December Book Group — Tuesday, December 9
Book: The Human Stain (2000) by Philip Roth (read to the end of the message to see books selected for the first 3 months of 2015)Date: Tuesday, December 9th
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Café In Boca al Lupo, Bonpland 1965 – Palermo (click here for map)
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org (Julia)
Our Book Club will meet next on Tuesday, December 9th.Come enjoy your afternoon coffee with us, and participate in a lively discussion with other BAIN members (feel free to join us even if you don’t manage to read this month’s book–it’s totally fine).Please RSVP so we know how many to expect!**I will call ahead to reserve the seating area on the top floor for us (by the bathrooms) so we don’t have to sit outside in the heat or next to the noisy fan.**
Amazon description of The Human Stain (2000) by Philip Roth.It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished his most virulent accuser. Coleman Silk has a secret. But it’s not the secret of his affair, at seventy-one, with Faunia Farley, a woman half his age with a savagely wrecked past–a part-time farmhand and a janitor at the college where, until recently, he was the powerful dean of faculty. And it’s not the secret of Coleman’s alleged racism, which provoked the college witch-hunt that cost him his job and, to his mind, killed his wife. Nor is it the secret of misogyny, despite the best efforts of his ambitious young colleague, Professor Delphine Roux, to expose him as a fiend. Coleman’s secret has been kept for fifty years: from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman, who sets out to understand how this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, had fabricated his identity and how that cannily controlled life came unraveled. Set in 1990s America, where conflicting moralities and ideological divisions are made manifest through public denunciation and rituals of purification, The Human Stain concludes Philip Roth’s eloquent trilogy of postwar American lives that are as tragically determined by the nation’s fate as by the “human stain” that so ineradicably marks human nature. This harrowing, deeply compassionate, and completely absorbing novel is a magnificent successor to his Vietnam-era novel, American Pastoral, and his McCarthy-era novel, I Married a Communist
The book, as always, is available electronically. (Click on title above for the kindle version on Amazon).Please feel free to join us even if you don’t manage to read the book.Upcoming books:Thanks for your response to the online book survey! Here are our next books according to the voting:January 13: The Invention of Morel () by Adolfo Bioy Casares.Jorges Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy’s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.February 10: Fury (2001) by Salman Rushdie“Life is fury. Fury-sexual, Oedipal, political, magical, brutal- drives us to our finest heights and coarsest depths. This is what we are, what we civilize ourselves to disguise-the terrifying human animal in us, the exalted, transcendent, self-destructive, untrammeled lord of creation. We raise each other to the heights of joy. We tear each other limb from bloody limb.”Malik Solanka, historian of ideas and dollmaker extraordinaire, steps out of his life one day, abandons his family without a word of explanation, and flees London for New York. There’s a fury within him, and he fears he has become dangerous to those he loves. He arrives in New York at a time of unprecedented plenty, in the highest hour of America’s wealth and power, seeking to “erase” himself. Eat me, America, he prays, and give me peace.But fury is all around him. Cabdrivers spout invective. A serial killer is murdering women with a lump of concrete. The petty spats and bone-deep resentments of the metropolis engulf him. His own thoughts, emotions, and desires, meanwhile, are also running wild. A tall, green-eyed young blonde in a D’Angelo Voodoo baseball cap is in store for him. As is another woman, with whom he will fall in love and be drawn toward a different fury, whose roots lie on the far side of the world.
March 10:The Underground Girls of Kabul (2014) by Jenny NordbergIn Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.
**If anyone happens to have hard copies of any of the books, or is traveling and is willing to bring back copies for other members, please let us know either by email or at the next meeting**