Is your book club reading Other Waters (or North of Ithaka)? Schedule permitting, Eleni would be happy to join the discussion through phone conference or Skype, or even in person if you’re in the Miami area or a neighborhood she may be visiting–she’s often in New York and central Massachusetts, and you may want to check the speaking engagements she has scheduled on her talks page to see if she’ll be lurking in a city near you. Eleni believes that discussions ofOther Watersgo best with Indian food and red wine. To set up a virtual visit, fill out the contact form below.
To arrange readings or speaking engagements or inquire about her availability to teach a class, contact Eleni directly at email@example.com.
If your book club likes having discussion questions to get the ball rolling, try these:
1. At first Maya hides her belief in the curse from her analyst, Dr. Bernard, because, she says on page 62, “he’d think I’m crazy!” Do you know anyone who has beliefs that are at odds the rest of their outlook? What about you? Did you think the curse was real? Are you superstitious at all, and if so in what ways?
2. Maya never introduces Scott to her parents because, she tells Heidi, it’s never been the right time. Do you think she would have done so if they had stayed together? And would they have accepted him?
3. What do you feel is the most significant relationship in Maya’s life? Her friendship with Heidi? Her romance with Scott or Raki? Her relationship with her father, mother, or siblings?
4. This book is filled with female characters who are wrestling with their roles in the world. Do you feel their cultural mores and traditions strengthened these women or limited them? What about in your own life? Do you feel empowered or suffocated by your own cultural traditions and expectations?
5. On page 152, Seema says, “Heidi is such a very nice girl. But she is not one of us and I am not her auntie.” Did this comment surprise you? Why do you think she says this about someone she is very kind to face to face?
6. The author is Greek-American, not Indian. Can you think of other books written from a cultural viewpoint that differs from the author’s? Do you feel it’s appropriate for an author to write from the point of view of characters whose cultures differ from his or her own, and if so under what circumstances?
7. What do you think happens to Maya after the end of the book?
For Book Clubs: To arrange an author’s visit by phone, Skype, or in person (schedule permitting), please fill out the form below: