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CCW Book Discussion: Original Prin by Randy Boyagoda

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CUA Barnes & Noble Café

625 Monroe St. NE

Washington, DC 20064

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University corruption, infidelity, Catholic theology, Middle Eastern politics. "An unputdownable book." - Salmon Rushdie.

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Join the Contemporary Catholic Writers Group for a discussion of

Original Prin by Randy Boyagoda

Eight months before he became a suicide bomber, Prin went to the zoo with his family. Following a cancer diagnosis, forty-year old Prin vows to become a better man and a better Catholic. He’s going to spend more time with his kids and better time with his wife, care for his recently divorced and aging parents, and also expand his cutting-edge research into the symbolism of the seahorse in Canadian literature. But when his historic college in downtown Toronto faces a shutdown and he meets with the condominium developers ready to take it over―including a foul-mouthed young Chinese entrepreneur and Wende, his sexy ex-girlfriend from graduate school―Prin hears the voice of God. Bewildered and divinely inspired, he goes to the Middle East, hoping to save both his college and his soul. Wende is coming, too. The first book in a planned trilogy, Original Prin is an entertaining and essential novel about family life, faith, temptation, and fanaticism.

Original Prin is many things at once: a richly funny campus novel, a painfully humorous portrait of a modern family, an examination of a whole spectrum of religious faith from shaky to fanatical, and finally, in a climax of pitch-black comedy, a thriller too. Boyagoda writes with real panache and drive. An unputdownable book.” ―Salman Rushdie

“University corruption, infidelity, Catholic theology, Middle Eastern politics: not many writers could convincingly keep so many balls in the air, and that Boyagoda does so in a truly funny novel is impressive enough. But perhaps even more striking is the depth of sensitivity and understanding that Boyagoda brings to the emotive issues of faith, immigration, and violence. By examining the messy intersections between religious fundamentalism, global capitalism, and liberal values through the gentle comic form of the campus novel, Boyagoda does more than offer clever satire―he humanizes these vast impersonal forces even as he imbues them with a moral complexity that frustrates easy political judgment.” ―The Walrus

FAQs

Q: What is the Contemporary Catholic Writers Group?

A: CCW is a reading series run by Catholic University English graduate students since 2015. Learn more about us here and on our English department webpage and listen to author talks and interviews on our podcast. All CCW events are free and open to everyone.

Q: How do you choose which books to read?

A: Everyone who participates in a book discussion during a given semester is invited to suggest titles for the next semester's reading list and to vote on the final selections. We often take titles from lists compiled by leading Catholic literary artists and editors (here and here, for example) and conferences such as the Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination and the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing. We are always open to new ideas from a variety of people and sources.

Q: Will the author be present at this book discussion?

A: No, but we will update the event page if there's ever a surprise visit.

Q: Why do I need to register?

A: RSVPs help us ensure there will be enough space for everyone. We appreciate the heads up!

Q: Should I bring anything besides my book?

A: Feel free to bring a beverage or snack to share, but we'll be just as happy if you just bring yourself.

Q: What if I haven't finished the book before the meeting?

A: Join us anyway! We enjoy serious, in-depth discussions focused on major themes, characters, and the nuts and bolts of literary craft, but we're not sticklers. Regardless of how far you are in the book, you're welcome to participate as much or as little as you're comfortable with. We recommend picking out a favorite passage or two that we can read aloud and use as jumping off points for further discussion.

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CUA Barnes & Noble Café

625 Monroe St. NE

Washington, DC 20064

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