Sundown, Yellow Moon (Watson)

Discussion Questions
1. What does Sundown, Yellow Moon say about the nature, source, and durability of young love?

2. Of the available possible explanations for Raymond Stoddard’s actions, which do you favor and why?

3. Each character seems to favor a particular explanation. What does that preference reveal about his or her character?

4. Does the explanation you favor reveal something about your character and experience?

5. The narrator writes stories to explain and understand what happened in his neighborhood. Is that a universal human response, or does it stem from his personal nature?

6. Does Sundown, Yellow Moon say that storytelling is a basic human impulse?

7. The narrator doesn’t emerge as an entirely likable character. Why? Is he made less than sympathetic because of what he says and does, or because of what he thinks and feels? Or because of what he writes?

8. What does Sundown, Yellow Moon say about the nature of memory? Of memory and imagination?

9. In some respects, the narrator is stuck in the past. What prevents him from living in the present?

10. How is the setting, both the time and the place, important to the action in the novel?

11. Because of the many stories within stories, it’s not always possible to determine what “really happened” in the narrative. How does that uncertainty figure in the novel’s themes?

12. If you knew the narrator based only on the stories he’s written, would you characterize him in the same way you would based on his behavior, speech, thoughts, and emotions?

13. Do you have a favorite character?

14. There have been many assassinations and attempted assassinations of politicians in the United States. How does this novel comment on the social, psychological, and cultural response to such events?

15. What does Sundown, Yellow Moon say about violence in America?
(Questions issued by publishers.)

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