Tag Archives: Fiction

Summer Fiction Reading: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Our Summer Fiction reading for 2020 is Flights by Olga Tokarczuk. The discussion will be held online on Wednesday 26th August.

We will meet to discuss the text from 7.30-9.30pm. Please register to access details of the video call via Eventbrite.

A member of our group, Dawid Majer, has selected Tokarczuk’s book Flights for us to read – and will introduce it. The book was originally published in Polish in 2007 – and, in English translation by Jennifer Croft, won the Man Booker International prize in 2018. For a brief introduction, this article covers Tokarczuk’s work. This article also covers the awarding of the 2019 Nobel prize for literature to Tokarczuk.

Another article covers Flights specifically, summarising: “In Flights, she meditates on travel and human anatomy, moving between stories including the Dutch anatomist who discovered the Achilles tendon when dissecting his own amputated leg, and the tale of Chopin’s heart as his sister transported it from Paris to Warsaw”.

decorative - cover of book

Speculative Fiction, 28th August 2019

August’s session will be on Speculative Fiction – it will be on a Wednesday 28th August, 7.30-9.30pm at Black Book Cafe.
We will focus on two short stories:
“Will the Circle be Unbroken?” by Henry Dumas and
“Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler.
Download both stories in this pdf (which also features a short afterword in the case of Butler’s story).
The stories have been selected by Ronnie McGrath, a former Creative Writing Director at the University of the Arts, who currently teaches speculative fiction at Imperial College London. Ronnie is also the author of two poetry collections, Gumbo Talk (2010) and Data Trace (2010), the novel On the Verge of Losing It (2005), and the chapbook, Poems from the Tired Lips of Newspapers (2003). He has work in IC3, The Penguin Book of New Black
Writing in Britain, Filigree (2018), and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered (2017). Ronnie is also a painter, who has held a solo exhibition at Goldsmiths College and the Commonwealth Institute (2018), and spoken at Bristol University on the subject of “The Consciousness of Black Art”.
The stories are both from larger collections – which you may wish to read more of over the summer (though our discussion will remain focused on the two stories, which will be more than enough to discuss over 2 hours):
Dumas’ story is included in Dark Matter II: Reading the Bones (2004), which won the World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology in 2005.
Butler’s is part of her own collection Bloodchild and other stories (1995 / 2005 edition with two additional stories). The title story won the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.
Stroud Radical Reading Group events are free to attend but we ask for a donation of £2-3 from anyone who can afford it to cover venue costs. Please contact us about any accessibility requirements. We aim to make the sessions a welcoming space for anyone interested in the topic, you do not need to have a university education or have ever been to a reading group before, and we even welcome people who have not read the text but would like to listen! Please contact us if you have any questions.