Want to join Text’s quarterly online book club? Meet us in the Common Room.
Text publishes a number of perfect book club reads. These are the stories that will engage you, challenge your thinking and prompt interesting debate. To help get the conversation flowing, download our book club notes for your next meeting.
Book of the Month
The Book of Form and Emptiness
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022.
After his father dies, Benny Oh finds he can hear objects talking: teapots, marbles and sharpened pencils, babbling in anger or distress. His mother, struggling to support their household alone, starts collecting things to give her comfort. Overwhelmed by the clamour of all the stuff, Benny seeks refuge in the beautiful silence of the public library.
There, the objects speak only in whispers. There, he meets a homeless poet and a mesmerising young performance artist. There, a book reaches out to him. Not just any book: his own book. And a very important conversation begins.
The Book of Form and Emptiness is about grief, resilience, creativity and psychological difference. It is about the importance of reading, and an observation of the mess consumer culture has got us into. It is an affirmation of the power of community. It is funny, kind, wise, urgent and completely irresistible. If you let it – if you listen – it could change your life.
‘This compassionate novel of life, love and loss glows in the dark. Its strange, beautiful pages turn themselves. If you’ve lost your way with fiction over the last year or two, let The Book of Form and Emptiness light your way home.’ David Mitchell
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