Funny Boy

Last year, Amnesty International Canada asked me if I’d help them choose a title for their book club. They were particularly looking for an LGBTQ novel for their summer selection.

I had no idea that the human rights organization had a book club, but was honoured to be asked. After much consideration, I decided on Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai.

Funny Boy was one of the first books I read after coming out. It had been recommended by a staff member at L’Androgyne bookstore on St. Laurent, the store now long gone. I would come to spend so much time there over the years, discovering many of my favourite authors and their books (as well as new friends). It’s tragic we no longer have such a space anymore. I suppose that’s why I started the Violet Hour. To create a spot in the city where book lovers can come every few months and share their love of reading, discover new books and writers, and meet new friends (and maybe even new dates).

I had to reread Funny Boy to put the discussion guide together, and found that I could burn through the book in no time (a good sign). It had held up over the years. Once again, I could see myself in Arjie. And it reminded me about the power of reading. How your life can be so different from another person’s, but, at the core, we are still very much the same.

You can read my essay and book club questions on Funny Boy here.

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