Saturday, 6 December 2008

Saturday Photo: Kicking Up My Heels!

Ron Diamond, the Electronic Rights Defence Committee's treasurer and terrific professional photographer, just sent me this photo of Ms. Julie and me at the Quebec Writers' Federation's gala a couple of weeks ago. Ms. Julie, the saucy librarian who is promoting writing by Quebec English language writers these days, and I were comparing our marvelous shoes. It was great fun to be more than a little silly that night.

And last night was the annual holiday supper of Les Durochères, a group of friends and neighbors who have been meeting monthly to discuss books for more than two decades. Over the years we've evolved a great format for the evening--a sort of tasting menu, where everyone brings little portions of something savoury and something sweet, with all of us sharing the cost of a few bottles of good wine. Among the things we talk about is which was the best book we've read in the last year, and we pick up winner by secret ballot. This time it was Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones with Kiran Desei's The Inheritance of Loss running a close second. Most of us read the books in translation, as nine of the eleven Durochères are Francophones, Desei's book was published as La perte en heritage, while Mister Pip carries the same title in translation. So taken were several with the latter who hadn't been forced to read Great Expectations in high school that they were inspired to read, Grandes Espérances. Their reactions were far more positive than I remember my own: that's one of the delights of reading classics of another literature as an adult.

By the way, in case you're wondering, the name of the reading group comes from the street that most of us lived on with it started meeting, avenue Durocher.

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