A Book Club style event – ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue, (2010) Picador, London
Shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize
This extraordinary work of fiction was seemingly “inspired” by Josef Fritzl’s incarceration of his daughter Elisabeth, and the cases of Natascha Kampusch and Sabine Dardenne. As Jack is about to celebrate is 5th birthday, the extent and limitations of Jack’s world unfolds. Jack is the narrator, and his voice takes a while to get used to. This book is a challenging read. The tale is about survival, particularly the power of language and storytelling as strategies for survival. But it is also a study of child development, exploring the mother/child relationship at painfully close quarters, and what separation means when the dyadic experience has been lived in such perverse circumstances. Our discussion will pursue some of these themes, and others suggested by the participants.
The book is introduced by Caroline Payton, a psychodynamic counsellor (Birkbeck 2005) currently working in primary care in South London.