What if women ran the world?
Join us this Friday night as we discuss The Power by Naomi Alderman. I am excited to exchange ideas on this one. I started with the audiobook and found it hard to listen to -- the theatrical reading just added to the intensity. However, last week I was able to pick up a paper copy (thank you, Clara!) and was intrigued by the formatting. I read eagerly through to the clever ending which blew me away (reminds me of how I smiled at S.E. Hinton when I reached the end of The Outsiders). Suggested discussion questions are below.
Drop us a line and let us know if we can hope to see you!
1. Did you like this book?
2. How would a world run by women be different?
3. What do you make of Naomi's comment that a world run by men would be more peaceful?
4. How are the archives similar to the "Museum of Civilization" in Station Eleven?
5. Is there a character's section you were more drawn to read?
6. Who is the voice inside Allie/Eve's head?
7. What do you make of Mrs. Montgomery Taylor?
8. What do you make of the formatting?
9. Why did Joslyn's power fail her in her fight with Darryl?
10. Did any of the women use their power for good?
11. Who did Tunde mail his film and journals to in Idaho?
12. How would you have punished Roxy's dad?
13. What do you make of Alderman's attempt to include scientific basis for the events -- i.e. the aura of oranges pre-strike akin to seizures, the details like when men aren't wearing rubber boots, the theory that some chemical was released into the water supply after WWII? Is she more or less convincing than St. John Mandel's creations in Station Eleven?
14. What is the appropriate governmental response to something like this?
15. Does Moldova really have a sex trafficking problem? (According to Wikipedia, yes.)
16. What did you make of the new Bessapara? (According to Wikipedia, in 1812 most of the regions of Moldova were ceded to the Russian Empire under the name of Bessarabia. Likely an aside, but Bessapara is also the name of a region in Bulgaria.)
17. Why does the author feature these places in particular -- USA (Wisconsin..and Alabama?), Nigeria, Moldova, UK, Saudi Arabia?
18. How can we engage in efforts against sex and human trafficking locally and abroad?
19. The characters wonder why the power comes to women now, and I wonder, why was this book written now? What are the takeaway points for us?
Thanks for coming out to discuss The Power by Naomi Alderman last night! Most of us, it seems, would have preferred a more imaginative ending, something different from the same old story of the masses standing by while a few extremists (with questionable mental health) blow up the world. Afterward, I wondered how we could use our dissatisfaction to motivate us to act in more constructive ways to fight oppression of women. I offer the following suggestions:
1. Consider discussing pornography use in trusted circles, encouraging users to get help for addiction if needed, and to install Internet blockers.
2. Consider donating to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
A friend of a friend of mine runs this non-profit out of Colorado that began in 2009, getting 501c3 status in 2011. TAT "exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking and busing industries to combat human trafficking." 2015, TAT was awarded the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness as part of the annual Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Awards in Washington, D.C.
3. Consider donating to the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants
This fund is being used to serve immigrants as well as "asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors/juveniles, and other highly vulnerable persons including victims of trafficking, sexual, and/or domestic violence" in our community.
Details for upcoming books and events are below. On April 25th we will discuss Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser. This biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder will hopefully extend our discussion of Native American rights that we began with Alexie's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. Be forewarned, this book is 500+ pages, though looks quite compelling! We hope you can join us on one or more of these nights!
March Meet the Author!
When: Wednesday, March 14th, 6:30pm
Where: O'Neill branch of the Cambridge Public Library, 70 Rindge Avenue
What: Discussion of The Most Important Year by Suzanne Bouffard (Cambridge parent and book club member!)
Cheers and happy reading!
The Tipsy Mamas' Book Club is co-hosted by Corinne Foster and myself, though the spirit of our discussions is flavored by many readers.