Cleopatra at the Breakfast Table
Cleopatra at the Breakfast Table is about storytelling in the digital age. It’s a jaunty account of a single father, 55, and his daughter, 15, studying Grade 10 Latin together. The book explores the bustling life of teenaged girls, the expanding influence of technology, the peculiar logic of contemporary family life, and how fathers and daughters communicate, or fail to communicate, in the era of Facebook.
Father and daughter talk about teenage “death circles,” discuss how brothel owners in ancient times advertised their establishments, and come to realize that, while buying a new cell-phone contract, they might not think the same thing when they hear the words “three-year Virgin contract.”
For the book, the author interviewed Gordon Lightfoot, Dr. Ruth and the former Bishop of Mumbai. Also interviewed are a 12-year-old girl from New York City who studies for her Latin tests by texting with a friend, and a 99-year-old businessman who dined with George Orwell and still uses Latin every day.