Even if you can't make it to our monthly Wednesday Afternoon Book Club, you can still read along with us. (And by the way, if anyone would like to start an Evening Book Club, I bet you would find takers).
February's book, due to be discussed on the 14th, is a real journalist's book, by former Time magazine Paris bureau chief Tom Sancton. He first wrote about the complex Bettencourt affair for Vanity Fair in 2010, then just last year, published The Bettencourt Affair: The World's Richest Woman and the Scandal that Rocked Paris. And my question for you, after reading this, is what is the most French thing about this story? Because to me, it seems very French!
In March, we are reading The House in Paris, by Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, who died in 1973. My Vintage Classics edition of this has an introduction by A.S. Byatt. She first read it as a child, almost accidentally, and has reread it throughout her life, making a new judgement of it each time. She describes it as "...a novel about sex, time, and the discovery of identity." I'm looking forward to rereading it almost as much as I am reading it.
It takes place over one day, and involves two children, strangers to each other. There are secrets, an agitated hostess, and a dying matriarch, so I expect it to be complex in a very different way than our February book, although they both feature, in the end, dying matriarchs. I suppose we all have books that we first encountered when too inexperienced to understand them fully. That could be another interesting point of discussion.
Also for you readers out there, AWG is planning a private visit to the American Library in March. Keep your eye on the events calendar!