Cereal & Aesop Book Club

Cereal & Aesop Book Club

Posted on behalf of Cereal Magazine

Cereal & Aesop Book Club:

Cereal is pleased to be hosting a quarterly book club in Bath, in partnership with Aesop. Each session will be open to 15 people, and will involve an informal group discussion focused on one selected book. Meetings will be held in the first-floor library of the Aesop store, where wine and cheese will be served. Cereal's co-founder and editor-in-chief, Rosa Park, will guide every other session, steering an approachable yet serious discussion of the chosen volume. If you would like to join us, please book your ticket and read the selected book in advance, and come to the session with thoughts, considerations and questions for discussion. 

All proceeds of the book club will be donated to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.

Wedesday 22nd May: In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (1933)

Wednesday 24th July: Utz by Bruce Chatwin (1988)

Wednesday  25th September: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (2010)

Wednesday 20th November: Milkman by Anna Burns (2018)

In Praise of Shadows – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (1933):

During a period of accelerating modernity in Japan, author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki composed this ode to shadows and darkness. Delineating traditional Japanese aesthetics, Tanizaki praises all things nuanced and subtle, from the sound of rain on a stone lantern, to the meditative experience of drinking soup from a lacquerware bowl. An exercise in mindfulness and the appreciation of beauty in everyday experience, In Praise of Shadows was first translated into English in 1977, and a new translation by Gregory Starr was published in 2017. 


Utz – Bruce Chatwin (1988):

Utz follows the fortunes of a Meissen porcelain collector in Prague, during the era of the Eastern Bloc, who tirelessly protects his collection from the destruction of the Nazis and the Stalinists. The eponymous Utz is permitted to leave the country once a year to seek new pieces, and frequently considers defecting to the other side of the Iron Curtain. But as much a prisoner of his collection as he is of the communist state, he always returns to Czechoslovakia. A meditation on freedom, art, and our innate reverence for beauty, Utz is Bruce Chatwin’s bestselling novel, and his penultimate book before his untimely death in 1989. 


The Hare With Amber Eyes – Edmund de Waal (2010):

In this family memoir and historical drama, British ceramicist Edmund de Waal traces the history of his inherited collection of 264 Japanese netsuke figurines. The unlikely survival of these miniature, ivory and wood sculptures leads de Waal from the salons of late 19th century Paris, to the grand Ringstraße of interwar Vienna, to the aftermath and regeneration of post-war Tokyo. The narrative simultaneously follows the decline of de Waal’s own family, the Ephrussi, a wealthy Jewish banking dynasty. Set against the tensions of 19th and 20th century Europe, The Hare With Amber Eyes encompasses art, antisemitism, war, exile and endurance - at once as elaborate and intimate as the netsuke themselves. 


Milkman – Anna Burns (2018):

Winner of the 2018 Man Booker prize, Anna Burns’ Milkman is set in an unspecified town in an unspecified time, but points towards the author’s native Belfast during the Troubles of the 1970s. None of the characters are named, bringing an unnerving, dystopian tone to the events of the novel. The book gives the first-person account of a young woman known as ‘middle sister’ who is harassed by an older, married man, referred to as ‘the Milkman’. Set during a period of violent sectarian conflict, Milkman evokes the tense atmosphere of tribal allegiances, as ‘middle sister’ navigates her family and personal life, the restrictions of living in a small community, and the loss of power in the face of sexual harassment. 

22 May 2019 at 6:30pm
until 22 May 2019 at 8:30pm
Aesop Bath
16 New Bond Street

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