MANCHESTER >> Celebrated literary critic and author Ilan Stavans will consider the impact of the novel "Don Quixote" in a talk at Manchester's First Congregational Church on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. His talk, "Don Quixote of La Mancha: The Novel that Invented Modernity" is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series and is free and open to the public.

2015 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the second part of Cervantes's masterpiece "Don Quixote of La Mancha" and 2016 the 400th anniversary of Cervantes's death. To commemorate the occasion, Ilan Stavans, author of a new groundbreaking cultural history of the novel, will ponder Don Quixote's impact on the way we conceive reality as a whole.

Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and other honors, including an Emmy nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Jewish Book Award, the Latino Hall of Fame Award, Chile's Presidential Medal, and several grants. His many books include Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language and Quixote: The Novel and the World.

The Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Manchester are held at First Congregational Church (unless otherwise noted) and are hosted by Manchester Community Library. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.


Upcoming talks in Manchester include "The Wyeths: First Family of American Art" with Shelburne Museum director Thomas Denenberg on January 6; "W. B. Yeats' 'Easter 1916' a Century Later" with Mount Holyoke professor Amy E. Martin on February 3; and "The Future of Investigative Reporting" with New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger on March 2.

The National Life Group Foundation and the Vermont Department of Libraries are the statewide underwriters of First Wednesdays.

Manchester Community Library is sponsored by The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern, The Spiral Press Café, and Vermont Renewable Fuels.