SECOND SATURDAY BOOK GROUP “HOMELAND ELEGIES”

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 02/12/2022
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Location
Via Zoom

Categories


SECOND SATURDAY
BOOK GROUP

2021-2022 Theme: Transitioning…

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Selection:   Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar.

First published: 1991       Meeting Place: on Zoom

Leader: Dorie Maxwell  doriemaxwell@mac.com or 561-301-4204.

If you haven’t recently received emails from me  about our book group activities and wish to receive a Zoom invitation for this discussion, please contact me. – Dorie

The United States is rather rapidly transitioning racially, ethnically, and religiously, and these changes are contributing to stress and conflict around our country.  To help us consider the justice and compassion needed in these changing times, this season our book group is reading novels which explore the lives of different ethnic groups here in the US.

In Homeland Elegies, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2020, we follow the lives of a Pakistani-American immigrant Muslim family from the 1970s to 2020. Written as a mixture of several genres, Homeland Elegies is a terrific story.  Akhtar mixes love for the idea of America with rage at its imperfections and sadness at how far we’ve slipped from whatever noble ideals we once held. Three major threads run through it. First there’s the family dynamic.  Akhtar’s mother and father emigrated to Wisconsin from Pakistan. His mother never adapts to America, forever mourning the loss of her homeland. His father is an unforgettable character, a talented surgeon with large appetites who throws himself enthusiastically into the American pool without ever quite learning how to swim in it. Second, we get a broader look at the Muslim experience in America from the author’s encounters with high-achieving immigrants and their children…Finally, there’s Akhtar’s own life story – upper-middle class kid in Wisconsin, struggling writer in New York, globetrotting public intellectual rubbing shoulders with marquee names in politics, arts and tech.  Adapted from Amazon review.

Members and friends are welcome to join our discussion— whether you’ve finished the book or not.  Be sure you are signed up with me—Dorie— for the Zoom invitation.