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Friday Book Club - Beatrice and Virgil

A new edition of Beatrice and Virgil, from the author of the Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi, is just out, so we’re making it our Friday Book Club pick this week!

Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil is a profound, imaginative novel about storytelling, truth and the long reach of the past.

Destiny can take many shapes. For Henry, a writer struggling to finish a book about the Holocaust, it arrives in the form of a puzzling envelope from a stranger.

The envelope takes him into a taxidermist’s workshop. Filled with lovingly preserved animals from all corners of the globe, this place is unlike anywhere he has ever been. Among the hundreds of stuffed animals are Beatrice and Virgil, a monkey and a donkey, who are also the characters in a play the taxidermist is writing.

When the taxidermist asks for help with the play, Henry is drawn in. But what is this play actually about? What have the animals suffered at the hands of the author? Who is he? And what does he really want from Henry?

With the imaginative reach and spirit that helped Life of Pi delight over seven million readers around the world, Beatrice and Virgil asks profound questions about violence, kindness, and the power of stories to change us.

Reading group notes are available here and, as always, you can ask us anything via facebook and twitter. Enjoy your weekend!


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