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Book Club Reading Questions

Book Club Questions for Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine | WellRead’s August 2022 selection

Book Club Questions for Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine | WellRead’s August 2022 selection

WellRead’s August 2022 selection was Woman of Light  by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, an epic saga spanning five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West. Combining vast research with an enthralling narrative, this is a story of betrayal, love, fate, survival, legacy and the persistence of storytelling – we were totally engrossed by it!

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 Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine:

  • How do you think the Ingmar Bergman quote in the book’s epigraph (“Outside is the big world, and sometimes the little world succeeds in reflecting the big one so that we understand it better”) relates to the story?
  • Amid a backdrop of violence, exploitation and loss, the novel offers a message of love and hope. In this way, how can historical fiction help us address contemporary struggles?
  • In what ways is storytelling used both as a form of entertainment and also as a means of cultural survival?
  • “Sometimes she wondered why her gift had given her so much when it had gutted her life just the same.” Do you think Luz’s gift is indeed a gift? How do you think it worked as a narrative device?
  • Have you or would you ever have your tea leaves read?
  • Have you read the American West in this way before? And by that we mean in a way that illuminates the lives of Latinx and Indigenous people who lived there.
  • In an interview, Fajardo-Anstine said that one of the big questions this novel asks is: “How has human culture evolved over time, and how have we changed or remained the same?” Big question indeed. Discuss!

Please note, these questions were written and distributed in August, 2022.