Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TwP ~ questions about AFTERWORD

In this last section of Traveling with Pomegranates, Sue and Ann each have one final chapter.
AFTERWORD ~ September 2008
16.  Ann came up with the idea of writing about their travels, but I don't know who came up with the book's title.  Pomegranates relate to the myth about Demeter's daughter Persephone, who ate three pomegranate seeds.  Sue and Ann wore those glass pomegranate necklaces, and they ate seeds from the pomegranate Sue brought from the hotel (pp. 78 and 84).  Have you ever tasted pomegranate seeds — or juice?
17.  Can you come up with a question for this Jeopardy! answer (p. 281)?
"Sue Monk Kidd's debut novel is about these insects."
18.  Have you read either of Sue's novels?
19.  How did you feel about Traveling with Pomegranates, once you had finished?
20.  Did the book leave any loose ends for you?  Were you left wondering about anything?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TwP ~ questions about RETURN

Athena mourning or meditating
In this third section of Traveling with Pomegranates, Sue and Ann travel to Greece in 2000.  Chapter titles show us where they were.
Ann ~ Palianis Nunnery ~ Crete
Sue ~ Palianis Convent ~ Crete
Ann ~ Restaurant ~ Delphi
        The Acropolis, Plaka, Electra Palace Hotel ~ Athens
Sue ~ Sanctuary of Demeter ~ Eleusis
A few more questions for you to choose from:

13. Sue reflected on "the hive of darkness" she had written into her novel and began to associate it with the world.  She sometimes felt overwhelmed by negative television images (p. 250).  Do you think her response is helpful?
"Cut off the TV," I would say to Sandy.  Maybe there is wisdom in limiting one's daily intake of bad news, but out of sight did not entirely prove out of mind for me.  Was the hive actually growing darker, or did seeing so much ceaseless news just make it seem so?
14.  Ann and Sue are at a point of thinking differently about their writing, as Sue muses here about Ann (p. 251).  What do you think?
She read in one of her writing books that a writer's job is to serve his or her work not the ego, but the writing itself.  She took this to heart.  As I sit here with twenty-two years of writing behind me, thinking of Ann and the way she has plunged into her apprenticeship, which is what she calls it, I mull over the idea that a writer's job is to serve her work.  This notion consumed me for most of my writing life for nearly the first two decades.  But now it flips over in my mind and I find myself wondering what the work ought to serve.
15.  If a  Greek dancer held out his hand to you, would you dance?  Someone did (p. 258):
On the next pass by the table, I see my video camera still rolling, its red light glowing, capturing me from the waist down as I dance at the center of the world.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

TwP ~ questions about SEARCH

Black Madonna
In this second section of Traveling with Pomegranates, Sue and Ann travel to France and then home to South Carolina in 1999-2000.  Chapter titles show us where they were.
Sue ~ Jardin des Tuileries, St.-Germain-des-Pres, Louvre ~ Paris
Ann ~ Seine River, Notre Dame Cathedral ~ Paris
Sue ~ Island of Gavrinis
Ann ~ Garden of Venus de Quinipily, Font-de-Gaume Cave
Sue ~ Chapel of the Black Virgin of Rocamadour
Ann ~ Cathedral of Notre Dame-Le Puy
Sue ~ Charleston, South Carolina
Ann ~ Charleston, South Carolina
Sue ~ Charleston, South Carolina
These questions are suggestions, so write about whatever interests you in this part of the book.

8. Sue is 51 years old, but worrying about old women and being old.  Bernard Baruch said, "To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am."  At what point do you think a woman goes from being young to being old?
9.  Does this sort of sexist language (pp. 142-143) bother you, as it bothered Sue?
I watched a television piece not long ago about an art gallery / featuring paintings and drawings of women.  "Here you will see every variety of the female form," the male reporter said, "from the young woman to the old hag."

"Did he say hag?  Did he?" I ranted to Sandy.  "When did the opposite of young female become old hag?  For God's sake!"
10.  Have you ever heard about the Black Madonna before reading this book?
11.  For Ann, finding this poem by David Whyte (see p. 153) gave her a mission:  "to find the world to which I belong" (p. 154).  Have you ever felt anything was your mission, even if just for a season?
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
12.  Have you visited any of the places Sue and Ann wrote about in this section?