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St. Anne's Book Club - Tuesday, June 26, 7:00 p.m.

posted 9 Jun 2014, 10:26 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 31 May 2018, 04:42 ]
Join the St. Anne's Book Group for our next book gathering. We meet at 7:00 for potluck supper, with book discussion beginning at 7:30.  

Tuesday June 26: Things that must not be forgotten
An important and moving memoir by David Michael Kwan. 244 pages. Winner of the 2002 Canada-Japan Literary Award To grow up in Beijing in the 1930s was to become engulfed in the colossal struggle between ideologies, and between nations, that shaped modern China. Born into privilege, separated from the filthy chaos of the city by servants and limousines and the stone walls of the Legation Quarter, Michael David Kwan felt his pampered life disintegrate as the Japanese overran China in 1938 and the world moved closer to war. Gradually, inexorably, the family was drawn into the maelstrom. Kwan’s father, a wealthy railway administrator, became active in the resistance against the Japanese. Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalists and Mao Tse Tung’s emerging communists were united against the invaders, but Kwan’s father knew it wouldn’t always be so. He had to protect his interests, his family, and his future any way he could. In Beijing, the Kwan household became a gathering place for high-level resistance members. At their summer villa in Baidahe, the family surreptitiously aided the guerrillas in the nearby mountains. In Qingdao, the Kwans lived next door to a Japanese admiral and his wife. From his treehouse overlooking their garden, little David innocently befriended the Japanese couple while his father, now Commissioner of Finance in the pro-Japanese government, secretly worked for the resistance, even sheltering a wounded U.S. airman. Disclosure would have meant summary execution for the entire household. After the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan’s surrender, the family’s problems were exacerbated. David’s father, now imprisoned, had to prove he was not a collaborator but rather a leader of the resistance. China moved toward chaos as the nationalists and the communists vied for power. David, at age 12, was sent to relatives in Shanghai before being spirited out of the country, not knowing if he’d ever see his family again. Things That Must Not Be Forgotten balances the sweet epiphanies of childhood against the grim machinations of war, self-preservation against brutal authority, love of family against love of country. It is a book that will resonate in readers’ minds long after they have turned the final, wrenching page.

The book can be ordered through some bookstores. Is available on Is available in Kindle. There are 9 copies in the Toronto Public Library. (Currently 1 hold.) The ISBN is 9781577667841 for anyone ordering.

Tuesday July 24: Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me 
A wonderful graphic novel, like nothing you’ve read before. A graphic memoir about growing up in the Philippines in the 1980s with Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and the EDSA Revolution. When she learns of her beloved fathersŇ fatal car accident, Mapa flies to Manila to attend his funeral. His sudden death sparks childhood memories. Weaving the past with the present, Mapa entertains with stories about religion, pop culture, adolescence, social class and politics, including her experiences of the 1986 People Power Revolution which made headlines around the world. It is a love letter to her parents, family, friends, country of birth, and in the end, perhaps even to herself.

The book can be ordered through most bookstores. Is available on Is available at Indigo. Is not available electronically. There are 8 copies in the Toronto Public Library. (Currently 6 holds.) The ISBN is 9781772620115 for anyone ordering.

Tuesday August 28: Open Night
Please bring one or two books you’ve read recently and loved.

Join us in the Skey Room of the St. Anne's Parish Hall, 651 Dufferin Street - as marked with the star above.

Upcoming Dates:
  • Tuesday, May 22
  • Tuesday, June 19
  • Tuesday, July 24
  • Tuesday, August 28