Octopus Book Club March Edition: Celebrating Women & Literature!

2016 21 Mar
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Octopus Book Club March Edition: Celebrating Women & Literature!

This month, to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8th, we are elebrating women and literature at our book club!

We will discuss 3 books by 3 woman writers. They are: MÃN by Kim Thuy, CELIA'S SONG by Lee Maracle and ORLANDO by Virginia Woolf.

Please see below for book details and dates of discussion.

Please do RSVP by e-mailing events@octopusbooks.ca if you would like to participate in one or more of these discussions.

All discussions take place at our Centretown location @25One Community (251 Bank St. 2nd floor), starting at 6 PM.

This idea is inspired by a talk by Lee Maracle on Women & Literature. Here is the video of her talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0Qihm7CaL4, Enjoy! 

Monday, March 7: Mãn by KIM THUY

A triumph of poetic beauty and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined, Mãn is a seductive and luminous work of literature from Kim Thúy, whose first book, Ru, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, received a Governor General's Literary Award and won the nationwide book competition Canada Reads.

Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Mãn a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal. Thrown into a new world, Mãn discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears. Mãn is a mystery--her name means "perfect fulfillment," yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair. Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.

Praise for Mãn:

"This slim, wondrous book tells a story of love, food, passion and life rooted between worlds." -  Maclean's
"A delicate and vital love story.... The writing is both heartbreaking and insistent." - Toronto Star 
"A story that is ageless and universal, and exquisitely told." - Winnipeg Free Press

** Listen to Kim Thuy discusses Mãn on CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/09/kim-thuy-discusses-man.html.

Tuesday, March 15: Celia's Song by Lee Maracle

Set on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Celia's Song chronicles the experiences of a Sto:lo family over several generations, and vividly brings to life the destructive legacy of colonial times - and a community's capacity for healing. Its richly imagined characters include a sea serpent and a shape-shifting mink who bears witness to the past.

Longlisted for Canada Reads 2015
Shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit Award
A CTV Ottawa Best Reads of the Season (2014)

In December 2014, we hosted a launch of the book with Lee Maracle at our Centretown location. Here is a recording of it: https://soundcloud.com/octopus-books/lee-maracle-celias-song
Please listen to it when you have moments and hope you find it inspiring!

Praise for Celia's Song:

“Maracle does not shy away from the worst social ills pulling the community apart – suicide, alcoholism, and sexual abuse among them – but she denies the fatalistic view, offering room for hope instead.” – The Globe and Mail
“Reading Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song feels like the best breathing I’ve ever done. It’s like finding an unlikely friend who truly recognizes me … both the content and structure of Celia’s Song transcend my limited worldview and expand my experience of humanity.” – Winnipeg Review
“There is no book that I’ve read that has had such an emotional impact. A stunning achievement. It is one of the absolute best books I’ve read in years and years.” – Sean Wilson, CBC All in a Day Book Panel

More about Celia's Songhttp://www.cormorantbooks.com/9781770864160/.

** Listen to Lee Maracle discusses Celia's Song on CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/10/celias-song.html.

Monday, MARCH 21: Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Orlando, a young nobleman and one of Queen Elizabeth I’s court favourites, is the object of many ladies’ attentions, but after suffering heartbreak he prefers literary pursuits to entertaining any thoughts of marriage. Having obtained an ambassadorial post in Constantinople, Orlando falls into a long sleep and wakes up suddenly transformed into a woman. Also blessed with the gift of never ageing, she embarks on adventurous travels throughout Europe and the following centuries, observing what it is like to be female.

A “fantastical biography” inspired by the life of the flamboyant writer Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is an amusing and eccentric jeu d’esprit, as well as a groundbreaking exploration of gender issues.

Read an excerpt from Orlando


All discussions take place at our Centretown location (251 Bank St. 2nd floor), starting at 6 PM.

Please e-mail events@octopusbooks.ca to RSVP!

What do you think?: