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Talking about Anne on a Wednesday morning

Wednesdays are slow. I never know what to do with them; it feels like I'm drained by Tuesday and Friday is too far away. (I've been trying to work 4-day weeks since April, but Wednesday still feels the same.) 

This week, however, Wednesday was different. I had a chance to chat with Kamil Trzebiatowski about my favourite book series, Anne of Green Gables and its sequels by L.M. Montgomery. Kamil is writing a book about the influence of these books on his life and ethics, alongside a website and YouTube channel called Tenderness Lessons. I was honoured to be the first guest on his new video series, Conversations About Anne.

We talked about how we first "met" Anne, the themes of the books and what we've taken away from them, Anne and Gilbert's relationship, the role of nature, and the importance of a well-rounded and balanced life. This was a great opportunity for me to expand on some of the ideas in my 2017 post Growing up with Anne Shirley, as well as one from earlier this year, Food x Books Project: Anne Shirley's teatime biscuits (yes, it's about more than biscuits). 

I'm not super comfortable or confident speaking (much happier writing), but in the last year or so I've done a couple of other talks and I'm getting used to it. Still, I sometimes lose my head and make the occasional error, such as saying that I was born a century after the books were written – I'm not that young, and what I meant was that Anne and I were experiencing similar things almost a century apart. Also, when I said "boy/man" I forgot to indicate the slash, which remained in my head, and I certainly wasn't trying to invent a new word. I'm also speaking from my own limited experience and I'm aware that I reduced gender to quite a binary there, which I'll be more cognizant of in the future.

So without further ado, here is our conversation in two parts. There's so much more to say and I tried to squeeze in as much as I could, but it already ran quite long. Also, look at my puffed sleeves! I think they would make teenaged Anne happy.

Oh, and once you're done watching, check out the web series Green Gables Fables, a lovely contemporary take on Anne of Green Gables (season 1) and Anne of the Island (season 2). If you're not used to vlog-style series, I recommend watching at least 5-10 episodes to really get into it. 


  1. Loving this discussion! Onto part 2 now, as I begin dinner prep.

    (This is the first time I'm hearing a book discussion + one that is in the vlog format, and I love it. It's giving me ideas :D)

    1. Thank you for watching the video(s), and I'm glad you liked it! Kudos to Kamil for initiating this. I want to hear more about the ideas you mention :)

    2. I would love to share with you in the near future, over coffee and cake, ideally, ha!

      I'm slowly making my way through Kamil's Tenderness-Lessons website, and am fascinated by the project. I absolutely love how deeply impacted he was by the books, and his reflections on how it became his ethics. (That was what I most enjoyed about both of your discussions around the books- how you personally related to it, and how it sort of drew you forward into a more expansive way of being, if one may put it that way?)

      It makes me increasingly think about how some of the authors of the most wonderful, magical texts chose to create stories and worlds that were so different from their own difficult lives (LM Montgomery's own life was filled with many sorrows, if I remember correctly, no?). Somewhere in those stories-of these authors and their texts-lie some sarvashresht spiritual truths on living and inhabiting the world, me thinks.

      I hope you keep these discussions coming!

      (I wanted to add-yay for the puffed sleeves! A mighty fine touch this was! :D)

    3. I look forward to it!

      Yes, I really enjoyed delving into that aspect of the discussion too. In recent years I find myself picking up the Anne books during corresponding phases of my life and finding new meaning based on my lived experience. And you're right - I did wonder whether Gilbert was LMM's "ideal partner" whom she wasn't allowed to have.

      Believe it or not, the sleeves were a happy coincidence!

  2. That's a lovely response, Koyel, thank you! The realisation that Anne's ethics and mine converge took quite a long to come to me on a conscious level, but it's certainly the case. My thanks to Kriti for agreeing to have this first conversation in the series. I am also finding it easier to express myself in writing, but I felt it was a good start to the series nonetheless and there is no doubt that Kriti is a profound and reflective thinker, so it felt easy to bounce my ideas off her.

    Watch this space - yes, more discussions are coming. :)

    The puff sleeves were awesome!

    1. The pleasure was all mine, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to have this conversation with you – I almost forgot it was for an audience! Thank you for your compliments :)

  3. Oh, by the way, Kriti, I knew exactly what you meant by "boy man". I certainly didn't take the "boy" to be an adjective there. :)


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