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Since 2008, Freebird Books--a used bookshop on the Brooklyn waterfront--has held a monthly book club focused on post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels.

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March’s post-apocalyptic book: The Swan Book

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Apocalypse or not, there will be bookclub. We’re using Zoom to hold meetings while sheltering in place. RSVPing should let you have access to the meeting link. For February we are reading The Swan Book by Alexis Wright.

Oblivia Ethelyne was given her name by an old woman who found her deep in the bowels of a gum tree, tattered and fragile, the victim of a brutal assault by wayward local youths. These are the years leading up to Australia’s third centenary, and the woman who finds her, Bella Donna of the Champions, is a refugee from climate change wars that devastated her country in the northern hemisphere.

Bella Donna takes Oblivia to live with her on an old warship in a polluted dry swamp and there she fills Oblivia’s head with story upon story of swans. Fenced off from the rest of Australia by the Army, its traditional custodians left destitute, the swamp has become “the world’s most unknown detention camp” for Indigenous Australians. When Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia invades the swamp with his charismatic persona and the promise of salvation, Oblivia agrees to marry him, becoming First Lady, a role that has her confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.

Our list of books read or to read can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-MliSYlL5Gm-IG6pmanMg8LEn5Jc4JbqZs_wZPCrIgY

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