BOOK CLUB 101
NYU Skirball’s Book Club is back! We pair each production in our season with a complementary book – novels, short stories, essays, poetry, memoirs. Whether or not you have a chance to see the show, you can pick up the book and join us via Zoom for an informal discussion. We’ll meet on Wednesday nights at 7PM, opening week of each show.
How does it work? RSVP with your e-mail address so we can send you the Zoom link on the day of the event. After a brief introduction, we will shift participants into self-led breakout rooms, in groups of about 10, so everyone can participate in a discussion before coming back to the main room to wrap up. Need a copy of the book? Order a copy from our bookshop.org list, and NYU Skirball will receive a portion of the proceeds.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his own personal history to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile Cree Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. A 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, he earned his PhD in English at the University of Alberta. He was also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an M.St. in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford and Wadham College. In the First Nations Youth category, Belcourt was awarded a 2019 Indspire Award, which is the highest honor the Indigenous community bestows on its own leaders. He is the author of three books: This Wound is a World, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, and A History of My Brief Body. His fourth book, A Minor Chorus, will be published in the fall of 2022. billy-raybelcourt.com
WHY THIS BOOK?
Two artists, working in different genres (with a shared interest in music), help us think about the great philosophical, existential, political – and personal – problem of the body. A comparative reading of the titles alone could fuel this hour.