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Festival Reading Group

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Upcoming Discussions

February 22 –

The Last Minute Updale (Medium)The Last Minute by Eleanor Updale

9.21am: business as usual on a high street in England.

9.22am: the explosions are heard for miles around, and in the early confusion there is talk of a gas leak, a plane crash, and even terrorism . . .

The people of Heathwick had been preparing for Christmas unaware that many would die, and the rest would be transformed for ever. Travel with them, second-by-second, through the hopes, fears, love, worries, gossip, cruelty, kindness and trivia that dominated their final minute before tragedy struck.

And in the everyday story of an ordinary street, look for clues to what happened, and why.More information on the book is available here.

The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion by Kei Miller

The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to ZionIn this collection, acclaimed Jamaican poet Kei Miller dramatizes what happens when one system of knowledge, one method of understanding place and territory, comes up against another. We watch as the cartographer, used to the scientific methods of assuming control over a place by mapping it, is gradually compelled to recognize – even to envy – a wholly different understanding of place, as he tries to map his way to the rastaman’s eternal city of Zion. As the book unfolds the cartographer learns that, on this island of roads that ‘constrict like throats’, every place-name comes freighted with history, and not every place that can be named can be found.

More information on the book is available here.

Group details and registration

The group meets from 7:30-9:00pm at the World Trade Club, 33rd Floor of Dubai World Trade Centre Tower; meetings generally fall on a Wednesday. Note that this group is exclusively for adults (18+); for the Children’s Reading Group, click here. If you are not already a member of the FRG, please register by sending an email to annabelle.corton@litfest-archives.com/2017. If you are an FRG member and wish to attend, please RSVP to this same email address.

This is an English Reading Group. To register for the Arabic one, please click here.

Buying FRG Books

10 copies of the Festival Readiing Group book will be available from Magrudy’s Juemirah at least one month prior to the date the book will be discussed.

Many FRG members now use e-readers and some of the titles will be available in this format.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email: annabelle.corton@litfest-archives.com/2017

Happy Reading and we look forward to discussing books with you all very soon!

Dates and titles for 2016-17

All sessions are on Wednesdays, 19:30-21:00.

  • May 18 – Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
  • July 20 – The Death of an Owl by Paul and Piers Torday
  • August 17 – The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela
  • September 21 – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  • October 19 – A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
  • November 16 – The Angels Die by Yasmina Khadra
  • December 7 – The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
  • January 11 – Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh
  • February 22 – The Last Minute by Eleanor Updale; A Cartographer Tries to Map a way to Zion by Kei Miller

We plan to cover a range of genres and to read at least one book in translation.

The Festival Reading Group session at the 2016 Festival

This is our annual opportunity to meet some of the writers whose work we have enjoyed, debated and exchanged views on over the year. 2016′s panel, Victoria Hislop, Anchee Min and Helen Macdonald, shared the inspiration behind their books, the challenges they have faced on their paths to becoming writers and what we can expect from them in the future. We’re already planning for 2017, so watch this space!


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