WBUR will be hosting a discussion of “The Faery Handbag” on September 28 as part of the WBUR-BBF Summer Book Club.
Please check back in for updates regarding additional discussions in the greater Boston community.
1. How did the jump between times/focuses affect your reading of the story?
2. Was Jake’s decision to go into the bag justified? Why or why not? Why do you think Zofia refused to let Genevieve go after him?
3. After Zofia dies Genevieve becomes the official heir and guardian of the bag. What does this role mean if the bag is lost?
4. Genevieve is a headstrong teenager entirely wrapped up in thoughts of her missing boyfriend and the fantastical world her grandmother taught her about. Does this make it difficult for you to sympathize with her or trust her as a narrator? Why?
5. What lost item (like the Sesame Street shirt) would you like to find at The Garment District? What is the significance to you of finding something you thought was lost forever?
6. How might this story have changed if Jake had not gotten expelled and MIT had not rescinded his acceptance?
7. What is the importance of Scrabble tiles also acting as divination tiles in the story? Does it affect the way you read Zofia and Genevieve’s relationship to the game?
8. What do you think will happen to Genevieve after this story ends?
9. Does Zofia’s death (or absence, if you follow the thought that she didn’t actually die) force Genevieve to act differently than she would have before? If so, what is the difference?
10. Do the characters in this story remind you of people you know? Is this affected by the familiar setting (greater Boston). Does this change the way you read the fantastical elements of the story? How?
In 500-700 words describe what you would expect or hope to see after disappearing into your own faery handbag for several decades. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, September 30 for a chance to win a BBF prize package, including a signed copy of this year’s story!