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Bilingual Book Group

Bilingual Book Group

About this course

Looking for a good read and stimulating discussion? Join WICE's monthly Bilingual Book Group and exchange perspectives in an informal and friendly environment.

Books are chosen by members and the selection reflects their broad tastes and origins. We select books published in French and English and participants are encouraged to contribute in whichever language is more comfortable to them.

The Bilingual Book Group is free for WICE Members, so why not become a WICE Member now?

Registration required; seats are limited.

If you would like more information or if you have questions, please email



    • 10 Dec 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Remote Online (Zoom)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Booker prize-winning author and one of the most respected novelist in contemporary Britain, Graham Swift captures themes of love, friendship and the subjective nature of memory in his latest novella Here We Are.

    Written in stunning prose and focussing on the lives of three characters Here We Are reinforces Swift’s reputation as a chronicler of English life.

    ‘Graham [Swift] doesn't go for flashy things... He goes for depth of emotions and he doesn't like to show off. He goes into that drizzly, unglamorous region of human existence and tries to find there something universal. I think that he looks for the dignity and heroism of very ordinary, drab, almost-defeated lives.’ fellow Booker prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro.

    ‘Swift’s closing account of a mundane world momentarily pierced by a shaft of numinous mystery is magnificent.’ The New York Times

    ‘Graham Swift nous offre surtout une fable troublante sur les jeux de l'amour, les tours, bons ou mauvais, que réserve la vie.’ Les Echos

    Registrations Open 6 November 2021

    • 14 Jan 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Remote Online (Zoom)
    • 10

    Jessica Shattuck’s evocative novel The Women in the Castle offers a fresh perspective on war and its repercussions.

    Shattuck uses family history to explore the lives and fate of three widows and their individual response to war.

    The Women of the Castle is a novel of secrets, survival and the power of forgiveness. The Women in the Castle was inspired by Shattuck’s grandparents' experiences in Germany during World War II.

    ‘In this primer about how evil invades then corrupts normal existence, Shattuck delivers simple, stark lessons on personal responsibility and morality…’ Kirkus Review

    ’Un roman d’une grande richesse qui, à travers les personnages de trois femmes très différentes, évoque avec beaucoup d’intelligence et d’émotion la complexité de l’après-guerre en Allemagne.’ ActuaLitte.com

    Registrations Open 11 December 2021

    • 11 Feb 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • TBC

    Published in 1899, Heart of Darkness recounts the tale of a river-boat captain who takes on a mission into the African interior (the Belgian Congo, if unnamed) at the height of imperial rule. His odyssey portrays power, alienation and loneliness, with brutal colonialism as its backdrop. Heart of Darkness is one of the first recognisably modernist works of literature in English, using a technique called the frame narrative previously associated with poets such as Chaucer and Boccaccio. It is also one of the most analysed works in English fiction, and its universal themes have a popularity that resonates to this day. Coppola's film Apocalypse Now is based on Heart of Darkness but set in the jungles of Vietnam.

    ‘(Heart of Darkness) is a haunting, hypnotic masterpiece by a great writer who towers over the literature of the 20th century.’ The Guardian.

    ‘Ce livre est devenu une pierre de touche pour penser l’Afrique et l’Europe, la civilisation et la sauvagerie, l’impérialisme, le génocide, la folie, la nature humaine elle-même,’ Maya Jasanoff.

    Registration opens 15 January 2022.

    photo credit: Penguin Classics

    • 11 Mar 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Remote Online (Zoom)

    Il treno dei Bambini (Le Train des enfants/The Children's Train) by Viola Ardone Based on true events, Viola Ardone’s The Children’s Train is set in post-World War II Naples when poor children from the south were sent to live with families in the north to survive deprivation and harsh winters. The novel recounts the world through the eyes of seven-year-old Amerigo Speranza -- a life marked by poverty and a complex relationship with his mother and those around him, filled with harshness but also love and richness.

    ‘Le train des enfants n’en raconte pas moins un drame déchirant où se confrontent la bienveillance et la cruauté, la reconnaissance et l’ingratitude, la vérité et le mensonge, la trahison et le pardon. ’Ledevoir.com "Ardone’s beautifully crafted story explores the meaning of identity and belonging...recommended to fans of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels." – The Library Journal

    Viola Ardone ‘ha il pregio, davvero consolante, di raccontare la storia di un bambino in affido senza occultarne alcun aspetto. E anzi rispettando la straziante “doppiezza” della vita di Amerigo, la perdita della mamma e la sconfitta della fame, le radici recise e la nuova serenità, l’insicurezza indegna e la protezione “artificiale” imposta dall’altro e al tempo stesso provvidenziale.’ La Repubblica.

    Registration opens 12 February 2022

    photo credit: Editions Albin Michel

    • 08 Apr 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Remote Online (Zoom)

    This spell-binding novel tells the story of Tequila Leila, a sex worker who has been assaulted and left for dead in a rubbish bin in Istanbul. The title refers to the period when Tequila’s mind continues to function and she reminisces about her life, from childhood in the provincial city of Van to the cosmopolitan hub of Istanbul. Shafak's work was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize, whose judges hailed it for its investigation of prostitution, exploitation and ignorance, its forensic description of intimacy and its beautiful meditative style. ‘Shafak writes with vision, bravery and compassion. Her novel is a stunning portrait of a city, a society, a small community and a single soul.’ New York Times.

    ‘Elif Şafak nous entraîne dans une Istanbul qui n’est pas du tout touristique, dans ses quartiers mal famés. En adoptant cette nouvelle identité de Tequila Leila, le personnage de Leila va se prostituer - on retrouve ici le motif de la marginalité, fil de rouge de toute l'œuvre de Şafak.' Kerenn Elkaïm Livres Hebdo

    photo: ©Penguin Books

Past events

19 Nov 2021 WN051 Runaway (Fugitives) by Alice Munro (Group 2)
08 Oct 2021 W081 Bilingual Book Group : Frère d'âme (At Night All Blood is Black) by David Diop
10 Sep 2021 WS101 Bilingual Book Group : While Paris Slept (L'enfant du train) by Ruth Druart
11 Jun 2021 WU111: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
04 Jun 2021 WU041: Bilingual Book Group Special Event / Rencontre Litteraire Bilingue de WICE
07 May 2021 WY141 Appointment in Samarra (Rendez-vous à Samarra) by John O’Hara
09 Apr 2021 WA091 Bilingual Books: Lolita (Penguin classic) by Vladimir Nabokov
26 Mar 2021 WM261:The General of the Dead Army (Le Général de l'armée morte) Ismail Kadaré
12 Mar 2021 WM121 Bilingual Books: Boquitas Pintadas (Heartbreak Tango / Le Plus Beau Tango Du Monde) by Manuel PUIG
26 Feb 2021 WF261 - Bilingual Books: Convenience Store Woman (La fille de la supérette) by Sayaka Murata
12 Feb 2021 WF121 Bilingual Books: You Will Be Safe Here (Tout Ira Bien) by Damian Barr
22 Jan 2021 WJ221 Bilingual Books: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (La Taupe)
08 Jan 2021 WJ081 Bilingual Books: Middle England (Le Cœur de l'Angleterre) by Jonathan Coe (Remote)
11 Dec 2020 WD111 Bilingual Books: Where the Crawdads Sing (Là où chantent les écrevisses) by Delia Owens
27 Nov 2020 WN271 Bilingual Books: A Gentleman in Moscow (Un gentleman à Moscou) by Amor Towles.
13 Nov 2020 WN201 Bilingual Books: Homegoing (No Home) by Yaa Gyasi (New Date)
09 Oct 2020 WO091 Bilingual Books: La porte des enfers (Hell’s Gate) by Laurent Gaudé
17 Sep 2020 ES171 WICE Virtual Open House 2020
11 Sep 2020 WS111 Bilingual Books: All We Shall Know (Tout ce que nous allons savoir) by Donal Ryan (Remote Online)
16 Jun 2020 WA141 Bilingual Books: The Châtelet Apprentice: The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation (L'enigme des Blancs-Manteaux : Les enquêtes de Nicolas le Floch, n°1) - REMOTE
12 Jun 2020 WU171 Bilingual Books: David Young, Stasi Child (Thriller Genre Talk)
02 Jun 2020 WY121 Bilingual Books (Historical Book Series): Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation - REMOTE
08 May 2020 WA171 Bilingual Books: Sándor Márai, Embers [Les Braises] - REMOTE
24 Apr 2020 WM131 Bilingual Books: Madeline Miller, Circe - REMOTE
26 Mar 2020 WO151 Bilingual Books: Alias Grace - REMOTE
14 Feb 2020 WF141 Bilingual Books: Tender is the Night (Tendre est la nuit)
11 Feb 2020 WN191 Bilingual Books: Suite Francaise (New date)
14 Jan 2020 WD171 Bilingual Books: The Châtelet Apprentice: The First Nicolas Le Floch Investigation (L'enigme des Blancs-Manteaux : Les enquêtes de Nicolas le Floch, n°1) (New Date)
10 Jan 2020 WJ101 Bilingual Books: Fernando Aramburu, Patria (Homeland)
13 Dec 2019 WD131 Bilingual Books: Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) (New Date pending in June 2020)
15 Nov 2019 WN151 Bilingual Books: Notre-Dame du Nil (Our Lady of the Nile: A Novel)
11 Oct 2019 WO111 Bilingual Books: The Road Home (La route du retour)
13 Sep 2019 WS131 Bilingual Books: The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, (L'Arabe du futur) 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir
14 Jun 2019 WU141 Bilingual Books: The Yacoubian Building (L'Immeuble Yacoubian) by Alaa Al Aswany
17 May 2019 WY171 Bilingual Books: Cutting for Stone (La porte des larmes) by Abraham Verghese
12 Apr 2019 WA121 Bilingual Books: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf) by Edward Albee
15 Mar 2019 WM081 Bilingual books: Nutshell (Dans une coque de noix) by Ian McEwan
08 Feb 2019 WF081 Bilingual books: Eva Dorme (Eva Sleeps) by Francesca Melandri
11 Jan 2019 WJ111 Bilingual books: D'après une histoire vraie (Based on a True Story) by Delphine de Vigan
14 Dec 2018 WD141 Bilingual books: Days Without End (Des jours sans fin) by Sebastian Barry
16 Nov 2018 WN161 Bilingual books: White Tears (Larmes blanches) by Hari Kunzru
12 Oct 2018 WO121 Bilingual books: Never Let Me Go (Auprès de moi toujours) by Kazuo Ishiguro
14 Sep 2018 WS141 Bilingual books: Indiana by George Sand
08 Jun 2018 WU081 Bilingual books: Édouard Louis, En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (The End of Eddy)
18 May 2018 WY181 Bilingual books: Philip Roth, American Pastoral (Pastorale américaine)
13 Apr 2018 WA131 Bilingual books: Nancy Huston, Fault Lines (Lignes de faille)
09 Mar 2018 WM091 Bilingual books: Jose Saramago, Blindness (L'aveuglement)
09 Feb 2018 WF091 Bilingual books: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (La route étroite vers le nord lointain)
12 Jan 2018 WJ121 Bilingual books: Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma (La Chartreuse de Parme)
08 Dec 2017 WD081 Bilingual books: Alecia McKenzie, Sweetheart (Trésor)
10 Nov 2017 WN101 Bilingual books: Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend (L'amie prodigieuse)
13 Oct 2017 WO131 Bilingual books: Joseph Boyden, Through Black Spruce (Les Saisons de la solitude)
15 Sep 2017 WS091 Bilingual books: Anne Enright, The Gathering (Retrouvailles)
09 Jun 2017 EU091 Bilingual Books: L'Étranger by Albert Camus & Meursault, Contre Enquête (The Meursault Investigation) by Kamel Daoud
12 May 2017 EY121 Bilingual Book Group: "The Harder They Come" by T.C. Boyle
21 Apr 2017 EA211 Bilingual Book Group: "The Secret Ministry of Ag. & Fish: My Life in Churchill's School for Spies" by Noreen Riols
10 Mar 2017 EM101 Bilingual Book group "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang
10 Feb 2017 EF101 Bilingual Book Group: "The Wound" ("Des Hommes") by Laurent Mauvignier
13 Jan 2017 EJ131 Bilingual Book Group - "Bel Ami" by Guy de Maupassant
02 Dec 2016 ED021 Bilingual Books: The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera
04 Nov 2016 EN041 Bilingual Book Group: "The Universe of Stone" by Philip Ball
07 Oct 2016 EO071 Bilingual Book Group: "Us" by David Nicholls
10 Jun 2016 Bilingual Books "The Lowland" by Jhumpa Lahiri
13 May 2016 Bilingual book group; "The Custom of the Country" By Edith Wharton
08 Apr 2016 Bilingual Book Group "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Wolff
11 Mar 2016 Bilingual Books "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr
12 Feb 2016 Bilingual Book Group "An Officer and a Spy" by Robert Harris
08 Jan 2016 Bilingual Book Group "La Peste" ("The Plague") by Albert Camus
13 Nov 2015 Bilingual Books "NW" by Zadie Smith
24 Oct 2015 AO241 - Cyrano de Bergerac - VIP Theater Event
05 Jun 2015 Book Group "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway
15 May 2015 Book Group: "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson
03 Apr 2015 Book Group - " Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro
06 Mar 2015 Book Group - "The American" by Henry James
06 Feb 2015 Book group - "Someone" by Alice McDermott
09 Jan 2015 Book Group: "The Testament of Mary" by Colm Toibin
05 Dec 2014 Book Group: "The Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler
07 Nov 2014 Book Group - The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer
03 Oct 2014 Book Group - "The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers
30 May 2014 Book club: "The Fifth Child" by Doris Lessing
25 Apr 2014 Bilingual Book Group - Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro
04 Apr 2014 Bilingual Book Group: "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
07 Mar 2014 Bilingual Book Group: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
07 Feb 2014 WF007 Bilingual Book Group "A Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers
10 Jan 2014 WJ101 Bilingual Book Group - "Notre Dame du Nil" by Scholastique Mukasonga
13 Dec 2013 WD131 Bilingual Books - Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending
08 Nov 2013 WN081 - Bilingual Books - Françoise Hertier: Le Sel de la Vie
04 Oct 2013 WO041 - Bilingual Books - Kate Atkinson: Life after Life
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