Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Few More Discussion Questions for Gardens of Water

I hope you're enjoying Gardens of Water.

I'm really looking forward to hearing Alan Drew speak on June 21st at the Main Library.

Did you notice the discussion questions at the back of the book? I picked the three that I liked best for my final post, but feel free to post your own:

In what ways do Sinan and Marcus represent the larger issues of East vs. West?

Would this story be different if Dylan and Marcus were from a different country? If so, how?

What do you think defines a happy life? How do the characters' perceptions of this differ from one another?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let's Get Started: Discussion Questions for Gardens of Water

Wow, lots of you out there have already picked up your copy of Gardens of Water, and are no doubt reading away (I'm a librarian, I've seen how voracious you are)!

So hit me with your thoughts and ideas; in case you've never added a comment to a blog posting (which is what you're reading right now), all you need to do is click on the word "Comments" below. A box will pop up, and inside it you can tell me what you like or don't like about Gardens of Water. Fill in the "Word Verification" box with the password provided, then "Choose an Identity" (you can remain anonymous if you like) and click "Publish Your Comment", and, once approved, your comments will appear right underneath my posting.

Here are a couple questions to get things started:

Which character do you relate to the most so far, and why?

Have you come across a descriptive passage yet that you find particularly powerful or evocative?

Oh, and don't forget to mark your calendar for Alan Drew's Main Library appearance on June 21st...

Monday, June 1, 2009

About Alan Drew

In 1999, Alan Drew set off for Istanbul to teach English literature to high school students. Four days after he arrived, an earthquake devastated the area, and the event left an impression on the author that would form the backdrop for his debut novel, Gardens of Water.

Drew has stated that although he was born and raised in southern California, and had experienced earthquakes before, he had never witnessed the kind of devastation he saw in Turkey that year. It was while he was participating in the relief effort and observing the dynamics of the relationship between the aid workers and the poverty-stricken victims that the ideas that inform his novel really began to take shape.

Perhaps you'd like to read about it in his words! Here's an interview from, along with some more biographical information.