Short stories have the power to entertain, inform, and even heal. Interpreting those stories and uncovering the author’s message is a noble, challenging task. This task is the goal of the study group. Each week two complex stories by two different master authors are vigorously dissected for their ideas. During a lively exchange of interpretations, participants learn from one another and refine their own positions. At discussion’s end, study group members will have a clearer sense of the author’s words and week by week, all become more adept at literary interpretation. There are no prerequisites or specialized knowledge required. The coordinators will provide any necessary definitions of literary terms as well as guidance on how to lead a discussion. The books we will use during this semester will be Dancing After Hours, by Andre Dubus (Vintage, 1997), Back Talk, by Danielle Lazarin (Penguin, 2018), Five-Carat Soul, by James McBride (Random House Riverhead, 2017), Beautiful Days, by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco, 2018).