1950 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, M5P 3K9
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One event on October 27, 2022 at 10:30 am
One event on November 3, 2022 at 10:30 am
One event on November 10, 2022 at 10:30 am
Four sessions: October 20 – November 10, 10:30 am
An in-person opportunity for a deep exploration of two books! Join us this fall for our usual lively discussion around two Jewish novels where the settings and the history are of paramount importance.
The first novel, The Promise by Damon Galgut, is set in South Africa and is the Winner of the 2021 Booker Prize. In 1986, Rachel dies after a long illness. Before passing, she expresses her dying wish to Manie that their black domestic servant, Salome, be given ownership of the house in which she resides on the family’s property. This is a promise that is never kept, and never forgotten. The dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country—an atmosphere of resentment, renewal, and, ultimately, hope. The Promise is a family saga, spanning four decades, that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, gorgeously written, provocative and satisfying.
“Simply: you must read it.”—Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine
A Play for the End of the World by Jai Chakrabarti, is set in Poland, New York and India and is the Winner of the American Jewish Book Awards, Best Debut Fiction. Based on the true story of a play produced by Jewish orphans in the Warsaw Ghetto, this fascinating novel is set in 1970’s New York City and rural India. Jaryk Smith, a survivor of the Ghetto, travels to India to collect his friend’s ashes and to help produce the same play he acted in as a boy. He leaves behind his girlfriend Lucy, a free-spirited young woman, with whom his relationship is developing despite the many secrets he refuses to reveal. The novel grapples with such issues as art as resistance, the power of storytelling and the devastation of wars and boundaries. It asks the question: how can one honour the past and the present, and although weighed down with guilt, accept happiness and love? With a PowerPoint presentation based on the play “The Post Office” by Rabindranath Tagore and about Janusz Korczak and the Warsaw Ghetto orphanage.
“A Play for the End of the World looks deeply at the echoes and overlaps among art, resistance, love, and history. Jai Chakrabarti is a lyrical writer, and this is an impressive debut.” Meg Wolitzer (author of The Female Persuasion)
Check out the online, synchronous “redux” version of this course, on November 17 and 24.