In the Garden with Anton Chekhov: A Short Story Class

Saturdays from 10 to 11 am Pacific, June 17 - July 22, 2023

This event has passed.

It’s the garden where love and youth and renewal take place in Chekhov’s short stories and plays.

If you were in the Chekhov short story club led by Brian Bouldrey back in 2022, you may remember the garden’s insistent, transforming presence in “Gooseberries,” and Gurov and Anna meeting in a restaurant in a garden in “Lady with a Pet Dog.”

Nothing bad can happen in a garden, although—as anyone familiar with Chekhov's play The Cherry Orchard knows—bad things can happen to a garden.

As summer blooms for us in June and July, we will consider Chekhov and his gardens.  

Over the course of six weeks, we will read one story each week and gather on Saturday from 10 to 11 am Pacific to discuss the story and its development, its place in Chekhov's body of work, his enduring influence on other great writers, and his proto-environmentalist thinking through his fiction. 

These are the stories we'll read this time:

  • “The Black Monk”
  • “The Man in a Case”
  • “Gusev”
  • “The Hunstman”
  • “Vanka”
  • “House with the Mezzanine”

We will also consider other writers about gardens, including Jamaica Kincaid, Eleanor Perenyi, and Camille Dungy, whose book Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden is new this summer. 

If you are a gardener, get ready to talk about it! Your club leader's favorite word to say aloud is "mulch."

If you miss any of our live Zoom meetings, no problem: A recording of each session will be sent to all ticketholders automatically.



We recommend you buy this edition of Chekhov's short stories so that you have the same page numbers as everyone else during discussions.



Brian Bouldrey is the author of four books of fiction and four books of nonfiction, and he has edited eight anthologies.  His newest work, to be published in November, is Good in Bed: A Life in Queer Sex, Politics, and Religion. He teaches creative writing and literature at Northwestern University and he is the North American Editor of the literacy series Gemma Open Door for Gemmamedia.



Sponsorship funds are available to help make this experience possible if price is a barrier; please apply here.



If you choose to pay $150, you are automatically making a $50 donation to the financial assistance fund. If you pay $200, you are making a $100 donation. Thank you for making this book club accessible to more people.



By Kathryn Rathke