Thursday, July 4, 2019

Sunday with Friends: Honoring James H. K. Norton

On Sunday, July 14th at 2 pm, the Friends of Vineyard Haven Public Library present an afternoon honoring Jim Norton, South Asian scholar and author of "Walking in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts". The program will feature an introduction by Nis Kildegaard, and comments by Bow Van Riper of the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Dr. Norton will read from his essays on Vineyard history. Refreshments in the library garden will follow the talk. The library will open at 1:30 pm for this event. 

Jim Norton is a 10th generation descendant of the first Norton settlers on Martha's Vineyard in the mid 17th century. He received a B.S. degree from Yale University, B.A. and M.A. degrees in Sanskrit from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Indian philosophy from the University of Madras in India. Dr. Norton spent five years in India, first as a Ford Foundation scholar while doing graduate work at the University of Madras. He taught for 10 years at the College of Wooster, where he was associate professor of religion and chairman of the Department of Indian Studies. He has also taught at Madurai University, Boston University, and Oberlin College. 

In 1973 he returned to Martha's Vineyard to manage the family farm, commit his concern for education to the Island public schools, and delve into the distinctive history of the Island's past. He has written a number of articles on Island History, Indian Philosopy and comparative Eastern and Western though, and is the author of "India and South Asia" in the Global Studies Series published by McGraw-Hill, now in its 9th edition. For more than a decade, Jim gave annual seminars as part to the Vineyard Haven Library's adult lecture series, beginning with a talk on Afghanistan, following the September 11th, 2001 attacks. 

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library support a variety of programs for both adults and children throughout the year, including an annual summer event honoring an author with ties to the Vineyard. Past honorees have included Geraldine Brooks, Art Buchwald, Stephen Carter, Phil Craig, Jules Feiffer, Lillian Hellman, John Hough, Jr., Ward Just, David McCullough, Holly Nadler, Cynthia Riggs, Rose Styron, William Styron, Shakespeare for the Masses creators Nicole Galland and Chelsea McCarthy, and Amor Towles. For more information contact the Vineyard Haven Public Library, (508) 696-4211.

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