Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, July 13 at 3:30 pm to discuss “The Hare with Amber Eyes” (2010) by Edmund de Waal. [The author will not be present.]

A bestselling memoir, "The Hare with Amber Eyes," was shortlisted for numerous prizes and won the Costa Biography Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize. It describes the story of a beautiful collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, which the author inherited.  In this extraordinarily moving detective story, he researches and discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations.  A 19th century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich as the Rothschilds, yet by the end of World War II, this collection of netsuke was all that remained of their vast empire.  A reviewer for The New Yorker called the book "A family memoir written with a grace and modesty that almost belie the sweep of its contents: Proust, Rilke, Japanese art, the rue de Monceau, Vienna during the Second World War. The most enchanting history lesson imaginable."

Author Edmund de Waal is a world famous ceramicist whose porcelain has been displayed in many museum collections around the world.  He has recently made an installation for the dome of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  He was apprenticed as a potter, studied in Japan, and studied English at Cambridge.  He is Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster and lives in London with his family.

Led by Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction.  Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books.  Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

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