The Quiet Place Book Club

The York Festival of Ideas, in partnership with the University of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, hosts a virtual book club named after the Quiet Place on the University’s Campus West.

The Quiet Place Book Club invites members of the public, staff, students and graduates to join their reading group on Instagram. 

We announce one book each month throughout the year and experts in the Department of English and Related Literature will provide comments and thought-provoking questions  to encourage debate and guide our shared reading. There will also be posts providing expert reactions to literary news headlines, national events, and seasonal topics.

Books in the book club will be related to areas of teaching and research in the Department of English and Related Literature, across all genres and age-ranges, as well as literary events in the York Festival of Ideas 2018. To join the book club follow @quietplacebookclub on Instagram.

May: Norse Mythology

Norse mythology – the myths and legends of the Vikings, in the Old Norse language – is one of world’s great mythologies. And Neil Gaiman is a best-selling, genre-defying author whose work has long been inspired by myths and folktales, not least in his breakthrough Sandman series and his landmark novel American Gods. Our book choice for May, therefore, gives us an opportunity both to sample and enjoy one of the world’s great mythologies, and also to think about how myths are being re-discovered and re-used in modern culture.

Join us on Instagram to enjoy the discussion.

April: Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper

Our book for April is Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: a sweet-sour memoir of eating in China, by Fuchsia Dunlop, a well-known English cook and critically-acclaimed cookery book writer, specialising in Chinese cuisine.

After more than 15 years travelling to and living in China, Dunlop not only brings us to the very heart of Chinese food and food ways, but also to a greater understanding of Chinese people’s relationship to food. 

Much more than a collection of food stories and recipes, this book - Dunlop’s culinary autobiography - is an insightful and entertaining journey, which ultimately addresses cultural acceptance and resistance of foreign food.

Happy reading and bon appétit! Join us on Instagram to enjoy the discussion.

March: Americanah

Beyoncé loves her, so does Dior: but what makes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie so powerful a contemporary writer? Might it be her displays of incisive cultural critique, of black and African feminism? Of race relations and identity politics in the US and Britain? Might it be her vibrant prose or fascinating characters? For our first book club book, we turn our gaze to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah from 2014: a fascinating example of the contemporary global novel.

Join us on Instagram to enjoy the discussion.