Looking for a good read for the height of summer? 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 16.
We'll be discussing A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki. In this book, "Ruth Ozeki" finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the beach on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Tucked inside is a collection of curious items, including the diary of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl named Nao Yasutani. Ruth suspects that it is debris from Japan’s devastating 2011 tsunami. Once Ruth starts to read the diary, she quickly finds herself drawn into the mystery of the young girl’s fate. In a manga café in Tokyo’s Electric Town, Nao has decided there’s only one escape from the loneliness and pain of her life, as she’s uprooted from her U.S. home, bullied at school, and watching her parents spiral deeper into disaster. But before she ends it all, she wants to accomplish one thing: to recount the story of her great-grandmother, a 104-year-old Zen Buddhist nun, in the pages of her diary. The diary, Nao’s only solace, is her cry for help to a reader she can only imagine. Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and insight, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Come for a lively discussion of a thought-provoking and immensely fulfilling piece of contemporary Japanese literature, and enjoy some snacks and refreshments! You can read the book in English, French, or Japanese. You're also welcome to come if you haven't read the book, but there will likely be spoilers.
Literary Show and Tell
Thursday August 23 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
If you love books, you probably have one (or two, or three) in particular that you particularly like championing and recommending to others. So join us for an evening where we tell people what makes our favourite books so great! Enjoy warm company, refreshments, and bring along a book that you can't wait to recommend to everyone. You'll leave with a shelf's worth of ideas for the future!
Literary Trivia Night #3
Thursday August 30 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Join us for our third evening of literary trivia! Our trivia master will run you through your paces on a variety of book- and author-related questions. Make the grade and you can win some cool book-related prizes!
Creative Writing Workshop with Ilona Martonfi
Thursday September 06 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Please join us for a two-hour creative writing workshop run by local editor, poet, and teacher Ilona Martonfi! Working on a short story, flash fiction, prose-poetry, or creative non-fiction? This is the workshop for you! Participation costs $8.
The workshop will cover the following topics: 5 W's: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Show, Don’t Tell: Concrete Sense Images
Setting: Place, Time, Weather, Daily Life, Mood
Elements of Plot: the Hook Scaffold
All of Ms. Martonfi's workshops also include discussions on the craft,
writing time, and in-class critiquing.
Ms. Martonfi is the the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy (Coracle, 2009), Black Grass (Broken Rules, 2012), and The Snow Kimono (Inanna, 2015), with the next, Salt Bride, forthcoming from Inanna in 2019. She has written in Canadian Woman Studies, Vallum, The Fiddlehead, Serai, & four chapbooks. She is the founder and the producer and host of the popular Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings, as well as co-founder of Lovers & Others. She is the recipient QWF 2010 Community Award, and has taught creative writing workshops in her studio as well as in outreach programs for many years.
Intro to Japanese Literature
Thursday September 13 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Interested in exploring Japan's thousand-plus years of literary history, but not sure where to begin? In conjunction with the JET Alumni Association of Quebec/Atlantic (JETAA Q/A), we are offering a free introductory workshop on Japanese literature to get you started with a variety of authors and genres. We will discuss the origins of Japanese writing, the evolution of its poetry, prose, and theater over the centuries, and some favourites of our staff!
After the session and a question and answer period, attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme through the experiences of former participants.
Open Mic #6
Thursday September 27 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
It's your time to shine! We'll be hosting our sixth open mic night since our reopening. Come share stories, poetry, music, or whatever suits your fancy! Let us know you're planning to come at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just come the day of and lay it on us.
1915 rue Sainte-Catherine ouest Montreal QC H3H 1M3 Canada