Far Field (Vijay) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for THE FAR FIELD ... then take off on your own:

1. How would you describe Shalini? She is often oblivious to the injustices around her: is she uncaring or naive… or what?

2. What role does Shalini's privileged position play in how she behaves and reacts to life's events?

3. Shalini's mother seems to suffer from mental illness: any thoughts as to a diagnosis? Talk about the way that she shaped Shalini's life? At what point does Shalini come to realize the impact her mother has had on her? How does that realization affect her?

4. Although never explained, why do you think Shalini is so intent on finding Bashir Ahmed? What does he represent to Shalini? What was Ahmed's relationship with her mother… and, perhaps, with Shalini herself?

5. During her time in Kishtwar, Shalini savors her life with the Muslim couple who takes her in. She feels at east with the family and "amongst the objects of their life," even pretending "they were mine." Why is she so smitten with the family? How is she so blind to the devastating consequences of her actions?

6. Amina is a vital character in this novel. How would you describe her. What do you make of her treatment at the hands of those around her?

7. (Follow-up to Question 6) Amina offers genuine friendship to Shalini; how does Shalini respond to Amina's offer?

8. Talk about the novel's portrait of the ongoing political/ethnic conflict? Is one faction more responsible for the violence, or are both sides equally culpable? What hope, if any, exists for a solution: what would a solution require?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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