Book Club

Bright Leaf Book Club is a chance to meet like-minded readers and critically analyze and discuss a text. We select texts democratically, and read novels, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. We meet monthly. Pizza is provided. Join us!

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Thursday, September 20  - 7:00 PM

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes

"Terrance Hayes reinvigorates a classic form in his latest book, 'American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin' (Norton). In these 14-line, free-verse poems, all with the same title, Hayes examines what it means to be an American, to belong, and how it feels to be haunted and hunted by violent racism. Hayes, who won the National Book Award in 2010 for 'Lighthead,' addresses that ubiquitous 'assassin' directly in some places. In others, he is the aggressor, noting how 'I lock you in an American sonnet that is part prison,/ Part panic closet, a little room in a house set aflame.' Hayes uses a variety of approaches to take aim at the sins of the nation."

-Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post


Thursday, October 18 - 7:00 PM

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

"[Sabrina is] an unnerving mystery told by a rigorous moralist, a profoundly American nightmare set squarely in the first year of the Trump presidency. Politics is never mentioned, but the dread is everywhere: on the airwaves, at an open mic, in a kid’s activity book, and — most barbarically — online.

"The fictional killing in Sabrina is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn’t fixate on the gore or the culprit; he’s more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity. Blink and you’ll miss it: The first D.O.D. mental health survey we see is dated Sept. 11, 2017. The book’s title might allude not to the fizzy Audrey Hepburn film, but to Sabrina Harman, one of the guards convicted of abuse at Abu Ghraib. Drnaso subtly suggests that the current climate of constant horror, weaponized by hashtags and spread by autofill, has its seeds in the fall of the Twin Towers and our response to the tragedy. It’s a shattering work of art."

-Ed Park, The New York Times


Previous Selections


June 2017 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

July 2017 Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

August 2017 10:04 by Ben Lerner

September 2017 Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim

October 2017 The Sellout by Paul Beatty

November 2017 Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

December 2017 Children with Enemies by Stuart Dischell

January 2018 Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

February 2018 Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

March 2018 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

April 2018 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

May 2018 Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

June 2018 The Changeling by Joy Williams

July 2018 Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan

August 2018 The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher