Discussing Hunger's Brides
Some background links:
- Book description, from Random House (Canada) and Constable (U.K.).
- Introduction to the novel, from Carroll & Graf (U.S.).
- More about the novel’s central character: Juana Inés de la Cruz. (http://www.hungersbrides.com/sj_ines_delacruz.html)
- The novel's prologue and first chapter, "Rose of San Jerónimo".
- Autobiographical essay: “How to write Hunger’s Brides”. (http://www.hungersbrides.com/how2_write_hunger.html)
- About the author. (http://www.hungersbrides.com/author.html)
- An extensive webpage on Hunger's Brides developed by Swiss educator Hans G. Fischer for use with students of English. The page includes author readings and background interviews recorded during Anderson's tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the fall of 2005.
A three-part guide: reader, moderator, author
The guide consists of three sets of questions and responses:
- general questions for reader discussions
- response items and additional questions for the moderator
- additional commentary by the author
A set of general discussion questions can be found here. There are nineteen in all; we hope each reader will find three or four to catch his or her interest.
Moderator responses: jumpstarting the discussion
To make running the session as easy as possible, we’ve supplied partial (so as not to undermine the actual discussion) responses to the questions asked, here; moderators can use them to get the ball rolling or nudge things along.
To maintain their own interest, moderators might consider asking one group member to read aloud the readers’ questions, and ask another to come prepared to present the author commentary (without the moderator having seen it him- or herself). Moderators can then focus on their own discussion points.
For added interest, the author has produced some commentary here relating to each question. We have taken some care to avoid furnishing “answers,” however, so as not to interfere with the group’s own discussion.
- Where there seems to be room for a range of opinions, Paul may sometimes offer his own as one of many.
- Where “inside” information is supplied, it is usually not in direct response to the question but rather as background.
- Where a question delves into Paul’s intentions, he responds directly while conceding in advance that intentions may be somewhat mysterious and often quite distinct from the outcome.