Elliott Bay Book Group
Join this lively monthly discussion group that focuses on discovering the wealth of published fiction and non-fiction. Readers are invited to join as a regular monthly participant or to drop in for any of the featured titles as time and interest allow.
In the Café of Lost Youth
In the Café of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure of Louki, who catches everyone's attention even as she eludes possession or comprehension. Through the eyes of four very different narrators, including Louki herself, we contemplate her character and her fate, while Modiano explores the themes of identity, memory, time, and forgetting that are at the heart of his spellbinding and deeply moving art.
Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30 PM
At the Strangers' Gate: Arrivals in New York
When Adam Gopnik and his soon-to-be-wife, Martha, first arrived in 1980, New York City was a pilgrimage site for the young, the arty, and the ambitious. But it was also becoming a place where both life's consolations and its necessities were increasingly going to the highest bidder. At the Strangers' Gate is a vivid portrait of this time, told through the story of one couple's journey--from their excited arrival as aspiring artists to their eventual growth into a New York family. Through a series of comic mini-anthropologies that capture the fashion, publishing, and art worlds of the era, Adam Gopnik transports us from his tiny basement room on the Upper East Side to a SoHo loft, from his time as a graduate student-cum-library-clerk to the galleries of MoMA. Filled with tender and humorous reminiscences--including affectionate reflections on Richard Avedon, Robert Hughes, and Jeff Koons, among many others-- At the Strangers' Gate is an ode to New York striving.
Tuesday, May 7th at 6:30 PM
From the National Book Award–winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”
Tuesday, June 4th at 6:30 PM