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Best Contemporary World Literature discussed by sophisticated culture aficionados and travelers. Join our discussions of books and movies and experience richness of wisdom & creativity from around the world.

Upcoming events (2)

Portugal: "Death with Interruptions" by Jose Saramago

Toronto Reference Library

Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant novel poses the question—what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

Greece-1: "House of Names" by Colm Tóibín

Toronto Reference Library

From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra—spectacularly audacious, violent, vengeful, lustful, and instantly compelling—and her children. "A dramatic, intimate chronicle of a family implosion set in unsettling times as gods withdraw from human affairs. Tóibín explores universal themes of failure, loss, loneliness, and repression.” "Clytemnsestra, narrating in the first person, is a captivating and terrifying figure, heartbroken and ruthless in her lust for power... Tóibín captures the way that corruption breeds resentment and how resentment almost unstoppably breeds violence. The original myths established these characters as the gods' playthings, but Tóibín reframes this version in a 'time when the gods are fading' the besster to lay the blame for our human failures plainly on ourselves." (Kirkus Reviews) “A taut retelling of a foundational Western story…this extraordinary book reads like a pristine translation rather than a retelling, conveying both confounded strangeness and timeless truths about love’s sometimes terrible and always exhilarating energies.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)

Past events (46)

Holland-1: "The Dinner" by Herman Koch

Toronto Reference Library

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