book group 55: September 12-22, 2011 (10 days)
led by Courtney Zoffness
- Courtney Zoffness
Many of the classic love stories we most revere revolve around ill-fated courtships. Romeo & Juliet. Anna Karenina. While storytelling styles may have evolved since Shakespeare and Tolstoy, the themes have endured. “How to Be the Other Woman” by Lorrie Moore and “Love & Obstacles” by Aleksandar Hemon both follow characters down misguided paths to intimacy and affection. As a group, we’ll explore how Moore and Hemon, two vastly different but widely acclaimed contemporary authors, use a range of narrative techniques to create drama and impact our sympathies. What’s the effect of Moore’s second-person point of view—one that implicates us in her heroine’s infidelity? How does the threat of war in Bosnia reflect in the sexually desperate young boy’s misadventures in Hemon’s “Love and Obstacles”? And what compels us, despite the cynicism buried even in these stories’ titles, to read on?
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