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  • Published: 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Description: 10 copies of book, envelope containing: about the book, author biography, book reviews, discussion questions, book group tips.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Kit

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0060852577

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  • Kit

Book clubs to go : The Lacuna.

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Additional Content

Each Book Club to Go kit contains a guide to facilitate group discussion and understanding of the book that includes summary information and reviews of the title, an author biography, a list of suggested discussion questions and read-alikes, and tips for book groups. This guide is available for download:

Guide (text file): Book clubs to go : The Lacuna.

Guide (large print): Book clubs to go : The Lacuna.

Guide: Book clubs to go : The Lacuna.

Community Reviews

The Lacuna

"The Lacuna" explores deep issues of political importance and identity, including Mexican and U.S. nationalities, communism and anti-communism, and class.

Harrison William Shepherd was born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and raised there for many years until she decides to take a step up the social ladder through marriage and so first sends him to a school for children with cognitive disabilities (although Harrison does not have one but nonetheless gets treated with the same contempt as the students with disabilities), then to his father in the United States. There, Harrison witnesses how horribly World War I veterans are being treated and how bad the lives of so many poor people are in the beginning of the Great Depression.

Later, Harrison returns to Mexico where he begins working for artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, learning pride in his Mexican heritage. They introduce him to Leon Trotsky, from whom he learn about class and communism.

After Trotsky's assassination, Harrison returns to the United States and becomes a writer whose novels focus on Mexican history. Yet he comes to the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee who twist his words to portray him as an anti-American communist. Harrison begins burning his diaries in attempt to (we later learn) hide the fact that he is gay and hide his boyfriend's identity to protect him.

The novel particularly condemns our society's efforts to scapegoat and divide people. It makes one wish more people knew about the United States' role in the Cold War and how it hurt people in and outside the US.

The novel won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Library of Virginia Literary Award.

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