Art, books, conversation and wine.
The NERAM Book Club pairs books with a current exhibition at NERAM to expand and deepen understanding of the themes and subjects that are present in both forms of expression. Book Club meetings include an interactive tour of the relevant exhibition followed by a glass of wine and vibrant conversation. The group is open so join us for a session that particularly interests you or take up the challenge to read all four 2018 books.
Books are available from The Readers Companion and the NERAM Bookshop.
Book Club Meetings will be held Tuesday nights starting at 5.30pm at NERAM.
Tuesday 17th April HINTON/ Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
To coincide with the opening of the new semi-permanent display of HINTON our first book is Autumn Laing by Alex Miller.
Loosely based on the life of Lelda Sunday Reed and the Australian artist circles of the 1930s this novel follows Autumn Laing as she seduces Pat Donlon with her pearly thighs and her lust for life and art. In doing so she not only compromises the trusting love she has with her husband, Arthur, she also steals the future from Pat’s young and beautiful wife, Edith, and their unborn child.
Fifty-three years later, cantankerous, engaging, unrestrainable 85-year-old Autumn is shocked to find within herself a powerful need for redemption. As she begins to tell her story, she writes, ‘They are all dead and I am old and skeleton-gaunt. This is where it began.’
Written with compassion and intelligence, this energetic, funny and wise novel peels back the layers of storytelling and asks what truth has to do with it. Autumn Laing is an unflinchingly intimate portrait of a woman and her time – she is unforgettable.
Tuesday 17th July Myall Creek and Beyond/ Taboo by Kim Scott
To coincide with the exhibition of Myall Creek and Beyond our second book is Taboo by Kim Scott
Taboo takes place in the present day, in the rural South-West of Western Australia, and tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar’s descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife’s dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.
But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged.
We walk with the ragtag group through this taboo country and note in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country. We learn alongside them how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.
Tuesday 18th September Piksa Niugini/ The Mountain by Drusilla Modleska
To coincide with the exhibition of Piksa Niugini, photographs by Stephen Dupont, our third book is The Mountain by Drusilla Modleska
In 1968 Papua New Guinea is on the brink of independence, and everything is about to change. Amidst the turmoil filmmaker Leonard arrives from England with his Dutch wife, Rika, to study and film an isolated village high in the mountains. The villagers’ customs and art have been passed down through generations, and Rika is immediately struck by their paintings on a cloth made of bark.
Rika and Leonard are also confronted with the new university in Moresby, where intellectual ambition and the idealism of youth are creating friction among locals such as Milton – a hot-headed young playwright – and visiting westerners, such as Martha, to whom Rika becomes close. But it is when Rika meets brothers Jacob and Aaron that all their lives are changed for ever.
Drusilla Modjeska’s sweeping novel takes us deep into this fascinating, complex country, whose culture and people cannot escape the march of modernity that threatens to overwhelm them. It is a riveting story of love, loss, grief and betrayal.
Tuesday 19th November Uncanny Nature/ Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
To coincide with the exhibition of Uncanny Nature, curated by Rachael Parsons, our last book for 2018 is Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay.
Revisit the classic! It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred.
Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared.
They never returned.
Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.
The NERAM Book Club is supported by Reader’s Companion Bookstore