Fem Book Club is an introduction to a diverse range of novels by women about women. Through informal conversation about each text this Fem Book Club will focus on the manifold experiences of being a woman through different moments in history and across varying communities. We will think about and challenge what it means to be a woman as an assumed universal experience. We will look at how women of colour, transgender and non-binary identifying writers, or those who suffer with mental health issues have vastly different experiences of ‘feminism’ or what it is to be a woman. Each month we will focus on an individual text and use it as a departure point to discuss the authors' wider oeuvre and importance in the realm of feminist conversation — how can we use these stories to navigate the world or inform how we think about our place within it?
Your host for Fem Book Club is Kelly Fliedner who has a diverse practice as a writer, curator, teacher, producer and… book club master! Recently Kelly has worked with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, based in South India, as Writer and Editor. Previously she was based in Melbourne and held various roles at West Space, a contemporary art organisation, Monash University Museum of Art, La Trobe University, and MPavilion. In 2016 she worked on creative projects for Next Wave Festival, Melbourne and the Biennale of Sydney.
BOOK #1 — Rebecca Solnit The Faraway Nearby
Activist and writer Rebecca Solnit is widely attributed as having created the portmanteau ‘mansplaining’ with her 2008 essay Men Explain Things To Me, and she often writes on the environment, politics, place and art. Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby defies categorisation and creatively wanders between differing forms, subjects and moments in time. It is part memoir, literary criticism, travelogue and prose poetry and explores the difficult and complicated relationship between herself and her mother who is suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. The Faraway Nearby is an exploration of empathy and the role of storytelling — a perfect way to start this Fem Book Club at the Centre for Stories!
If you’re keen to come to each session, order and purchase the texts as soon as possible as some—like Faces in the Water—might be a little difficult to source. The Centre for Stories preferred bookstore is Boffins. We value our local book sellers and think they are an important part of the literary community. Boffins may not stock all of the books in our book club or the authors from our events, but you can order books through them and they will tend to your needs in a timely fashion. Please visit them here. Mention our name for 10% off!
Please, don’t hesitate to contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. This will be a friendly and relaxed environment so bring a plate to share if you like and an open frame of mind. Reading the book and participating in conversation is a must! RSVPS are essential. Confirm your attendance using the form below.
Other Fem Book Club texts:
BOOK #2 — Wednesday 3 May 5.30-7.30pm — Zadie Smith NW
BOOK #3 — Wednesday 31 May 5.30-7.30pm — Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye
BOOK #4 — Wednesday 19 July 5.30-7.30pm — Alexis Wright The Swan Book
BOOK #5 — Wednesday 2 August 5.30-7.30pm — Maggie Nelson The Argonauts
BOOK #6 — Wednesday 30 August 5.30-7.30pm — Janet Frame Faces in the Water