Join the AA Reading Group! Every two months we organise an evening in which we discuss a particular book. Works include fiction and other literary texts as well as non-fiction. So far, we’ve read about a wide range of themes, like the quest for equality and independent spaces, ecology, displacement, the struggle for housing, migration and decolonisation. The overall focus is on works that deal with social-political issues which are relevant in the context of our present-day lives as citizens. We choose books that are critical of predominant systems in society, that offer alternative visions to those systems or that are otherwise empowering for people who are marginalised in some way.
In the next reading session we will focus on Diamond Grill by Fred Wah. The book describes Wah’s experiences of his father’s restaurant in Nelson, British Columbia, and of the impact of growing up as a child of mixed heritage in the 1950s. The story of family and identity, migration and integration, culture and self-discovery is told through family history, memory, and the occasional recipe. ‘Diamond Grill’ is a rich banquet where Salisbury Steak shares a menu with chicken fried rice, bird’s nest soup sets the stage for Christmas plum pudding; where racism simmers behind the stainless surface of the action in the cafe. The semi-fictional biography has been described by Wah as a way to explore his ‘hyphenated identity’.
There will be no central presentation of the themes in the book. Instead, you’ll discuss your views, thoughts, favourite passages, points of critique and further suggestions informally in a small group.
The last 20 minutes of the evening are spent in deciding collectively which book we will read next. You’re welcome to join this discussion and to propose a book.
The discussion of ‘Diamond Grill’ will take place on Wednesday 9th February 2022 at 20:00 hrs, either in a café or online, depending on the corona regulations that will apply. If you want to participate, please send an email to: readinggroup(at)amsterdamalternative.nl