My Life in Middlemarch will delight your reading group. We hope the questions that follow will enrich your journey.
Some of the richest, most lively book club conversations happen with paired books. If you’re reading Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch we suggest that you read George Eliot’s Middlemarch at the same time. Then check out these questions to get your conversation started!
Explore the parallels between George Eliot’s life and Rebecca Mead’s. In their relationships and in their careers as writers, do they share a common approach to the human experience?
My novel Elders is now nine months old: it still cries a lot, it wobbles on its feet, it is bald and broad-cheeked and looks a little like my grandfather.
“And in fact, and in one sense, it is quite old,” says author Ryan McIlvain. “Its gestation was four years long, or maybe five, or sometimes I say six.
The thing about a novel is that it begins almost despite you, imperceptibly. You’re twenty-five years old, you’re a newborn yourself, a new MFA student at a new MFA program. You’re at once frightened and extremely cocksure and you know the kind of writer you are, the kind of writer you’re going to be, and the kind of writer you’re not going to be.”
I was effortlessly immersed in Luca’s life from the minute I opened this book.
RIFer and Barnes & Noble bookseller Laurie P. says this of Miranda Mander’s U.S. debut The First True Lie: “This young narrator is strong, sensitive, and intelligent, with a clever sense of humor. The writing put me right there with him as he navigated through his tragic situation.
In the end, I wanted to wrap my arms around Luca and take him home with me. In a sense, I did just that. He’s been with me ever since I closed the book.”
An astounding antagonist inspires a mix of disdain and sympathy.
“A great villain is neither entirely good nor entirely bad,” observes Rachel Goldberg.
“We understand him as a reflection of larger societal mechanisms, and understanding is essential for empathy. We take in his environment. We appreciate his circumstances, making our discomfort – and the fact that we detest him – all the more powerful.”
Top 5 Literary Heroine Pitfalls that can teach you as much as any advice book.
#3. Don’t Be A Halfway Rebel. The iconic literary heroines I detest most are Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary. Not because they challenged the social conventions of their time and milieu by engaging in scandalous affairs, but because they opted out by way of suicide. Mary Gordon calls them ‘Dead Girls,’ the overwhelmingly male author’s impulse for dealing with heroines who can’t be reined in any way other than blunt erasure. Fortunately, they are the thing of the past in contemporary literature. Unfortunately, so are opportunities for women to be truly rebellious.