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April Book Group Discussion: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

April 25 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

The Last Samurai is about the relationship between a single mother, Sibylla, and her son, Ludo, who live together in a small flat in London where Sibylla, an American expatriate, works as a freelance typist. From a young age Ludo proves to be gifted: he starts reading at two, reading Homer in the original Greek at three, and goes on to Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, Inuit, and advanced mathematics. As a substitute for a male influence in his upbringing, Sibylla plays him Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which he comes to know by heart.

The next portion of the novel describes Ludo at age eleven, with no formal schooling and the only social interaction he has coming from his participation in a judo class in which his mother has enrolled him. After meeting his biological father, whom he deems undeserving due to his lack of genuine intellect, he devotes his time to the pursuit of various potential fathers. Ludo interacts with several adult male geniuses, testing each to see if they would make a good candidate to be his father.


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April 25
10:00 am - 11:00 am