The Queerish Book Club April 2024: Pity by Andrew McMillan

The Queerish Book Club is a monthly book club that specialises in LGBTQ+ literature. It typically runs on the last/second to last Monday of the month at 7pm and takes place at The Queerish Bookshop.

Our April book is Pity by Andrew McMillan and our meeting will take place on Monday 29th April at 7pm.

This is out first time running the club with tickets, and we are sold out. People who have not booked a ticket will not be given entry as we have limited space in store. 

Below are the questions we will discuss at the club. Please note the questions contain spoilers.  

Pity - Book Club Questions

1. The prose mixed third-person narration with first-person field notes and surveillance (CCTV, gossip). Did you enjoy this way of approaching the story? Or would you have preferred something different? 

2. The researchers come to Barnsley to hear the stories of the townspeople for their "narrative" as opposed to the overarching one about the miner's strike. At the end, they propose "in contradiction to the popular sentiment, it's not so much that history repeats itself, it's that it crushes on, relentlessly." Do you agree with this? What do you think about the exploration of history and its impact? 

3. Simon's boyfriend, Ryan, intends on joining the police. Alex points out not so long ago the police physically assaulted striking miner's, and we also know the police enacted similar violence on the LGBTQ+ community. What do you think about the history of state violence against citizens, and Ryan's decision to join the force?

4. Barnsley was a mining town, and since the pit closure has become a deprived area. Even when the pit was open, it was not a highly lucrative community. Let's look at this quote describing the coal: "And beneath their feet, a mile down, money; to be counted at the surface, so they could be handed back the sleck.". What do you think about the distribution of wealth made from the coal, and the impact of the mines closing on the prosperity of the town? 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.