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Book Club


Led by QAGOMA Members Book Club facilitator Eve Jensen, with guest facilitator Ben Byrne for our January title, our summer book club will focus on Japanese fashion writing to tie in with the ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’ exhibition, currently on at GOMA until 15 February 2015. There will be no book club in December 2014.

Book in for one or all sessions to join the discussion — or read along at home!

The Swan Book

November Book Club

Alexis Wright

The Swan Book (2013)

Thursday 27 November | 9:45am or 2.30pm
Saturday 29 November | 10.30am or 1.30pm

Shortlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin award, Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013) — bitter, lovely, and tragic — imagines the fate of Indigenous Australia in a dystopian future, set in an Australian landscape catastrophically altered by climate change. As in her award-winning first book, Carpentaria (2006), The Swan Book interweaves ancient beliefs and modern worlds with the fragility of the mind constantly on stage. The wild energy and humour in Wright’s work finds hope in the bleakest situations in this book of intelligence and originality.

Bonnie English

January Book Club

Bonnie English

Japanese Fashion Designers: the work and influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (2011)

Thursday 22 January | 10.30am or 2.30pm
Saturday 24 January | 10.30am or 2.30pm

Hosted by Ben Byrnes, Guest Book Club facilitator

The perfect guide book to ‘Future Beauty’, Associate Professor Bonnie English’s seminal work, Japanese Fashion Designers:The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (2011), is the product of 12 years of research — born from her role in co-curating the Brisbane City Gallery exhibition ‘Tokyo Vogue: Japanese & Australian Fashion’ in 1999. ‘Tokyo Vogue’ was the first major fashion design exhibition held in Queensland, and the first exhibition of Japanese contemporary fashion in Australia. Having worked closely with Bonnie on the book as a researcher and picture editor, Ben Byrne will be joining us as a special guest to host the discussions relating to ‘Future Beauty’ and the work of the three key designers in the exhibition, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.

Uno Chiyo

February Book Club

Uno Chiyo

Confessions of Love (1935)

Thursday 19 February | 10.30am or 2.30pm
Saturday 28 February | 11.00am or 2.00pm

Hosted by Eve Jensen, QAGOMA Book Club facilitator

Confessions of Love takes us back to 1920s Japan, via a largely autobiographical account of writer and fashion designer Uno Chiyo’s torrid love affair with an artist. Written in a frank, spontaneous style, and from the perspective of the male character, Uno Chiyo (1897–1996) established her literary reputation with this early work and is unique for Japanese fiction of the period. Considered to be one of twentieth-century Japan’s most accomplished, celebrated and influential women, in addition to her rising popularity as a writer, she also found time to establish and run Japan’s first Western-style fashion magazine Sutairu (Style) (1936–59), which she occasionally modelled, and became well known for her own brand of contemporary, somewhat flamboyant, kimono designs. Uno remained active as a writer almost through to the end of her life, awarded in Japan for the Women’s Literature Prize (1970), the Japan Art Academy Prize (1972), the Kikuchi Kan Prize (1982), and the Order of Cultural Merit (1990).

Pre-order your books to avoid disappointment — please contact the QAGOMA Store on (07) 3840 7290 at the beginning of the season.

To register for any of the Book Club sessions, please call (07) 3840 7278 (places are strictly limited – book early to avoid disappointment) / $10 per meeting for QAGOMA Members / $15 Members’ guests (includes coffee and tea and sweets).