Reading for Culture with Emma: The Western Literature Book Club at EAWLC 2022

Book Club Instructor:

Emma Gorst obtained her PhD in Medieval and early modern English literature from University of Toronto. Before that, she copy-edited textbooks for Pearson and worked in online marketing at Random House. She did her postdoc at Yale University in 2013-2014. Emma teaches university and college writing at Seneca College and tutors young readers in her spare time.

For more details about Emma, please visit

Reading literature allows us to imagine our way into the minds of others who are different from ourselves. This venture can be scary, exciting, and illuminating. In some ways, then, reading is like going to a new place – it is a journey that holds challenges and delights. Last year we read classics and medieval literature –ancient voices that had influenced English literature. This year we will read Canadian and American memoir and fiction – contemporary literature that takes us to other places no less exciting.

Again Zoom meetings will take the form of a university lecture seminar, and will include a lecture portion and a small-group discussion allowing participants to discuss and ask questions about the ideas we are encountering.  Last year the audience was just captivated by Emma’s comprehensive introduction and philosophical analysis.  The questions she prepared for breakout room discussion inspired the group members to share their experience and perspectives.  It was a truly intellectual amusement for everybody!


The approach:

  1. Emma will provide one or two chapters in PDF to the group.
  2. The group has the option of buying or borrowing from libraries the book on their own and reading the whole book
  3. Emma will discuss the whole book but focus on those chapters sent out.


Book list FOR 2022:

March 9 – Postponed due to sickness

April 13 – The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr – American, 2015

May 11 – Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese  – Canadian, 2012

June 8 – Northern Wild by David R. Boyd – Canadian, 2001 [story by Sharon Butala]

July 13 – How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa – Canadian, 2020

September 14 – ‘Tis by Frank McCourt – American, 1999


November 9 – Bloodletting and other cures –  Vincent Lam – Canadian, 2006

December 7 – What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad – Canadian, 2021

Time: See above dates; every second Wednesday of the month, in the evening at 7:30-9 P.M. (Eastern Time), except for summer and winter breaks.

Cost: Free

Language: English

For each and every session, please click below link to register.  Registration is open right after the previous session is finished.

The Zoom room will open 15 minutes prior.  Please be on time.


Click here for reading materials and podcasts.


Professionals or home-makers, students or parents, Everybody is welcome.

For inquiries, please contact  Thanks!

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