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Book clubs  •  17 August 2023

 

Why We Are Here book club questions

A love story for strange days to read with your book club.

In Why We Are Here, BB moves to a glamorous, condemned beachside apartment at the edge of a glittering city after her partner and father die in quick succession.

In her attempts to rediscover herself, BB becomes an accidental dog trainer, starts sending telepathic messages and slowly embraces new intimacies.

Simultaneously gut-wrenching and hilarious, this one will enrapture your book club from page one.

Discussion points and questions

  • Why We Are Here is a novel embracing the bonds between humans and their pets and celebrating the empathy and wisdom provided by dogs. Are there enough dogs in literature?
  • Ostensibly this is a novel exploring grief and its aftermath. But, one commentator stated ‘this novel has no right to be as funny as it is’. How do you feel about the tension between, and the interplay of, humour and sadness in fiction? 
  • In some ways, Why We Are Here is a novel about moving on, yet it also takes pause to respond to and absorb nature, literature, connection, joy and love. How do you think the author achieves this? 
  • Are you comfortable with autofiction as a genre? Or, do you read all novels individually without referencing genre?
  • Did you read Why We Are Here as a novel of the past, or what is yet to come? Of grief, or renewal?
  • The author explores and/or in Why We Are Here, the concept of holding two ideas in your mind in the same moment. Did this give you a richer reading experience?
  • Discuss what is meant by the title.

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