Mostly Literary Fiction Book Discussion Group discussion

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Cane River (2/09) > Cane River

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lemaster (21treehugger) | 36 comments I don't really know what to discuss, but I want to get to talkin' about this book! I'm anxious to meet Ms. TAdemy. I'm so disappointed that I missed my opportunity to meet Gail Tsukiyama. Does anyone have any observations/favorite quotations/ questions they would like to share?

Michelle


message 2: by Mathilde (new)

Mathilde Apelt (mathilde_schmidt) | 13 comments Michelle, I don't think we meet Ms. Tademy coming Wednesday at the library, but later at the "Big Read"
event. That'll be March 11, 6:00, a Wednesday night. I can hardly wait for that. The Tademy's used to be our neighbors; Billie, Lalita's mother, was born the same year I was born. But I never met her, I just lerned that we had been neighbors. that book is a real page turner. Mathilde.


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments Yes, Michelle, I have some favorite quotes from the book. I love the beautifully crafted language, the folklore Lalita Tademy incorporates, the subtle figure of speech she sprinkles in and her magical use of imagery. Some delicious quotes:"cocoa colored nurse","with skin like strong coffee after the splash of cream","a striking honey-brown boy". And this of course..."How could Suzette tell Philomene that as a grown woman of 28, what unsettled her most about the shape her life had taken was the absence of the everyday scent of her own mother..."




message 4: by Sally (new)

Sally (Mostly_Literary) | 72 comments Mod
Mathilde wrote: "Michelle, I don't think we meet Ms. Tademy coming Wednesday at the library, but later at the "Big Read"
event. That'll be March 11, 6:00, a Wednesday night. I can hardly wait for that. The Tademy..."


Mathilde is right. Lalita Tademy is coming to the Hayward Main Library on Wednesday, March 11 -- not just for our book group, but as part of a series events we are hosting for our community-wide "Big Read" of A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines (our March selection). Our upcoming meeting to discuss Cane River is this coming Monday, Feb. 9. I'm a bit late with my reminder to the group.




message 5: by Sally (new)

Sally (Mostly_Literary) | 72 comments Mod
Michelle wrote: "I don't really know what to discuss, but I want to get to talkin' about this book! I'm anxious to meet Ms. TAdemy. I'm so disappointed that I missed my opportunity to meet Gail Tsukiyama. Does a..."

Sorry for the late start in getting a discussion going on this interesting novel. (I've been a bit preoccupied with the details of organizing the Gail Tsukiyama event on Tuesday of this week -- sorry you missed it, Michelle. I think everyone who attended will agree with me that the author delivered an amazing talk, and just shined as a wonderfully down-to-earth person.)

Back to Cane River, and looking forward to our meeting on Monday, and the follow-up appearance of Lalita Tademy at the Hayward Main Library on Wednesday, March 11.

There's so much to discuss about this book, I hardly know where to start. There are the richly detailed women characters, starting with Suzette in 1834 and ending with Emily. There's the complex social status of the gens de couleur libre, who were also slave holders -- black people who had some social status, including the privilege of having last names, unlike their slave counterparts. Then there's the relationship between white men (including slave owners, but not exclusively) and the women slaves, and the complex experience of the slaves and their relationship with their mixed-race children. And there's also the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the pressure that white men felt to curtail their relationships with black women (as told through the experience of Joseph Billes). There's also the literary quality of the book to discuss, and Lalita Tademy's decision to turn the details of her genealogical research into a novel, not a non-fiction narration. Why don't I just turn it over to everyone to share some of what struck you as most interesting, even surprising, about the book?


message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lemaster (21treehugger) | 36 comments Hi all,
I finally figured out that Ms. Tademy wasn't coming tonight after reading Sally's latest email (I'm a little thick, obviously!). I'm only hoping there's a way I can come on that Wednesday in March when she will be at the library. Unfortunately, my one-night-a-week class meets Wednesday nights! Grrrrr!

I had based any discussion questions around a visit I thought we were going to have tonight! We'll see how it plays out without her.


As much as I loved the book, I feel a little disconnected from it as it's been a month and a half since I read it. Hopefully I will get a chance to peruse it before we meet tonight. If not, hopefully the presence of such intelligent, reflective women will help jog my memory!

See you all later (I hope!),
Michelle


message 7: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments Thanks Sally for showing me how to put up my picture. I also learned a few more things to do on the web site from you tonight. Thank you.

Michelle, the cream cheese and pineapple salsa was so delicious. Thanks for a yummy treat.That tasted home made. Where do you find the time? Sorry I forgot to bring, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County.
Next time.....

I loved , Cane River and now want to read, Red River.
Great discussion tonight, wish we had about 3 hours to discuss the book. : )

Looking forward to all the big reads events coming up.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lemaster (21treehugger) | 36 comments Robin wrote: "Thanks Sally for showing me how to put up my picture. I also learned a few more things to do on the web site from you tonight. Thank you.

Michelle, the cream cheese and pineapple salsa was so ..."


Thanks for the nice compliment. It was homemade. I made it for my family to have with chicken quesadillas for dinner. You'd be surprised by what great lengths I'll go to in the kitchen to satisfy a craving!

No big deal about the book. I almost forgot about that one! Please do bring it next time (or maybe to the Lalita Tademy event, whichever comes first!). I can't wait to read it!

I can't wait to read Red River either! I've put a request to get it, but I think one of our group members snagged it first! Was it you?! I'm jealous if so! It will be available in a few weeks. At least that will likely make me finish the books I'm reading right now. None of them are really drawing me in where I can't put them down. I want that feeling again!

See you soon,
Michelle




message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments I will bring "Little Giant...." to that event, yes. It isn't me that has Red River, but I do want to read that one as well. I am reading about 6 or 7 books right now and more great ones keep popping up. So many books and just so much time. : )


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lemaster (21treehugger) | 36 comments Great sounding books DO keep popping up! There's probably that many that I would like to read now... my pesky kids, work and school keep getting in the way!


message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments Well, I am amazed Michelle that you are able to read as much as you do, seriously. Especially with raising little ones still, going to college and working. And I thought I was type A back in the day. : )


message 12: by Mathilde (new)

Mathilde Apelt (mathilde_schmidt) | 13 comments Robin, and Michelle, you are amazing. I just don't have the time to even read all your comments. I attended the SF Writers' Conference over last big weekend and when I came back, there were thirty mails in my box!! I'm still reading "A Lesson Before Dying" and find it a page turner. Yesterday I talked about "March" at the AAUW Book Review and we had an interesting discussion. I also want to work at my blog and, well, there are only 24 hours in the day. Mathilde.


message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments Mathilde, no one can keep up with you! :) Writing 4 books, teaching advanced German classes,working,attending several book clubs, leading AAUW's book club and attending many AAUW events,going to author events and participating in the SF Writers' Conference, keeping up your web site and working at your blog,keeping up with family, friends and more......You are the amazing, energetic one! Yes, "A Lesson Before Dying" is a page turner. I start to slow down when getting to the end of good books because I want to stay and "visit" with them as long as possible.


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