Fiction Lab - July 2018

7.00pm start, Monday 16 July

Conversation Room

  • Jenny Rohn looking at a bookshelf
    Credit: Jenny Rohn

Price

Free

Event description

Jennifer Rohn of Lablit.com hosts the monthly book club dedicated to great fiction books with a science theme. If you're an interested reader who has something to say, then come along.

The format of Fiction Lab is simple. All you need to do is check this webpage for the book choice, read the book beforehand and then drop into the Ri to discuss it with other fiction lovers.

This month's book

July's book is 'Chemistry' by Weike Wang

Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston University, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life.

 

But there's another, non-scientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can't make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook:

What do I really want? 

Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured, and analysed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. 

Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.

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