‘P!CKER PART I: Elaine Lustig Cohen’ (2017) installation view at Stanley Picker Gallery. Photography Plastiques

Book Club: Grendel

Wednesday 18 October, 5-7pm at Stanley Picker Gallery

Stanley Picker Gallery and the Writers’ Centre Kingston are excited to present the first two events of a newly formed Book Club, organised by writer and KU student Dacy Lim. These first two sessions take place alongside the exhibition P!CKER PART I: Elaine Lustig Cohen, on 18 October and 15 November. The suggested readings were chosen in dialogue with curator Prem Krishnamurthy. 

The book club aims to bring something different to the typical discussion group. The suggested reading for this first session is Grendel – a 1971 novel by American author John Gardner which tells the story of a monster from its own perspective. Grendel, the book’s eponymous protagonist, is the creature whom Beowulf fights in the Old English epic poem. Yet in this rendition, Grendel – uncertain and reflective as he kills Hrothgar’s human clan – tells us the story from his own side, revealing what it is to be considered evil.

In this first meeting, we will discuss Grendel alongside other materials, including Elaine Lustig Cohen’s artist statement, as a jumping off point to consider the relationship between private and public moments in one’s life and work. Prior to the Club, participants are also invited to create something (a piece of writing, an image, a recipe, could be anything) meant to be kept private/for themselves. During the session, we will then work on content to be shared with others.

Copies of Grendel are available to loan from the following local libraries: Elmbridge Library; RBK Libraries. A copy of the book is also available in the Gallery’s Programme Room.

Get Involved

For more information about this project and others please contact Natalie Kay on 020 8417 4074 or email n.kay@kingston.ac.uk.

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