation by Dr. Goran Stanivukovic

Oscar Wilde's Prison Readings: 50 Years Since the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Canada

Patrick Power Library, September 12, 2019




Oscar Wilde's Prison Readings informational poster used for advertising and promotion.



























Poster designed by Goran Stanivukovic and Shawna Murphy


A list of books requested by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment, 1895-1897.

The Waste Land and Modernist Literature

Celebrating 1922: A Good Year for Modernism

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A Book Display to accompany a presentation by Dr. Russell Perkin in the Patrick Power Library.













A Book Display to Accompany a Presentation by Dr. Russell Perkin

“A Heap of Broken Images"

T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at 100
Patrick Power Library, September 29, 2022

Celebrating 1922: A Good Year for Modernism

A Book Display to Accompany Dr. Russell Perkin’s Author Talk:

“A Heap of Broken Images”

T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at 100

T.S. Eliot, photographed by Henry Ware Eliot in 1927.

T.S. Eliot, photographed by Henry Ware Eliot in 1927. ©National Portrait Gallery, London

September 29, 2022, at 1:00 pm

Patrick Power Library Classroom (LI135)

Please RSVP to

Celebrating 1922: A Good Year for Modernism

Notes by Dr. Russell Perkin, Department of English, Saint Mary’s University

Amid the social dislocation caused by the First World War (1914-18) and the influenza pandemic of 1918-20, authors, musicians, and visual artists looked for new ways of expression that would break with the past and represent the experience of modernity.  Their endeavours and achievements became known as the modernist movement.  In literature written in English, this movement reached its high point in 1922, the year of publication of modernism’s two most iconic masterpieces, James Joyce’s Ulysses, published in Paris in February, and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, published in periodicals in the United States and England in October, and in book form in New York in December.  In September 1923, The Waste Land appeared in a limited British edition issued by the Hogarth Press, run by Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard.  Woolf did the typesetting herself.

Two important modernist texts by women were also brought out in 1922.  Virginia Woolf broke with the conventional structure of her first two novels in Jacob’s Room, a work that deals with the First World War.  Katherine Mansfield, who was fighting the tuberculosis that would end her life the following year, published her important collection The Garden Party and Other Stories.

Looking back on 1922, we can see it as a key year in the transition from the Victorian age to the modern world.  According to the American novelist Willa Cather, “the world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald popularized the phrase “the jazz age” to describe the 1920s, the era of prohibition and the flapper.  It is significant that the action of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), the great American novel of the 1920s, takes place in 1922.  The innovations of 1922 that we can see with hindsight as central to defining modernity include radio broadcasting, with the first BBC transmission in November 1922.  Advertising and marketing were developing rapidly, and it is significant that the phrases “mass market” and “brand name” are first recorded in 1922, with “mass media” to follow in 1923.

Literature, Culture, and History in 1922: A Bibliography

Goldstein, Bill.  The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature.  Henry Holt, 2017.

Jackson, Kevin.  Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism Year One.  Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2013.

North, Michael.  Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern.  Oxford University Press, 1999.

Rabaté, Jean-Michel.  1922: Literature, Culture, Politics.  Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Rennison, Nick.  1922: Scenes from a Turbulent Year.  Oldcastle Books, 2021.

Writers of 1922

Notes by Dr. Russell Perkin, Department of English, Saint Mary’s University

All illustrations © National Portrait Gallery

Black and white photograph of James Joyce.

James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish writer from a precariously middle-class family.  He left Ireland to pursue a literary career abroad; following Joyce’s death his work gradually assumed a central place in the Irish cultural tradition.  Joyce published Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922), and Finnegans Wake (1939).  The action of Ulysses takes place on 16 June 1904, and June 16 is celebrated around the world as Bloomsday, after the name of the principal character, with public readings from the novel.

James Joyce (1926) | Berenice Abbott


Black and white photograph of Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was born into a literary family in London, and was a very productive woman of letters, writing novels, essays, and biographies, and operating the Hogarth Press. Following the innovative novel Jacob’s Room (1922), she published the modernist masterpieces Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927) and the pioneering work of feminist criticism A Room of One’s Own (1929).  Woolf’s reputation has steadily grown since her death, and in recent decades she has been one of the most widely studied modern authors..

Virginia Woolf (1924) | Lady Ottoline Morrell


Black and white photograph of Katherine Mansfield.

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) was born in Wellington, New Zealand.  She is known for several collections of short stories which express the experience of consciousness through evocative description and symbolism.  Many of her best stories are based on her childhood experiences, e.g., “At the Bay,” “Prelude,” and “The Garden Party.”  Other well-known stories include “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” and “Bliss.”  In some of her stories set in New Zealand, Mansfield writes with a sensitive awareness of indigenous Māori culture.

Katherine Mansfield (1913) | Adelphi Studios Ltd, copied by Emery Walker Ltd


Black and white photograph of T. S. Eliot.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) grew up in a prosperous family in St. Louis, Missouri.  After studies in Harvard and in Paris, he moved to England to pursue graduate studies, but instead of returning to a professorship in the U.S.A., he settled in London, where he worked in a bank while becoming a central figure in British literary life. Many people are familiar with his early poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”  His major works are The Waste Land (1922) and Four Quartets (1943).  Eliot wrote a great deal of literary criticism, along with a number of plays; however, his biggest popular success is the musical Cats, adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber from Eliot’s book of light verse Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

T.S. Eliot (1926) | Henry Ware Eliot


T.S. Eliot's iconic work of poetry, The Waste Land, was published in 1922 at the height of modernist literature written in English. In the September installment of the Faculty Author Series 2022, Dr. Russell Perkin highlighted several moments in the history of the interpretation of The Waste Land, showing how part of its greatness lies in the very different things it has meant to different readers at different times.