Melikian Center Book Club - Tempe Public Library

This book group will read fiction by a range of award-winning authors based at the edges of the European Union, who draw from experience to imagine border-crossing, and the encounter with an alien world, from a range of perspectives. Tackling themes of mobility, curiosity and identity, these authors invite us to empathize with characters determined to make meaning out of fractured and divided lives. Across East Europe, a majority of citizens live less than a two-hour drive from the edge of their country. The challenge, excitement and risk of crossing into a different culture, history, language and worldview have captured the attention of writers, including those in countries that have joined the European Union, and those where international travel requires enormous sacrifices.

The club meets the 2nd Monday of the month (unless otherwise noted).

The book club is hosted at the Tempe Public Library, convened by Keith Brown. To check our book club schedule visit and click Event Calendar

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Upcoming Book April 28, 2024

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master's Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master's Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today's greatest writers.

REGISTER for this upcoming book club to join the discussion at 3.00 PM on April 28, 2024. Click here for the discussion guide and more.

Recent Books

The host of the book club, Keith Brown, is the Director of the Melikian Center and Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. The Melikian Center was recently recognized by the US Department of Education as a National Resource Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. Keith is an anthropologist who writes about the Western Balkans, and would always rather be reading. He was born in Northern Ireland, grew up in England, did his PhD in Chicago, and lived and worked on the East Coast for 15 years moving to Arizona in 2017. In 2021-22, he spent 12 months in Finland as a fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in Finland.

Melikian Center Reading Group Archive

February 2023

2021 October

2021 September

2021 February

2021 January

2020 December

2020 October

2020 September