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The Connect Book Club
  Forthcoming books
Book for October 07, 2020
Group 3
Blindness
Blindness

was first published in Portuguese in 1995.

Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers on "the doctor's wife," her husband, several of his patients, and assorted others, who are thrown together by chance. After lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the unexplained good fortune that the doctor’s wife has escaped the blindness. The sudden onset and unexplained origin and nature of the blindness cause widespread panic, and the social order rapidly unravels as the government attempts to contain the apparent contagion and keep order via increasingly repressive and inept measures.


Author: Jose Saramago
José de Sousa Saramago is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes. He currently lives on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain.
Book for October 07, 2020
Group 2
The Nickel Boys: A Novel
The Nickel Boys: A Novel
The Nickel Boys is a 2019 novel by American novelist Colson Whitehead. It was based on the real story of the Dozier School, a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and had its history exposed by a university's investigation. It was named one of TIME's best books of the decade. It is the follow-up to Whitehead's 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Nickel Boys won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Judges of the prize called the novel "a spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption." It is Whitehead's second win, making him the fourth writer in history to have won the prize for fiction twice.

Author: Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead (born November 6, 1969) is an American novelist. He is the author of six novels, including his debut work, the 1999 novel The Intuitionist, and the National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad. A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, Whitehead lives in New York City.
Book for October 09, 2020
Group 1
The Memory Police
The Memory Police
Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed. When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next? The Memory Police is a beautiful, haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, from one of Japan’s greatest writers.

Author: Yoko Ogawa
Ogawa was born in Okayama, Japan in 1962, graduated from Waseda University, and lives in Ashiya, Hyōgo, with her husband and son. Since 1988, Ogawa has published more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction. In 2006 she co-authored "An Introduction to the World's Most Elegant Mathematics" with Masahiko Fujiwara, a mathematician, as a dialogue on the extraordinary beauty of numbers.
Book for October 21, 2020
Group 4
The Gin Closet
The Gin Closet
From the author of the New York Times bestselling essay collection The Empathy Exams and the memoir The Recovering, Leslie Jamison’s “exquisitely beautiful” (San Francisco Chronicle) novel about three generations of women and the inescapable brutality of love. As a young woman, Tilly flees home for the hollow underworld of Nevada, looking for pure souls and finding nothing but bad habits. One day, after Tilly has spent nearly thirty years without a family, drinking herself to the brink of death, her niece Stella—who has been leading her own life of empty promise in New York City—arrives on the doorstep of Tilly’s desert trailer. The Gin Closet unravels the strange and powerful intimacy that forms between them. With an uncanny ear for dialogue and a witty, unflinching candor about sex, love, and power, Leslie Jamison reminds us that no matter how unexpected its turns, the life we’re given is all we have: the cruelties that unhinge us, the beauties that clarify us, the addictions that deform us, those fleeting possibilities of grace that fade as quickly as they come. The Gin Closet marks the debut of a stunning new talent in fiction.

Author: Leslie Jamison
Leslie Jamison (born 1983) is an American novelist and essayist. She is the author of the 2010 novel The Gin Closet and the 2014 essay collection The Empathy Exams. Jamison also directs the non-fiction concentration in writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts. Jamison also leads a group of Columbia University MFA students in a Creative Writing Workshop at the Marian House, transitional housing for women in recovery. Jamison was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. Jamison attended Harvard College, where she majored in English, graduating in 2004; her senior thesis dealt with incest in the work of William Faulkner. While an undergraduate, she won the Edward Eager Memorial Fund prize in creative writing, an award also won by a classmate, writer Uzodimna Iweala. She was a member of the college literary magazine The Advocate and social club The Signet Society. Jamison then attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she earned an MFA in fiction, well as Yale University where she earned a Ph.D. in English literature. At Yale, Jamison worked with Wai Chee Dimock, Amy Hungerford, and Caleb Smith, submitting a dissertation entitled "The Recovered: Addiction and Sincerity in 20th Century American Literature" in May 2016.
Book for November 04, 2020
Group 3
My Sister, the Serial Killer
My Sister, the Serial Killer

was first published in 2018. The novel tells the story of two sisters in present-day Lagos, who share a dark secret from childhood that binds them together. When the younger starts to serially kill her boyfriends, the older one - the narrator - feels compelled to clean up after her.

Review of the book in The Guardian

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

(born 1988) is a Nigerian-UK novelist and writer. She was born in Lagos and spent her childhood in both Nigeria and the UK.

Book for November 13, 2020
Group 1
On the Road
On the Road
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naiveté and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.

Author: Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and a pioneer of the Beat Generation. During World War II, Kerouac served in the United States Merchant Marine; during his service he completed his first novel, though it would not be published until over forty years after his death. His first book to be published was The Town and the City, but he only achieved widespread fame and notoriety with the publication of his second novel, On the Road, in 1957. On the Road made Kerouac a beat icon, and he would publish twelve more novels during his life, in addition to numerous poetry volumes.