The Dialogue Society Book Group Meeting 12: The Fish Can Sing, by Halldor Laxness

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:00 in Community Engagement
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Where: Dialogue Society, 402 Holloway Road, N7 6PZ
Date: 2nd February 2015
Time: 18:00
With: Dialogue Society staff

About the Dialogue Society Book Group

The Dialogue Society warmly invites you to join us at the twelveth meeting of the Dialogue Society book group. The group explores the capacity of books to provide windows into different cultural and intercultural worlds. We are choosing a series of quality novels to read and then to discuss together at relaxed, sociable gatherings at the Dialogue Society. Participants are welcome to suggest books for future sessions.

Participants will need to find a copy of the book chosen for each meeting, and will need to read it prior to the meeting. Books will generally be available from local libraries.

Over refreshments we will have a conversation about the book and our responses to it. Discussion may cover:

  • the quality of the storytelling
  • the authenticity and accuracy with which a historical/cultural situation is portrayed
  • our personal responses to it

You do not need to be an expert on literature or anything else to join in. The group should be enjoyable for anyone who enjoys a good book and likes discovering new ones.

Publisher's synopsis of The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness:

Abandoned as a baby, Alfgrimur is content to spend his days as a fisherman living in the turf cottage outside Reykjavik with the elderly couple he calls grandmother and grandfather. There he shares the mid-loft with a motley bunch of eccentrics and philosophers who find refuge in the simple respect for their fellow men that is the ethos at the Brekkukot. But the narrow horizons of Alfgrimur's idyllic childhood are challenged when he starts school and meets Iceland's most famous singer, the mysterious Gardar Holm. Gardar encourages him to aim for the 'one true note', but how can he attain it without leaving behind the world that he loves?

Prospective books for future sessions (NB we are open to suggestions):

The Time Regulation Institute, Ahmet H. Tanpinar
The Missing Rose, Serdar Ozkan
An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro
Pearl of China, Anchee Min
The Picture Bride, Yoshiko Uchida

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