The KU Reading Group invite you to join us virtually for the first of our two Summer Reads sessions to discuss Kiley Reid’s ‘Such a Fun Age’.
On 8th September 2022, 4.30-6pm, we will be discussing Kiley Reid’s ‘Such a Fun Age’ (2020), which has been described by its author as a ‘comedy of good intentions that lays bare the everyday biases that we don’t even know we have’. The everyday biases to which Reid is referring are apparent from the start of the novel, which is set in an upmarket supermarket in Philadelphia. Emira Tucker, an African American college graduate and a part-time babysitter, is trying to entertain Briar Chamberlain, the White infant she is employed to look after. Suddenly, the pair are approached by a White security guard who accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar. A heated exchange follows and Emira and Briar are only allowed to leave when Briar’s father is called to explain the situation. The scene is over as quickly as it began. But it is not forgotten, as it has all been recorded on video.
Much attention has been paid to this opening scene as it not only highlights the security guard’s racism, but also the systemic racism at the heart of society. As Reid has indicated, she wanted to write a satire about ‘polite liberal prejudice that challenged readers, especially white privileged readers, with difficult questions about race, class, and identity’, and the role they need take as active bystanders.
Please join us to share your thoughts, ideas, responses to and opinions about ‘Such a Fun Age’ at our next virtual reading group session on 8th September, 4.30-6pm. To take part in the first of two September Summer reading group sessions, please contact Karen on K.Lipsedge@Kingston.ac.uk.