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November’s Stories and Poems

Written by Rachael Norris, 6th November 2020

November’s selection of stories, extracts and poems have been chosen by Amanda Brown, Head of Developing Shared Reading Communities at The Reader, and offer a wide spectrum of places to visit as the days get shorter and the darker evenings draw in.

The strains and stresses that occur in the lives of individuals and societies are explored in this month’s prose pieces, from the gulf that can appear between children and parents, family members brought back together after periods of absence, a family man who feels like something unexplainable might be missing from his life, all the way to a child living in a deeply divided society. Where can resolution, understanding, comfort and distraction be found in these situations?

There’s also an extract from one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, in which feelings and experiences that are relevant to us in a modern world begin to take shape in ways which can hardly be predicted.

November’s prose extracts are:

Othello (extract from Act 1, Scene 3) by William Shakespeare

A Spool of Blue Thread (extract) by Anne Tyler

‘Power’ by Jack Cope

The Green Road (extract) by Anne Enright

‘Other People’s Gods’ by Naomi Alderman

Memory and perspective come to the fore in the chosen poems, particularly when it comes to making sense of our surroundings and understanding where we have come from and the people we have known – and perhaps, the people we still do, just in a different way. We also enjoy a taste of summer – a treat as winter begins to make itself known – and find something to celebrate in the weather that all too often characterises the latter months of the year.

If you're a Reader Volunteer, all of November’s Stories and Poems can be downloaded from the Online Community Hub here.

If you’re looking for even more recommendations, or would like to enjoy some reading for yourself , tune into The Reader’s Daily Readings, bringing literature to life and into your homes. November’s theme for our daily readings and recommendations is ‘Light in the Dark’ – download the full calendar here.

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