Thursday, 13 March 2008

Hoarse, but Happy: Report on a Day Filled with Talk about Books

Yesterday I think I talked more than I ever have. Teachers and broadcasters will scoff at the four hours of class and hour and a half of book discussion I did: nothing unusual for them, I imagine. But I’ve never taught, and I’ve only come lately to leading book discussions. Until four years ago, my stock in trade was getting other people to talk—the old reporter’s task—not talking myself.

But yesterday I’d been invited to give three sessions at Cégep Brébeuf on Green City. It’s being used in an advanced English class, as the jump-off point for a research and writing project about the cities I consider in the book. The young people are Francophone, by and large, and aged from about 17 to 19. (Cégeps come after 11 years of elementary and secondary school in Québec: there are two year programs for kids who plan on going to university, and three year trade programs.) Their questions were interesting, and I enjoyed answering them. It was nice also to be able to invite them to the launch of The Violets of Usambara because there is a Brébeuf connection: the main male character Thomas Brossard, a Franco-American from Boston, spent a year boarding in Brébeuf’s high school program while his parents were divorcing.

Then last night the Atwater Book Club talked about Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française. This is the third time I’ve led a discussion about it, and there is a great deal to talk about. I came home hoarse, but wound-up because the group always has such interesting observations. They got invites to the book launch too, of course.

And for anyone who might be interested, there will be two launches:

The publisher Cormorant Books is
sponsoring one

6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Paragraphe Books

2220 McGill College Avenue (corner of Sherbrooke Street)

The English translation of Hélène Dorion's latest book, Days of Sand (translated by Jonathan Kaplansky) will also be feted.

Then there will be one for Violets alone in Mile End (where a good deal of the action takes place) at

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Librairie L’écume des jours
125, Saint-Viateur West
(corner of Waverley)


Martin Langeland said...

Break a leg,Mary!

Mary Soderstrom said...

Or merde! as they say around here.