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Selection Of The Month
Publication Date: 2020
The original, unforgettable and thought-provoking new novel by award-winning author Chris Flynn that will change how readers understand the world. Narrated by a 13,000-year-old extinct mammoth, this is the (mostly) true story of how a collection of prehistoric creatures came to be on sale at a natural history auction in New York in 2007. By tracing how and when these fossils were unearthed, Mammoth leads us on a funny and fascinating journey from the Pleistocene epoch to nineteenth-century America and beyond, revealing how ideas about science and religion have shaped our world. With our planet on the brink of calamitous climate change, Mammoth scrutinises humanity's role in the destruction of the natural world while also offering a message of hope.
Zoom Meeting Information
Zoom information (and possible hybrid meeting details) will be provided closer to the planned meeting: 12:00pm-1:00pm, May 18, 2022.
1. Mammoth uses a framing narrative of the fossils being up for sale at a natural history auction. How does this setting add depth and complexity to the stories the fossils tell?
2. Mammoth’s bones are used by US President Thomas Jefferson as a symbol of American superiority. Can you think of any parallels in contemporary times whereby world leaders appeal to their country’s greatness through ‘large’ symbolic means?
3. Many aspects of this novel prove the aphorism: truth is stranger than fiction. What is one incredible thing that you learnt from Mammoth that is actually true?
4. Who is your favourite fossil? And why?
5. What do you think about the fact that scientists might be able to reverse the extinction of mammoths as a species? Do you think it will happen?
Adapted from UQP Book Club Notes - https://d3f44jafdqsrtg.cloudfront.net/book-clubs/BookClubNotes_Mammoth.pdf
Further Reading And Materials