Registration is open for the Tampa Bay Great Books Winter Conference Weekend – “Great Novels of the 21st Century” – January 26th and 27th, 2019, in St. Petersburg, FL. Click here for the registration form and keep reading for more information about the conference.

After many seminars, classes and book conferences, the Tampa Bay Great Books Council turns from the past to the future as we examine literature which may come to be known as “Great Novels of the 21st Century” in our 14th annual Great Books Conference Weekend.

Winner, 2001 National Book Award for Fiction

Three great novels, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Attonement by Ian McEwan, and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, span the early 21st century and address issues of wars, class differences, family relationships, post-industrialism, globalization, and the information economy. We’ll watch as the characters endure or manipulate their surroundings for their benefit, and our enjoyment.

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen, is a comic-tragic epic of a family stretching from the Midwest of the mid-20th century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today. Atonement, by Ian McEwan, is a novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, tells the story of fathers and sons written in the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister, John Ames. These works are already considered “classics” in our own time; will they be considered “Great Books” by the end of our century?

Shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction

All discussions will be guided by experienced Great Books moderators skilled in the techniques of “shared inquiry” and will take place at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton,  333 First Street SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

The conference starts on Saturday morning (1/26/19) and concludes by noon on Sunday (1/27/19). Deeply-discounted rooms at $160 (1 King bed) or $180 (2 Double beds), plus room taxes, will be available to our registrants via a special Hilton reservation site:, or call toll free at 1 800 Hiltons.

2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novel

Conference registration fee is only $189 per person and includes: Saturday and Sunday breakfast, catered Saturday lunch, and the three books. Parking is not included but discounted to $12 per day. To facilitate discussion, participants are required to use only the editions provided by the Tampa Bay Great Books Council.  Those registrants who wish to bring a non-participating guest (spouse, friend, etc.) must include an additional $79 when registering. Click here for the registration form and all the details. For questions, contact Patrick DeMarco (

We hope that you will be able to join us for an exciting weekend of intellectual stimulation, cultural enrichment, and enjoyable socialization—all in Great Books style!

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Things to Know About This St. Pete and This Event

* The St. Petersburg Hilton is about a five-minute walk from the world-famous Salvador Dali Museum.
* Downtown St. Pete is one of the fastest-growing mid-city residential areas in the Southeast, with scores of new restaurants blooming among the condo towers.
* The St. Petersburg Bayfront shoreline has not been affected by recent storms or algae blooms (“red tide”).
* The St. Pete Bayfront Hilton has a private pool (guests only) and exercise facility.