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Cambridge University Library


The Really Popular Book Club is the new reading group hosted by Cambridge University Library. Everyone is invited to join us and our special guests to discuss a really popular book, one that we all know and perhaps or perhaps not love.

To mark LGBT History Month which takes place throughout February, all are invited to join us as we discuss Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith. Girl Meets Boy is part of the Canongate myth series, in which contemporary authors have been invited to rewrite myths – Ali Smith creatively rewrites the love story of Iphis and Ianthe from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and uses it tell us a story about humanity, social justice and love.

Our special guest for the meeting will be Miriam Lynn, head of the University of Cambridge’s Equality and Diversity team. When we asked Miriam which book she might like to talk about as a way of marking LGBT History Month, Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy was an easy decision, as Miriam explains: “Ali Smith uses humour and her signature use of word play to explore issues of homophobia, corporate and social responsibility and the joyful feeling of falling in love. This is a queer story with a happy ending - which is one of the reasons that I chose this book as an important land mark in my library of favourite books.”

As well as hearing from Miriam about her thoughts and observations on Girl Meets Boy, we will once again be opening the floor up to you, our club members, to share your own observations and remarks. To get you thinking and to help prepare any comments or questions you might want to share, we have prepared three starter questions:

1. How does the form or retelling myths impact the story?

2. Ali Smith has the capacity to non demonize villains – to what extent is this true in Girl Meets Boy?

3. Word play is such a powerful tool of Ali Smith's - what role does it have in this novella to transform?

Further information about The Really Popular Book Club, including our FAQs, can be found here.

Where: Online via Zoom Meetings

Registration: Free event, registration required – click here to register

Date: Tuesday 23 February 2021