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  • Michael Ondaatje at Books & Books
    Dec 6, 2011 - 8:00pm to Dec 6, 2011 - 10:00pm
    Books & Books
    265 Aragon Ave

    The Cat’s Table tells the spellbinding story of a life journey that begins with the magical discoveries of a childhood sea voyage.An eleven-year-old boy boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table”—as far from the Captain’s Table as can be—with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. The narrator’s elusive, beautiful cousin Emily becomes his confidante, allowing him to see himself “with a distant eye” for the first time, and to feel the first stirring of desire. Another Cat’s Table (Knopf, $26) denizen, the shadowy Miss Lasqueti, is perhaps more than what she seems. And very late every night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and his fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As Michael Ondaatje’s narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story—by turns poignant and electrifying—about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.

    The Cat’s Table tells the spellbinding story of a life journey that begins with the magical discoveries of a childhood sea voyage.An eleven-year-old boy boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table”—as far from the Captain’s Table as can be—with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. The narrator’s elusive, beautiful cousin Emily becomes his confidante, allowing him to see himself “with a distant eye” for the first time, and to feel the first stirring of desire. Another Cat’s Table (Knopf, $26) denizen, the shadowy Miss Lasqueti, is perhaps more than what she seems. And very late every night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and his fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As Michael Ondaatje’s narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story—by turns poignant and electrifying—about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.