Amnesty International Book Club-Nov meeting
October 2, 2017
Bryan Prince Bookseller, OPIRG McMaster and Amnesty International Book Club
present the Amnesty International Book Club-Westdale
Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 1pm
We will be discussing Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson.
Join us for this bi-monthly reading group featuring books chosen from the Amnesty International bookshelf.
Meetings will take place in the Reading Room at Bryan Prince Bookseller.
Free, everyone welcome.
Purchasing the book selection at Bryan Prince Bookseller is not required to join the book club.
For those who do purchase a copy of the book from us, we are happy to advise that a portion of proceeds from book club selection sales will be donated to Amnesty International annually.
Monkey Beach combines both joy and tragedy in a harrowing yet restrained story of grief and survival, and of a family on the edge of heartbreak. In the first English-language novel to be published by a Haisla writer, Eden Robinson offers a rich celebration of life in the Native settlement of Kitamaat, on the coast of British Columbia.
The story grips the reader from the beginning. It is the morning after the narrator’s brother has gone missing at sea; the mood is tense in the family house, as speculations remain unspoken. Jimmy is a prospective Olympic swimmer, seventeen years old and on the edge of proposing to his beautiful girlfriend Karaoke. As his elder sister, Lisa, faces possible disaster, she chain-smokes and drifts into thoughts of their lives so far. She recalls the time when she and Jimmy saw the sasquatch, or b’gwus – and this sighting introduces the novel’s fascinating undercurrent of characters from the spirit world. These ghostly presences may strike the reader as mysterious or frightening, but they provide Lisa with guidance through a difficult coming of age.
In and out of the emergency room as a child, Lisa is a fighter. Her smart mouth and temper constantly threaten to land her in serious trouble. Those who have the most influence on her are her stubbornly traditional, machete-wielding grandmother, and her wild, passionate, political Uncle Mick, who teaches her to make moose calls. When they empty fishing nets together, she pretends she doesn’t feel the jellyfish stinging her young hands – she’s Uncle Mick’s “little warrior.”
We watch Lisa leave her teenage years behind as she waits for news of her younger brother. She reflects on the many rich episodes of their lives – so many of which take place around the water, reminding us of the news she fears, and revealing the menacing power of nature. But Lisa has a special recourse – a “gift” that enables her to see and hear spirits, and ask for their help.
Launched in 2014, the Amnesty International Book Club is a project engaging readers, libraries and book clubs in reading beyond the book. What does that mean? In this book club, not only do we feature excellent literature, but we have challenging discussions and explore human rights aspects of popular novels.