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Conway Hall Book Club – Burning Cities by Kai Aareleid

25th May 2018 · 6:00pm - 7:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 Conway Hall Book Club – Burning Cities by Kai Aareleid

With two independent publishers – Istros Books and Peter Owen – and a wonderful library on our premises, we thought it a good time for a new literary initiative: a monthly book club for members and friends, where we discuss some of the titles produced by our resident publishers, as well as the occasional guest sessions hosted by staff and other residents.

This month we will be reading Burning Cities by Kai Aareleid.

Burning Cities is a poetic historical saga by Estonian author Kai Aareleid, in which the fortunes of a small family parallel those of a small nation under Communism. A young girl growing up in Soviet Estonia is witness to tragic events both grand and domestic.

Opening up about her family history, Tiina revisits the first two decades of her life following the Second World War, in Tartu, Estonia. The city, destroyed by Nazi invasion then rebuilt and re-mapped by the Soviets, is home to many secrets, and little Tiina knows them all, even if she does not know their import. The adult world that makes up Communist society, is one of cryptic conversations, undiagnosed dread and heavy drinking. From the death of Stalin to the gradual separation of her parents, Tiina, as a young girl, experiences both domestic and great events from the periphery, and is, therefore, powerless to prevent the defining tragedy in her life – a suicide in the family.

Translated for the first time into English, Burning Cities is an intimate portrayal of life under Soviet Communism and an absorbing family drama told with poetic precision.

More here:


The next book club event will be held in the library on Friday 22nd June:
(see website for details)

We are committed to promoting inclusive practice at Conway Hall. Due to the constraints of our building, the Library is not currently accessible to wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, we are happy to discuss with you how we can make the contents and materials accessible to you. We carefully monitor which events are held in the Library, and will use your comments to enable us to develop ways to ensure that everyone should be able to attend events in the future.

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