Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Reading Guide: And So We Die, Having First Slept by Jennifer Spiegel

  1. What is the significance of the epigraphs by John Cheever, Tim O’Brien, and Sappho?
  2. This novel was almost called Sappho, Unsaid. Why might that be? What is the Sappho motif all about?
  3. What is the significance of Miller’s words to Brett in the church in Austria? Why is her response so particular?
  4. What happens in Alaska to these people?
  5. How is the Zombie Apocalypse a metaphor for the second-half of the novel?
  6. There is a bit of discussion about competing mantras, To One’s Own Self, Be True and Die To Oneself.  Are these competing ideas? How are they expressed in the lives or beliefs of Cash and Brett?
  7. Is this novel a love story? Is it about addiction? Brain damage? Marriage? Growing up? Disillusionment? Gen X? Religion? Identity? Subjugation? Being a woman?
  8. Brett is potentially unlikeable, which is often considered a no-no in fiction. Would you agree that she is unlikeable? How did this affect your reading?
  9. Brett is often described as “hard.” What does this mean?
  10. What is your take on religion in this book? On the role of the Church? How are the characters affected or transformed? Do they experience a loss of faith? Are there implications about piety? Morality? Womanhood?
  11. Discuss the end. Is it redemptive?
  12. That cover! Why might it work with the novel?
For your book clubs!

Here's the link to the book.

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