Book Group

2018 Book Group News

Hello and welcome to the Book Group Page

If you are interested in reading and discussing books, please do come along to our book group. We do ask that if you are going to come along you really should have read the book.

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

The De Beauvoir WI Reading Group

We meet once a month and discuss the book we chose between us at the previous meeting. We try not to stick to a particular genre or type, and suggestions from all members are welcome – and more importantly – acted upon.

The last book was The Gene: an intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which everyone except one person really liked. She thought it was dreadful – verbose, tautologous, needlessly discursive and badly edited. Everyone else loved the baroque language. We all found the story of the unraveling of the gene/genome fascinating and were glad that we had read the book.

The next book we will be reading is Jagua Nana by Cyprion Edwensi. Written in 1961, it was republished in 1975 as part of the influential Heinemann African Writers Series. It focuses on the contradictions within the life of an aging sex work, Jagua Nana, who lives in Lagos. It has been compared to works by Charles Dickens in terms of its moral assessment of the city and city life and its critique of the social problems faced by people living in those cities. However, it has been noted that it relies heavily on stereotypical depictions of women, hampering its depiction of life in Africa.* Dickens has also been criticised for poorly drawn female characters, so maybe it’s comparable with Dickens’ shortcomings as well as his loftier sentiments. However, unlike Dickens it is very short.

Anyway, we shall be discussing it at the next meeting at 8.00pm on 23rd October at Bavo, 105-107  Southgate Road, N1 3JS. We may bring our dogs!

The meeting after that (November, date tbc) we shall be discussing Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, a loose contemporary reworking of Antigone, without the incest. Or, as the Daily Mail, would have it, “Privileged rich boy meets beautiful girl from the other side of the tracks and falls in love … The story – engrossing, tense, tragic – provides a thought-provoking perspective on the fragile world we live in.” Ali Smith is prepared to say it is a contemporary classic.

If you have any questions about the book group, please do email us.

*That’s to save you the trouble of looking the book up on Wikipedia.


One thought on “Book Group

  1. Pingback: Bees, Cakes, Angels and Suffragettes | de beauvoir wi

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