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The Really Popular Book Club: How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from a New York Times bestselling author.

The Really Popular Book Club: The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Tue 28 February

The Really Popular Book Club is the online reading group hosted by Cambridge University Libraries. Everyone is invited to join us and our special guests to discuss a really popular book, one that we all know and perhaps or perhaps not love.

This February, we will be discussing Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Hours. In London in 1923, the writer Virginia Woolf is making a start on the novel that will become her acclaimed Mrs Dalloway. In Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown struggles with motherhood and the role of the suburban housewife. In New York in 1999, Clarissa Vaughan is throwing a party for her sometime-lover who is dying of AIDS. Cunningham’s novel - which was adapted into an award-winning film by Stephen Daldry starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore - relates the lives of these three women in subtle, asymmetric ways. Channelling the spirit of Woolf’s modernist tales, he crafts an expansive yet intimate narrative of the twentieth century and its tragedies.

Our special guest for the evening will be Dr Diarmuid Hester, a writer and radical cultural historian who teaches at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of English. He is the creator of A Great Recorded History, an audio trail of Cambridge focused on the city’s LGBTQ+ past, and the co-founder of Club Urania, a monthly performance and music night for LGBTQ+ people and their friends at Cambridge Junction. Nothing Ever Just Disappears, Diarmuid’s latest book about art, literature, and a queer sense of place, will be published by Penguin in August 2023.

This event will take place online using Zoom. Further information about The Really Popular Book Club, including our FAQs, can be found here: https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/whats/events/really-popular-book-club.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Please register via the website. Queries relating to this event can be directed to events@lib.cam.ac.uk.



Live Stream

All times

Tue 28 February 7:00PM - 8:00PM


Please note: the venue is to be confirmed