In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking to Miles Buckeridge, reporter from What’s On, and a sci-fi enthusiast, a banner carrier for geekdom, and a man who believes in love being a crucial part of living your best life.
Which brings us to the big topic..
Stevie Wonder just called to say it. Meatloaf would do anything for it. The Beatles say they can’t buy it.
This episode is all about love.
What do you think is the best literary depiction of love, and do you believe in soul mates? Send us a message on social media or ping us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books and authors mentioned in this episode:
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
It is big and it is epic. Miles is talking about love that transcends mortality, and as a lover of the abstract, he is a big fan. This book is a series of six stories, where one leads to the next, until they start the return journey. Each story is a different style, from noir to adventure, but each has a common character, reincarnated. Do you love the idea of soul mates? Then this one is for you.
Conditions of Love – the philosophy of intimacy, by John Armstrong
Looking at love through the lens of literature, from Gothe, to Socrates, via Plato, Tolstoy and many other big names in literature, John Armstrong makes us question how we look at love. Is it a feeling that happens to us, or an active choice we make and continue to make? Andrea recommends this erudite little book, which shines a light on our understanding of love.
Broken Wings, by Kahlil Gibran
Ahlam is drawn to this tragedy of love that goes unfulfilled. When young Kahlil meets Selma they fall madly in love at first sight, but their love is not to be. At the same moment they find each other, unbeknownst to them, Selma’s father accepts a proposal for her hand in marriage by a prominent religious man on behalf of his nephew. Duty triumphs over love, but their love is perfectly preserved in their hearts forever.
War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line, by David Nott
Annabelle confuses everyone by not choosing a Jane Austen book, but that’s what happened. Instead, she shared the details of this non-fiction memoir about being a doctor in a war zone. David Nott’s unflinching account doesn’t spare us any of the horrors of war, and the love story that follows is unexpected and beautiful.
Ahlam Bolooki is the Festival Director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Arab World. Ahlam finds it difficult to choose a favourite genre as it’s always changing and she’s still in the midst of discovering her literary self. She’s catching up on all the gems she missed as a child such as The Little Prince and The Giving Tree, but has also developed a new appetite for Crime Fiction so who knows what’s next?
Andrea Gissdal is the Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation. From a voracious and indiscriminate reader as a child, to a part time bookseller as a student, as an adult she has become a literary omnivore but with a preference for fiction. She also dabbles in creative writing, and has a penchant for Scrabble.
Annabelle Corton is part of the team that puts together the programme of events for the EmiratesLitFest each year. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.