Monday 25 October 2021
The SNFCC Book Club meetings resume in October, featuring books selected by staff of the National Library of Greece and welcoming the poet and translator Krystalli Glyniadaki as moderator. Glyniadaki has authored three poetry collections in Greek and has been honored with the Greek National Literature Award for Poetry (2018) for her latest collection, The Return of the Dead. Her poems have been translated into English, Turkish, German, Slovenian and Italian, while Glyniadaki herself has translated numerous volumes, mostly of Norwegian literature.
Book lovers renew their rendezvous for Monday, October 25, 2021, to meet up and discuss the book they read over the past month. The circle of readers will once again have the opportunity to share experiences, feelings and ideas, as well as to make new friends and exchange viewpoints, prompted by the book of the month.
Book of the month for October: Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout was born in 1956, in Portland, Maine. She loved to write ever since she was very young: she kept a journal capturing the details of everyday life. She was always fascinated by books and has spent countless hours of her life at the local library, in the literature aisles. During the summers of her childhood, she would play out in nature, mostly alone, or with her brother, thus developing a profound and consistent love for the natural world: the seaweed-covered rocks on the shores of Maine and the forest of New Hampshire with its hidden wildflowers. As a teenager, Strout kept on writing vigorously, envisioning herself as a writer from a very young age. She read biographies of authors and studied, on her own, how particularly the American authors would tell their stories. She liked to read and learn poetry by heart. She had been sending her short stories to literary journals since she was sixteen. Her first short story was published when she was twenty-six. She studied at Bates College, graduating with a degree in English Literature in 1977. Two years later, she obtained her law degree from Syracuse University College of Law. She moved to New York, where she became a Teaching Assistant at the English Department of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Balancing her family with her teaching duties, she managed to always devote a few hours per day to writing. Since then, she has become a highly acclaimed writer. Other books by Strout include: Olive, Again (2019), Anything is Possible (2017), My Name is Lucy Barton (2016), Amy & Isabelle (1998), all of which have received a number of important awards.
Olive Kitteridge, the protagonist in Elizabeth Strout’s namesake book (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2009), is a woman you’d probably never want for a friend: a petty person doing spiteful things you’d be too embarrassed to do; a convoluted, cunning mind, filled with thoughts you’d be too ashamed to have; an irresistible character, who unlocks the secrets and lives of the residents of the tiny seaside town of Crosby, Maine, shedding light on their hidden agonies through thirteen ruthless, perfectly structured, interconnected short stories that collectively render the collection a segmental, modular novel.
What is it that makes the character of a retired teacher so extraordinary? Her complexity, of course: At times stern and at times patient, at times wry and at times unbelievably understanding, shrewdly perceptive but at the same time in denial, Olive Kitteridge is an enigma. What will she do next? What will be her next step, in the next story? And how will her actions affect the lives of the other residents of Crosby? How will Olive herself be affected by the forthcoming changes in their small town?
Elizabeth Strout responds to these questions with disarming honesty. She masterfully weaves a web connecting Olive’s husband (in love with another woman) with a former student of hers who doesn’t want to live anymore, and her desperate only child—married twice over the course of this book— with a series of incredible characters, in incredible(?) situations, in short stories bursting with life. So much so that readers feel like they are not merely reading these stories, but experiencing them first hand.
In 2009 Olive Kitteridge was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and, in 2014, it was adapted by HBO into a mini TV series of the same title.
Krystalli Glyniadaki was born in 1979 in Athens. She studied Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Political Theory in London and, later, Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. She has published three collections of poetry in Greek (all published by Polis publications), the last of which—Τhe Return of the Dead—received the Greek National Literature Award for Poetry in 2018. She has been an officially invited author to the international Istanbul Book Fair and International Izmir Literature Festival. Her poems have been translated into English, Turkish, German, Slovenian and Italian, and her first English-language collection of poetry is to be released in the United Kingdom soon. She works as a translator—mostly of Norwegian literature—and as a book editor, and writes pieces for Norwegian online media. Her latest love is online interactive historical documentaries (i-doc), on which she has just finished her dissertation at Bournemouth University.
Monday, 25/10 | 18:30–20:30BOOK CASTLE
Up to 30 participants
Free participation by online pre-registration
Preregistration starts on Monday 04/10 at 12.00
Moderator: Krystalli Glyniadaki
To take part in the Reading Club, those who register must have read the book of the month
To enter the event space, participants aged 12 and over must present a valid vaccination certificate or disease certificate, while minors aged 4 to 11 can alternatively submit a 24-hour self-test statement.
For all cases of an official document demonstration, a parallel identity check of the holder will be carried out.
The use of face mask and social distancing measures are mandatory in indoor and outdoor areas of the SNFCC, in accordance with Hellenic National Public Health Organization regulations.
Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.