WellRead’s November 2020 selection was Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos. In the words of the author, this novel is rooted in community. “My first experience of community, of belonging, came from the time I spent as a child in the cafes run by my grandmother and uncles and aunts. Where would I be without them? [They] were the first people to tell me about Greek myths and literature. The childhood conversations are where my love of literature began.
Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story.
Reading questions for Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos:
From the very first page we are told that Lucky wants to ‘fix his own story—to be specific, how it ended’. Do you think Lucky is successful in ‘fixing’ how his story ends?
To what extent would you consider the story as a whole and the various stories within it as an exercise or evidence of storytelling as a form of therapy? Which characters, main or secondary, are examples?
Lies, imposters and deceit abound in the novel. It made us think of this Italo Calvino quote: "Novelists tell that piece of truth hidden at the bottom of every lie. To a psychoanalyst it is not so important whether you tell the truth or a lie because lies are as interesting, eloquent, and revealing as any claimed truth." Discuss this sentiment and whether or not you agree with it.
How are certain characters in the novel (Achilles, Lucky, and Emily) transformed by migration, and how in turn do they affect their new world?
As a reader were you able to empathise with Achilles? Why, or why not?
"The idea of ethnic purity was a diaspora fantasy. Everyone in this room was a mixture of influences, a new type of person. They accepted their impurity or they didn’t." What do you think Pippos is trying to convey in this passage?
- What is the significance of what is about to happen in the final scene of the novel?
Please note, these questions were written and distributed in November, 2020.