The following blog post was contributed by Katie Wesche, who is currently interning at The Mount:
Known to some as Wharton’s “hot Ethan,” and to others as the “‘50 Shades of Gray‘ of 1916,” the novella Summer stands as some of Wharton’s racier work. Critics panned the book upon publication, regarding Wharton’s foray into summer romance and the sexual awakening of a teenager as an “empty story.” But this lesser-known work has had a renaissance in recent years, captivating younger audiences and adults alike.
In celebration of Summer and summer, The Mount will host marathon reading of the book on August 12 at 1:00 pm. We invite the greater Berkshire community to help us bring this story to life by volunteering to read a short segment – we’re looking for 25 of you, in total! If you’d prefer to enjoy the book as a member of the audience, we encourage you to take in Wharton’s incredible descriptions of mountain landscapes from a breezy seat on the Terrace. Stop by for a chapter or two, or stay through to the classically Whartonian ending. Summer features a Berkshire County setting, a forbidden romance, and shockingly modern themes that resonate even today – everything you could want from a summer read.
And if you’re on the fence, you just might want to give Summer a skim before seeing Ben Stiller’s (yes, that Ben Stiller) unique adaptation of Wharton’s story.
Interested readers should contact Katie Wesche at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1st.