If you enjoy reading and discussing books in the beautiful setting of Banff then this weekend will be a real treat.  The Banff Book Discussion is held at the Banff Centre from Friday evening to Sunday noon, May 28 – 30, 2021.  During the weekend we have four book discussions. There is a book discussion on Friday Evening, discussions on Saturday AM and Saturday PM.  On Sunday morning we will discuss our guest author’s book “Watching You Without Me”.   Lynn Coady will do a public reading on Saturday afternoon at the Banff Centre.  She will also be doing a private reading and a Q and A session to our group on Sunday morning, after our break-out discussions on “Watching You Without Me”.  The book selections for 2021 have been chosen to stimulate thought and  discussion and to appeal to adults.  The atmosphere is friendly and  informal.  There are no prerequisites for this program other than reading  the books before attending the discussions!  Social gatherings take place after the Friday and Saturday PM discussions.  Everyone is welcome.  “

Our Four Discussion Books

Our Four Authors

Watching You Without Me.  After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she’s weighed down with guilt over her years spent keeping Kelli and their independent-to-a-fault mother, Irene, at arm’s length. 

 And so when Trevor — one of Kelli’s support workers — oversteps his role and offers friendly advice and a shoulder to cry on, Karen gratefully accepts his somewhat overbearing friendship. When she discovers how close Trevor was to Irene, she comes to trust him all the more. But as Trevor slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli’s lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother — and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor’s “care.”

Our Guest Author

Lynn Coady is a celebrated writer who graduated from Carleton with a Bachelor in English and Philosophy in 1993. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia in 1996. The author of six books, she has been called “one of the most respected younger writers in Canada” by The Globe and Mail.

In 2013, the Cape Breton, N.S., native won the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her short-story collection Hellgoing

The collection bested titles by Toronto based Dennis Bock, Toronto native Craig Davidson, Lisa Moore of St. John’s and German-born Canadian Dan Vyleta. She was also shortlisted for the Giller in 2011 for her novel The Antagonist.

Coady’s writing employs subtle use of language, unique style and creative development of plot and narrative. Critic Jeet Heer has praised Coady for her “shrewd examination of the underexplored byways of human psychology, including the twisty road that connects a religious upbringing with outré erotic experimentation.”

Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. 

They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel

Philip Michael Ondaatje,  born 12 September 1943), is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, fiction writer, essayist,[1] novelist, editor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of multiple literary awards such as the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, the Booker Prize, and the Prix Médicis étranger.[2] Ondaatje is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing him as one of Canada’s most renowned living authors.[2][3]

 

Ondaatje’s literary career began with his poetry in 1967, publishing The Dainty Monsters, and then in 1970 the critically acclaimed The Collected Works of Billy the Kid.[2] However, he is more recently recognized for his nationally and internationally successful novel The English Patient (1992), which was adapted into a film in 1996.[2] In 2018, Ondaatje won the Golden Man Booker Prize for The English

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

 

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women – all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in – have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

Miriam Toews is a Canadian writer, best known for her novels A Complicated Kindness (2004) and All My Puny Sorrows (2014). She has won a number of literary prizes including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award for body of work.

She is also a two-time finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a two-time winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Toews had a leading role in the feature film Silent Light, written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, and winner of the 2007 Cannes Jury Prize, an experience that informed her fifth novel, Irma Voth (2011).

The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

 

Trevor Noah (born February 20, 1984) is a South African comedian, political commentator, and television host. He is the current host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central.

Born in Johannesburg, Noah began his career as a comedian, presenter, and actor in his native South Africa in 2002. He subsequently held several television hosting roles with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and was the runner-up in the fourth season of South Africa’s iteration of Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.[1] From 2010 to 2011, Noah acted as the creator and host of the late-night talk show Tonight with Trevor Noah, which aired on M-Net and DStv.[2]

 

After his stand-up comedy career attained international success, Noah began appearing on American late-night talk shows and English panel shows. In 2014, Noah became the Senior International Correspondent for The Daily Show, and the following year, he succeeded long-time host Jon Stewart, and is set to remain in this position until 2022.[3] His autobiographical comedy book Born a Crime was published in 2016 and garnered critical acclaim.[4][5][6][7]

Noah has received various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award win from six nominations.[8] He was named one of “The 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” by The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 and 2018.[9][10] In 2018, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[11]