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Fem Book Club is an introduction to a diverse range of texts by women about women. Through informal conversation about each text we will focus on the manifold experiences of being a woman through different moments in history and across varying communities. It is an opportunity to think about and challenge what it means to be a woman and perhaps undermine any assumed universal experience by looking at how people 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’.
This is a welcoming and safe space. We encourage participation from LGBTI women, men, trans and gender diverse persons and non-binary persons.
During this session of Fem Book Club, we’ll be discussing Rachel Cusk’s Outline.
A woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives.
Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, the storytellers talk of their loves and ambitions and pains, their anxieties, their perceptions and daily lives. In the stifling heat and noise of the city the sequence of voice begins to weave a complex human tapestry. The more they talk the more elliptical their listener becomes, as she shapes and directs their accounts until certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the nature of family life, the difficulty of intimacy and the mystery of creativity itself.
Outline is a novel about writing and talking, about self-effacement and self-expression, about the desire to create and the human art of self-portraiture in which that desire finds its universal form.
Centre for Stories’ preferred bookstore is Boffins Books – we value our local book sellers and think they are an important part of the literary community. Boffins stocks a limited number of copies of each Fem Book Club text. Please purchase your copy as soon as possible – if it is out of stock, you can order a copy and they will tend to your needs in a timely fashion. You can see the full collection of Fem Book Club texts here. When purchasing in store, mention our name for 10% off!