The Monday Evening Book Club will meet in Forsyth Hall on January 9 at 7:00 pm. Our pick this month is The Prison Book Club, a memoir by Ann Walmsley.
About the book
An attack in London left journalist Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men’s medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear.
But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay Institution, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity.
From The Grapes of Wrath to The Cellist of Sarajevo, Outliers to Infidel, the book discussions became a springboard for frank conversations about loss, anger, redemption, and loneliness. The books changed the men and the men changed Walmsley. (Publisher)
About the author
Ann Walmsley is a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards and a Canadian Business Journalism Award. In November 2016, Walmsley won the 25th annual $10,000 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction for The Prison Book Club.
Ann Walmsley founded her first book club at age nine. She lives in Toronto with her family. (Publisher)
Book Clubs for Inmates website
The book club at the big house: How reading makes a difference in prison (Globe and Mail)
The darkness inside Canada’s prisons: Michael Enright interviews Carol Finlay (podcast)
When an author visits a [prison] book club
Book review in the Globe and Mail
Book review in Quill and Quire
Book review in the Winnipeg Free Press
Carol Finlay on The Morning Show (video)
Ann Walmsley website