Our first ever in person meeting today, in the activity room at the library. A couple of work-based absences, but most of us made it there in person, with a rather modern dial-in on Zoom by one member. It worked, after a fashion.
Remarkably, a majority of us had read the book this time, and most of us enjoyed it, some with reservations. We talked about the major themes in the book, as we saw them – loneliness, the ethics of “lifting”, artificial intelligence and its role in society, what it means to be human, and the ambiguity of much of Ishiguro’s writing.
As a diehard Ishiguro fan, I loved the book and found it very engaging. Others found it difficult to identify or empathise with the Klara as an AI, although we generally felt her to be more sympathetic a character than most of the humans! There was much to discuss, and I think I’m safe in saying that we would recommend the book to others.
For next time, we will be reading Paradise, by Abdulrazak Gurnah. Born in Zanzibar in 1948 , Abdulrazak Gurnah now lives in the UK and teaches at the University of Kent. Paradise was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker and Whitbread Prizes. Mr Gurnah won the Nobel Prize for literature this year, “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”. We’ll meet at the library, all being well, on Sunday 21 November, 1030-1130. Please do read along and let us know what you think.
The book chosen for October’s meeting is Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, Kazuo Ishiguro moved to Britain at the age of five. He is a multi-award-winning author, including the Nobel and Booker Prizes. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were both made into successful feature films, bringing his work to an even wider audience. Despite his lofty position as a literary author, his works are accessible and very human. Klara and the Sun was described by The Sunday Times as “A masterpiece of great beauty, meticulous control and, as ever, clear, simple prose.”
We will be meeting at the library before this next meeting to view the space and decide collectively whether to hold the next meeting there or continue on Zoom. If you would like to join, please email email@example.com.
Local author Michelle Inniss has been writing for some time and has had several short stories published. She’s a mother of two, works as a teaching assistant and is completing an MA. She’s lived in Cricklewood for around 15 years. Cathy Tyson keeps thanking her for writing the play, which is based on an a personal experience.
Cathy was so committed to the play that together with Michelle and the director Cara Nolan she founded the production company, Pitch Lake Productions. Preparations started in March, when they kick started the performance with a week long dramaturgy workshop at Clean Break in Kentish Town alongside writer Trish Cooke and actress Jen Daley.
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