Join us for our December meeting, where we will discuss Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table, a novel chronicling a boy's journey by ship from Sri Lanka to England.
From The New York Times Sunday Book Review:
In “The Cat’s Table,” Ondaatje seems to lead the reader on a journey through three deeply submerged weeks in his own memory — from the year 1954, when, at age 11, he traveled on the ocean liner Oronsay from Colombo, in what was then Ceylon, to England, a passage that would lead him from his past to his future self. As the novel opens, prominent passengers are granted seats at the captain’s table, but young Michael (nicknamed Mynah) and the two boys he befriends, Cassius (a troublemaker) and Ramadhin (a contemplative asthmatic), are relegated to a table of dubious characters: a mute tailor, a retired ship dismantler, a pianist who has “hit the skids,” a botanist and a lady who hides pigeons in the pockets of her jacket, and reads thrillers in her deck chair, flinging them overboard when they bore her.
Reading Michael Ondaatje’s mesmerizing new novel, “The Cat’s Table,” is like being guided, just as surely and just as magically, through the author’s lustrous visions. --Liesl Schillinger, October 14, 2011.