June 2021 Translated Literature Book Club Meeting

We almost called off this month’s book club meeting because of the two-person dine-in restriction, but one of the ladies had a brilliant idea of meeting at one of the benches at SMU…so there we were at a bench outside Onalu cafe on the last Saturday noon of June, sharing our thoughts about Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults over yummylicious egg sandwiches generously prepared by T and her husband, while K joined us over Zoom. 

It seems our general reception of The Lying Life of Adults isn’t overwhelming. No doubt the novel leads us into the inner life of a teenager, allows us to follow her on her emotionally turbulent coming-to-age journey, and prompts questions about the ethics of lying. But we felt Ferrante’s other books, particularly My Brilliant Friend, might be comparably more intriguing and riveting. That said, we’re looking forward to Netflix’s upcoming production based on The Lying Life of Adults.

Here are some questions we discussed:

  • Why did Giovanna lie to her family and to her best friends?
  • Can lying be exalted as an art form?
  • What are the different styles of lying depicted in the novel?
  • Is literary fiction a lie?
  • How has Giovanna changed between the start and end of the story?

July 2021 Book Club Selection

There are countless translated books out there, but for the convenience of our book club members we will select only books with adequate copies in the NLB. 

For the month of July, we’ll be reading Malay writer Mohamed Latiff Mohamed‘s The Widow, translated by

If you’d like to join us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more details about our next book club meeting!

*Harriett Press’s Translated Literature Book Club is a monthly book club that meets to discuss a translated book selected for the month. Anyone is welcome to join us!⁠ Find out more about book club meetings by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!