Thank you for participating the Asian–language book clubs 2018!
This is the second Asian-language book club program after its launch in the fall of 2016. With the support from the Faculty of Arts, we were able to extend the initiative from two to four languages – Korean, Punjabi, Japanese, and Chinese. All four book clubs took place between January and April. Each had two sessions, a “meet and greet” session followed by a book discussion about a month later.
Three out of the four books selected for the events are novels written by award-winning writers in Asia, including the Korean novel Chinatown (중국인 거리) by Oh Jung-hee (오 정희), the Japanese work Convenience Store People (コンビニ人間 ) by Murata Sayaka (村田沙耶香), and the Punjabi novel News from a Village (ਖਬਰ ਇੱਕ ਪਿੰਡ ਦੀ: ਨਾਵਲ) by Pargat Singh Satoj (ਪਰਗਟ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਤੌਜ). The Chinese-language biography A Way of Finding What’s True (寻找苏慧廉) was written by local writer – by Shen Jia (沈迦). Participants in the Chinese and Korean book clubs had the exciting opportunity to meet and engage with the book author and translators who graciously agreed to facilitate the sessions. The Japanese and Punjabi book club members were joined by UBC graduate students Cyrus and Taranjit to explore their books through structured activities and animated discussions.
The book clubs aimed to provide an opportunity for current students, faculty, alumni, and other interested community members with advanced fluency in Asian-language to form ties with others in their respective literary communities. All four book clubs were well-attended, with 64 participants in total and attracted a wide-range of participants. 39% of attendees were students (12.5% graduate and 26.5% undergraduate), 12.5% faculty, 8% staff, 14% alumni, 11% residents from the UBC neighbourhood, and 15.5% community members unaffiliated with UBC. Some participants were non-native speakers. The diverse backgrounds of the participants contributed to the interesting discussions, which were accompanied by Asian-style refreshments.
In our post-event surveys, a number of participants expressed their desire to see an on-going Asian-language book club program. The Asian Library will continue to explore the possibility. If you are interested in future book club events, or if you have any suggestions on a book club topic, please email to email@example.com.