You know that feeling when you finish a book and you’re desperately wanting more? The questions in this Reader’s Guide will continue your reading journey — and start a lively book club discussion!
Pilgrim’s Wilderness is the riveting true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness – and of the chilling secrets of its maniacal, spellbinding patriarch.
Veteran Alaska journalist Tom Kizzia unfolds the remarkable, at times harrowing, story of a charismatic spinner of American myths who was not what he seemed, the townspeople caught in his thrall, and the family he brought to the brink of ruin.
Why can’t you write your memoir as a novel?
“My mother has asked me this regarding my memoir about my sexy single girl travel adventures two or three dozen times,” admits Kristin Newman, author of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, “hoping to protect the innocent (herself, my fiancé, Russian and Brazilian and Israeli and Australian bartenders).”
“And it’s a seductive idea, this notion of hiding in fiction. I’m terrified of publishing what is a more entertaining version of my diary. But despite the warm blanket that pretending to fictionalize one’s life presents, I just can’t do it.”
My love for dieting is a recent realization.
“It turns out I have a passion for trying out new eating plans and exercises,” writes Mindy Kaling, Emmy-nominated writer and actress and author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.
“Dukan, South Beach, French Women Don’t Get Fat, Cavemen Don’t Get Fat, Single-Celled Organisms Don’t Get Fat, Skinny Bitch, Skinny Wretch—after a while on one regimen, I get bored and want to try a new one. It’s only a matter of time before the Jane Austen Diet comes out, and I’m really looking forward to spending a spring adhering to that one.”
It is an easy cliché to criticize violence as a part of our collective storytelling—but that is a gross over-simplification.
“I believe that there are two types of violence we encounter as readers, as audience members,” says Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby.
“One exists for the purpose of moving the plot of the story along, to direct the audience to the next highlighted point. The second type of violence is a kind of documentation. It comes with the belief that some stories cannot be told without walking through a doorway, without witnessing the horror, without breathing in the pain.”
Fictional characters may feel real to you, but they mostly go along with whatever you say.
“If you want to put them in some close calls and tight spots,” says Maddie Dawson, author of The Opposite of Maybe, “they just fall into line.”
“You can boss them around and rain endless torment down on their heads, give them bad bosses, difficult romantic partners, unwanted pregnancies—and then sleep easy at night knowing that you’ll never be responsible for their therapy bills.”