Butler's `Parable' the choice

Book club

January 10, 2002

An interview with Peggy Moore, founding member of The Saturday Club book club.

How did your club get started? I'm one of the original members. There are six members. ... We were friends, and we got together in September of 1992. It's called the Saturday Club, and we meet the last Saturday of each month from September to June. We do not meet during the summer.

What book are members reading this month? Our latest is Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler.

How did you chose that book? We meet in each other's homes, and whoever is going to host the next book club meeting picks the book. ... We just do a range of [types of] books. Parable of the Talents is more science fiction. We've read several of Toni Morrison's books. We've read Zora Neale Hurston. We've read J. California Cooper. Our very first book was The Isis Papers by Frances Welsing. We've also read Barbara Chase-Riboud [and] Living In, Living Out by Elizabeth Clark-Lewis.

All the books you've mentioned are by African-American females. Is that the groups' focus? We do read a lot of African-American females, but we've also read Henry Louis Gates. We've read Ernest Gaines, Ralph Wiley. We've also read books by Walter Mosley. ... We've read a book by an African, Chinua Achebe. It's called Things Fall Apart. Individually we all read a diversity of books by diverse authors, but as a group our club has been discovering different black authors. Not consciously, but it's worked out that way.

Is there a particular author or book that club members have especially liked? I'll tell you a book that we really liked. It was Having Our Say [by sisters Sarah Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany]. We take trips together, and after having read the book we went to New York to see [the play] Having Our Say. I think a lot of us liked the book because of the longevity of these women [the authors, who wrote about their first 100 years]. All of us are about the same age. I am 63. I think the youngest is in her 50s, and the oldest is probably about 65. It's kind of inspiring that these two women are elderly people and had accomplished so much, and it was just written with such humor.

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