Joanne Kelly's Book Club
Hosted by Joanne Kelly, formerly of SHAW TV and currently teacher of Journalism in the Creative Communications Program at Red River College.
Want to talk books with other book lovers – but without the commitment of a regular book club? Joanne Kelly and McNally Robinson Booksellers have created a new kind of book club open to everyone in Winnipeg.
We will announce a new book at the beginning of each month through McNally Robinson's The Bookseller newsletter. You simply read the book and show up at McNally the last Tuesday of the month to talk about the book. You can pick and choose the books you want to read – and the book clubs you want to attend.
The choice for June 2016 is Susan Barker's The Incarnations (Touchstone), a “brilliant, mind-expanding and wildly original novel” (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.
Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.
So begins the first letter that falls into Wang’s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang’s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,” spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue.
As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for over a century. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer…
Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, literary classics, and the notion of reincarnation, this is a taut and gripping novel that reveals the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.
Susan Barker is the author of Sayonara Bar and The Orientalist and the Ghost, both longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She grew up in East London with a Chinese-Malyasian mother and a British father, and studied creative writing at the University of Manchester. She spent several years living in Beijing while working on The Incarnations, and currently lives in the UK.
Join us on Tuesday June 28 at 7:00 pm in our Travel Alcove for discussion and refreshments.
Get in touch with Joanne through e-mail at jmkelly (at) rrc.ca or with John at McNally Robinson at events (at) grant.mcnallyrobinson.ca or by calling 204-453-0424, ex 227 if you have any questions.
The Book Club's past and future choices include:
November 2016: Lori Ostlund's After the Parade (Scribner)
October 2016: Helen Oyeyemi's Boy Snow Bird (Penguin Canada)
September 2016: Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family? (Gallery/Scout Press)
August 2016: Eli Gottleib's Best Boy (WW Norton)
June 2016: Susan Barker's The Incarnations (Touchstone)
May 2016: Sara Novic's Girl at War (Random House)
April 2016: Akhil Sharma's Family Life (WW Norton)
March 2016: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's Dust (Vintage)
February 2016: Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau)
January 2016: Lissa Evans' Crooked Heart (HarperCollins)
November 2015: Elizabeth Crook's Monday, Monday (Picador)
October 2015: Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You: A Novel (Penguin Canada)
September 2015: Kimberly Elkins' What is Visble: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing)
August 2015: James McBride's The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead)
June 2015: Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage)
May 2015: Lily King's Euphoria (HarperCollins Publishers)
April 2015: Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams: Essays (Graywolf)
March 2015: Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner)
February 2015: Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven (HarperCollins Publishers)
January 2015: William Kamkwamba's The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (HarperCollins Canada)
November 2014: Caitlin Horrocks' This is Not Your City: Stories (Sarabande Books)
October 2014: William Kuhn's Mrs Queen Take the Train (HarperCollins Canada)
September 2014: Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name (Grove/Atlantic)
August 2014: Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Random House of Canada)
June 2014: Katherine Boo's Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House of Canada)
May 2014: Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre)
April 2014: Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni (HarperCollins Publishers)
March 2014: Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist (HarperCollins Publishers)
February 2014: David R. Gillham's City of Women (Berkley Books)
January 2014: Liz Moore's Heft (WW Norton & Company)
November 2013: Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Basic Books)
October 2013: Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds: A Novel (Little, Brown, and Company)
September 2013: Andrew Kaufman's Born Weird (Random House of Canada)
August 2013: Benjamin Hale's The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Grand Central Publishing)
June 2013: Octavia E. Butler's Kindred (Beacon Press)
May 2013: Yannick Murphy's The Call (HarperCollins Canada)
April 2013: Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
March 2013: Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (Random House of Canada)
February 2013: Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy (Penguin Group Canada)
January 2013: Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers (Random House of Canada)
November 2012: Jonas Jonasson's The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
October 2012: Christopher Wakling's What I Did (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
September 2012: Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge (Random House Publishing Group)
June 2012: Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
May 2012: Bobbie Anne Mason's Feather Crowns (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
April 2012: Alan Weisman's The World Without Us (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
March 2012: David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Doubleday Canada)
February 2012: Austin Wright's Tony and Susan (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
January 2012: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (Knopf Canada)
November 2011: Dave Eggers' Zeitoun (Knopf Canada)
October 2011: Jessica Grant's Come Thou Tortoise (Knopf Canada)
September 2011: Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
July 2011: Kate Grenville's The Secret River (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
June 2011: Chang Rae-Lee's The Surrendered (Berkley Publishing)
May 2011: Chris Cleave's Little Bee (Doubleday Canada)
April 2011: Lauren Grodstein's A Friend of the Family (Algonquin Books)
March 2011: Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
February 2011: Colm Toibin's Brooklyn (McClelland & Stewart)
January 2011: Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)