In this session of the Dialogue Society Book Group, we will explore Bird Summons by Leila Aboulela on Tuesday, 28th February 2023.
Salma, happily married, tries every day to fit into life in Britain. When her first love contacts her, she is tempted to risk it all and return to Egypt.
Moni gave up a career in banking to care for her disabled son, but now her husband wants to move to Saudi Arabia – where she fears her son’s condition will worsen.
Iman feels burdened by her beauty. In her twenties and already in her third marriage, she is treated like a pet and longs for freedom.
On a road trip to the Scottish Highlands, the women are visited by the Hoopoe on a remote hillside in Inverness, a sacred bird whose fables from Muslim and Celtic literature compel them to question the balance between faith and femininity, love, loyalty and sacrifice.
Brilliantly imagined, intense and haunting, Bird Summons confirms Leila Aboulela’s reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.
About the Dialogue Society Book Group
The Dialogue Society Book Group explores the capacity of books to provide windows into different cultural and intercultural worlds. We will be 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.
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.