February book of the month: Room by Emma Donoghue
Our February book of the month shot to international bestsellerdom as soon as it was published in August 2010. Room has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year. It has also been a finalist for International Author of the Year (Galaxy National Book Awards).
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is the youngest of eight children. She moved to England to gain a PhD at Cambridge and from the age of 23, has earned a living as a writer (with one short exception: she was sacked after a month as a chambermaid). Her work spans fiction (she is the author of seven novels), radio plays, stage plays, academic studies and two films. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in Ontario, where she now lives with her partner Chris and son Finn (7) and daughter Una (3).
Room is narrated by a five-year-old called Jack, who lives in a locked room (11ft x 11ft) with his Ma and has never been let out. When he turns five, he starts to ask questions, and his mother reveals to him that there is a world outside.
Despite its terrifying subject matter, Room is no horror story or tearjerker, but a celebration of resilience and the love between parent and child. In the hands of this daring and sensitive novelist, Jack's tale is more than a victim-and-survivor story: it shows the power of language and storytelling, and is a tribute in praise of motherhood and parental love.
Date for your diary
Emma will be joining us on Wednesday 16 February, between 8pm and 9pm for the bookclub discussion - look forward to seeing you all there...
Anyone who can't make it, but would like to put a question to Emma, please feel free to post your question in advance.
Last updated: almost 2 years ago