by Preti Taneja
"What do you read, my lord?"
"Words, words, words."
About the Book Club
Join the Folger as we search the stacks for our favorite novels inspired by Shakespeare and the early modern era.
Held on the first Thursday of the month, this informal Book Club is free and open to all. Our picks range from historical fiction to adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, encompassing a wide variety of genres—all sourced from a different local, independent bookstore partner each month.
To spark the discussion, Folger staff open each meeting with a brief presentation that provides historical context, trivia, and connects the book to relevant items from the Folger Collection. Participants are then broken into smaller groups for breakout discussions, moderated by a team of staff and volunteers.
Participation is free but registration is required. Sessions will be conducted through Zoom, so keep an eye on your inbox the day before for an access link, along with recommendations for quick bites and beverages to enjoy while we chat.
Our September Pick
We That Are Young by Preti Taneja
When a billionaire hotelier and political operator attempts to pit his three daughters against one another, a brutal struggle for primacy begins in this modern-day take on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Set in contemporary India, where rich men are gods while farmers starve and water is fast running out, We That Are Young is a story about power, status, and the love of a megalomaniac father.
A searing exploration of human fallibility, Preti Taneja’s remarkable novel reveals the fragility of the human heart—and its inevitable breaking point.
“A page-turner that’s also unabashedly political—with the complex, ambiguous, fiercely felt politics of our time.” —The Guardian
Why did we choose this?
The Folger Shakespeare Library's collection explores not only Shakespeare's life and works, but also the plays' historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.
We That Are Young borrows its plot structure and character inspirations from Shakespeare's King Lear, setting the story in modern-day India for a new cultural perspective on this centuries-old tale.
Order Your Book
For this session, we are excited to once again partner with Solid State Books. Ideally situated in the heart of the bustling and historic H Street Corridor, Solid State Books provides our neighborhood with a vital intellectual and social hub. To learn more, visit their website at solidstatebooksdc.com.
Orders may be placed by phone (202.897.4201 or 202.897.4202), email (email@example.com), or by filling out this form. The shop is open everyday from 10am-7pm, and curbside pickup is available. You can also order through Bookshop.org.