Reading the Japanese Classics - Tale of the Heike
Tuesday June 09 | 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Please join us online as we read through some of the Japanese classics, one chapter at a time, and discuss them! We're going to be starting with the Tale of the Heike, a roughly 700 year old story that tells the story of the fall of the proud and arrogant Taira Clan of samurai and the extremely unlikely revival of the Minamoto Clan to power. It's a samurai epic, but one that includes some historic romance, as well. It's regarded as a classic of Japanese literature, and has spawned plays, movies, woodblock prints, and modern retellings. Perhaps best of all, it is an episodic tale that is meant to be parceled out in nightly installments, making it ideal for a group like this!
This discussion group will be meeting Tuesdays at 5 PM. Our next meeting on June 9 will discuss Chapter 10. Please email us if you would like to take part and we'll give you the invofrmation for our Zoom meeting.
June Argo Reading Series
Thursday June 18 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
The Argo presents its June reading series event of local prose and poetry, curated by Ilona Martonfi. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
Our lineup for this event:
Ian Ferrier, Poet, Musician, Performer and Curator. Canadian Literature Scene, For Body and Light (Dance Company), Mile End Poets' Festival.
Gloria Macher is an award winning Latin American writer. Has published five novels and a collection of short stories.
Rana Bose is a novelist, playwright, poet & engineer. His latest novel is Fog, Baraka Books, 2019. Editor of Montreal Serai magazine.
Carolyne Van Der Meer, journalist, PR professional. Author of Motherlode (WLU Press, 2014). Poetry collection Journeywoman (Inanna, 2017).
Michael Foy published stories in The Nashwaak Review, Grain Magazine, & The Impressment Gang. He is working on a manuscript of short fiction.
Matt Risk writes for video games, stage, and screen. He is currently working on his first novel The Oracle.
Zoe Shaw is a writer and editor from Montreal. She has just earned her master's degree in English at McGill.
Greg Santos, author of several collections of poetry. His newest book, Ghost Face is published by DC Books, 2020. Editor in Chief of carte blanche.
Matthew Rettino is a writer and teacher. His story "The Goddess in Him" is coming out in October with NewMyths.com.
Blossom Thom’s poems document Black experiences while playing with form. Her poetry has appeared in Montréal Serai, Kola, and elsewhere.
June Genji Book Club
Friday June 19 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu around the year 1000, is often considered the world's first novel. Her story of the Shining Prince of the Imperial Court and his life, culture, and relationships with women, has stood the test of time and forms an important piece of the foundation of Japanese literature.
For 2020, the Japan Book Club, presented in collaboration between the Argo and JETAA Q/A, is meeting monthly to discuss this important and still lively work. You can read the complete Tale of Genji in any of its English translations, by Arthur Waley, Edward Seidensticker, Royall Tyler, or Dennis Washburn; we have all of them available for sale in the store. You can also choose to read it in French or other languages, if you prefer.
In our fifth edition, we will be discussing Chapters 17-22 of the Tale of Genji in whatever translation you are reading. If you are interested in joining us, please email us at email@example.com for the link. Please join us for this trip through a historic yet timeless tale!
A Choir of Lies - Trans & Nonbinary Book Club
Thursday June 25 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Please join us for an online meeting via Zoom for our latest Trans and Nonbinary Book Club! Author Alexandra Rowland will be joining us on June 25 at 7 PM Eastern to discuss their most recent fantasy novel, A Choir of Lies. You don't have to have read the book to attend, but we will spoil it if you come without having read it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to the discussion.
About the book:
Three years ago, Yfling watched his master-Chant tear a nation apart with nothing but the words on his tongue. Now Ylfing is all alone in a new realm, brokenhearted and grieving—but a Chant in his own right, employed as a translator to a wealthy merchant of luxury goods, Sterre de Waeyer. But Ylfing has been struggling to come to terms with what his master did, with the audiences he’s been alienated from, and with the stories he can no longer trust himself to tell.
That is, until Ylfing’s employer finds out what he is, what he does, and what he knows. At Sterre’s command, Ylfing begins telling stories once more, fanning the city into a mania for a few shipments of an exotic flower. The prices skyrocket, but when disaster looms, Ylfing must face what he has done and decide who he wants to be: a man who walks away and lets the city shatter, as his master did? Or will he embrace the power of stories to save ten thousand lives?
In this “wise, moving, and captivating adventure” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), a young storyteller must embrace his own skills and discover that a story can be powerful enough to bring a nation to its knees, certainly. But in the right hands, a story can rebuild a broken dam, keep the floodwaters back, and save a life—or thousands of lives.
About the author:
Alexandra Rowland is the author of A Conspiracy Of Truths, A Choir Of Lies, and Finding Faeries, as well as a cohost of the Hugo Award nominated podcast Be the Serpent, all sternly supervised by their feline quality control manager. They hold a degree in world literature, mythology, and folklore from Truman State University.
Japan Book Club - Summer
Thursday August 27 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Looking for a foxy and surreal read for the heat of summer in Montreal? The Argo Bookshop, in conjunction with the JET Alumni Association of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, will be hosting its summer Japan Book Club on August 27.
For this meeting, we'll be discussing The Fox and Dr. Shimamura by Christine Wunnicke. A work of historical fiction by a German author, we look at the life of a Meiji-era Japanese doctor trying to train the eye of modern psychological eye on the phenomenon of people being possessed by fox spirits. For being 150 pages, this book packs in a lot to discuss - science, folklore, gender, surreealism, history, Westernization in Japan, and much more.
Join us online via Zoom for a lively discussion of a thoughtful and offbeat piece of literature about Japan! You can read the book in any language. You're also welcome to come if you haven't read the book, but there will likely be spoilers.