International Group: The World Literature Bookclub
As a Global Engagement fellow, one of the things we’re encouraged and required to do is become an involved in an international group on campus. The group I decided to get involved with is the “World Literature Bookclub”, a book club that focuses on literature from around the world and meets once a month to discuss the book, sponsored by World Literature Today. It aims to spread appreciation for the global literature spectrum and the rhetorical beauty that less appreciated, global authors have to offer.
The process of choosing the group was a bit haphazard. Originally, I had signed up for the OU Cousins program, a club which pairs American students with foreign students, making them ‘cousins’. The object is to encourage international friendship and the exploration of cultures. However, because the group is so enticing, there are always more American signed up than international students. Unfortunately for me, this meant that I wouldn’t be paired with a cousin. As a result, I was left scrambling for an international group. I used the list of international groups available on OU’s global engagement website, and was intrigued by the WLT book club.
In high school, I was very interested in literature and passionate about English. I loved writing essays and analyzing texts, spending hours pulling apart the sentences and plot of books like ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Because of this, the idea of engaging in the analysis of foreign literature was so interesting. I loved the idea of exploring the world by digging into the minds of intellectuals I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.
The first group I have analyzed so far has been a collection of flash fiction from around the world titled ‘The Best Small Fictions 2015’, edited by Robert Olen Butler. It celebrates the beauty and full stories that can be told through only a couple of paragraphs, even sentences. The first book discussion meeting that I will attend will be on December 2! I hope and am certain that in the future this club will supply me with both friends who are interested in what I am, and simply entertainment in something that I love. As dreamy as it may sound, I hope to one day have a personal library at home that is filled with books of all sizes and genres from around the world that I have had the opportunity to engage with and learn from.
Photo source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1938466624/ref=cm_sw_su_dp