Tag Archives: book club

International Book Club – Summer Meeting

In this week’s blog post, our colleagues from The Queen’s College share details of their next International Book Club meeting – a really wonderful opportunity for school students to engage with literature from around the world!

The International Book Club for Schools is a chance for all learners of Modern Languages at UK schools in Years 11-13 / Scotland: S4-6 to explore foreign language books which have been translated into English with other like-minded, literature-loving students. As before, no knowledge of the original language is required to take part.

For those of you thinking you may like to study languages at university, there will also be a chance to hear more about what this would entail and to ask us your questions. These meetings are a perfect opportunity for you to explore books that aren’t on your school syllabus and to engage with some exciting literature in translation.  

To take part in the International Book Club, you will need to purchase and read a copy of the set book in advance of the session. You may like to make some notes on what you’ve read ­– for example, the key themes of the text, things you liked or disliked about the narrative or characters – that you would like to share during the Book Club. We will also send round some prompt questions in advance of the session for you to take a look at.

We’re delighted to announce that registration is now open for our next meeting! If you’d like to attend, please register by completing this Google Form.

Our next session will be held on Wednesday 6th July at 7pm, and we will be reading The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Selim Özdoğan, translated from German by Ayça Türkoğlu and Katy Derbyshire. It is the first instalment of the Anatolian Blues trilogy, telling the story of Gül, a Turkish girl who grows up in rural 1950s Anatolia and moves to Germany as a migrant worker.

V&Q Books have been kind enough to offer a 50% discount for our Book Club members, and the exclusive discount code will be shared with you over email once you have registered for a place. If your financial situation makes it impossible for you to purchase a copy of the book, please do drop us an email (translation.exchange@queens.ox.ac.uk) and we will do our best to work something out.

The meeting will take place over Zoom, and places are open to UK school pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13. Newcomers are always welcome!

 
***Please note that if we are oversubscribed for the International Book Club and are required to limit the numbers of attendees, we will select participants based on the contextual data they provide, giving priority to students attending UK state schools.*** 

If you have any questions about the Book Club, please let us know. 

Calling all literature lovers!

In this week’s blog post, our colleagues from The Queen’s College share details of their next International Book Club meeting – a really wonderful opportunity for school students to engage with literature from around the world!

The International Book Club is a chance for pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13/S4-6 to explore foreign language books which have been translated into English with other like-minded, literature-loving students. We meet once a term to discuss a foreign language book in English translation, so knowledge of the original language is required to take part. The meeting will take place over Zoom and newcomers are always welcome!

For those of you thinking that you may like to study languages at university, there will also be a chance to hear more about what this would entail and to ask us your questions. These meetings are a perfect opportunity for you to explore books that aren’t on your school syllabus and to engage with some exciting literature in translation.  

To take part in the International Book Club, you will need to read a copy of the set book in advance of the session. You may like to make some notes on what you’ve read ­– for example, the key themes of the text, things you liked or disliked about the narrative or characters – that you would like to share during the Book Club. 

Book cover image taken from Blackwell’s website

Our next session will be held on Wednesday 23rd March at 7pm, and we will be reading A Long Way from Douala by Swiss-Cameroonian author Max Lobe, translated by Ros Schwartz from French – and occasionally from Camfranglais, a mixture of French, (Pidgin) English, and indigenous Cameroonian languages including Beti-Fang, Bamileke and Duala, spoken mainly by young people in Cameroon. As we follow the narrator, Jean, and his best friend Simon across the country in search of a runaway older brother hoping to make it as a professional footballer in Europe, the book addresses weighty contemporary issues of migration, terrorism, and sexuality without ever losing its sense of humour.

If you would like to attend the book club, please register your interest by completing this Google form.

If you have any questions about the Book Club, please let us know! You can email us (translation.exchange@ox.ac.uk), or find us on Twitter.

***Please note that if we are oversubscribed for the International Book Club and are required to limit the numbers of attendees, we will select participants based on the contextual data they provide, giving priority to students attending UK state schools.*** 

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A reminder that we are still taking bookings for our Italian and Russian & Slavonic Languages Open Days, both taking place on Saturday 5th March. You can book your place here – don’t miss out on the chance to learn more about these exciting courses!

Virtual Book Club goes French

Last month saw the launch of our virtual book club with an episode in Russian.

This month, we’ve moved on to discuss an extract of a text written in French. This episode focuses on a passage from Suzanne Dracius’s La Virago. Dracius is an author and playwright who was born in the Caribbean island of Martinique, which is a French overseas territory. Dracisu grew up on the outskirts of Paris, and her writing draws on her dual heritage as both Caribbean and French.

Watch as Dr Vanessa Lee guides some undergraduates through a discussion of gender assumptions, narrative suspense, and reader expectations in this text, touching on details like the use of tenses and imagery. To receive a copy of the text, as well as future book club updates, email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with your name and school.

Look out – it’s our Virtual Book Club!

Last month, the Modern Languages Faculty at Oxford launched our virtual book club. For all you bookworms out there, this is a chance to engage more with literature beyond your school curriculum, and in languages other than English.

Each month we will focus on a different language but will always provide the text in translation, as well as in the original language. At the start of the month, we will circulate the texts chosen, which will be poems or short prose extracts, by email. At the end of the month we will upload a video discussion of the text with some of our academics and undergraduates.

The first episode focussed on a passage from the Russian novel The Naked Year, by Boris Pilnyak. It is available below. To receive a copy of the text or to sign up for future episodes, email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with your name and school.