• Picador
Reading Group Gold
Behold the Many - Lois-Ann YamanakaSee larger image
See Hi-Res Jpeg image


email/print EmailPrint

Behold the Many



Book Buy
Ebook Ebook 
    
Share this book with friends through your favorite social networking site. Share:           Bookmark and Share
Add this title to your virtual bookshelves at any of these book community sites. Shelve:             
sign up to get updates about this author
add this book's widget
to your site or blog

About The Author

Lois-Ann YamanakaLois-Ann Yamanaka

Lois-Ann Yamanaka lives in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

photo: LoAhn P. Nguyen

Stay In Touch

Sign up to recieve information about new releases, author appearances, special offers, all related to you favorite authors and books.

Other Books You Might Like

cover Buy
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers
A Novel

Picador
Her name is Lovey Nariyoshi, and her Hawai’i is not the one of leis, pineapple, and Magnum P.I. In the blue collar town of Hilo, on the Big Island, Lovey and...
cover Buy
Father of the Four Passages
A Novel

Picador
From "one of the most original voices on the American literary scene" (The Atlantic Monthly) comes the powerful tale of Sonia Kurisu, a young woman who grew up...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Hello to All That
A Memoir of Zoloft, War, and Peace

Picador
His own chemistry was his worst enemy, and it took John Falk to some very strange places--from Garden City, Long Island, to sniper-infested Sarajevo during the...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
People in Glass Houses
A Novel

Picador
Only those who keep their wit and affections about them will survive the mass conditioning of the Organization, where confusion solemnly rules and conformity...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
From the Ruins of Empire
The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia

Picador
A Financial Times and The Economist Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice A SURPRISING, GRIPPING NARRATIVE DEPICTING THE...
cover Buy
The Forger
A Novel

Picador
On the eve of World War II, David Halifax, a young American painter, receives a scholarship to come to Paris and work under the tutelage of the mysterious...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Cloudstreet
A Novel

Picador
From award-winning author Tim Winton comes an epic novel that regularly tops the list of best-loved novels in Australia. After two separate catastrophes,...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Fruit of the Lemon
A Novel

Picador
From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two...
cover Buy
First 100 Words

Priddy Books
Your little one will soon learn some essential first words and pictures with this bright board book. There are 100 color photographs to look at and talk about,...
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Cress

Feiwel & Friends
In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Bystander

Square Fish
A seventh grade boy must choose between being a witness to bullying—or becoming a victim.

Reading Group Gold

About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about Behold the Many are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Behold the Many.



Discussion Questions

1. In what ways is Behold the Many an American story? How does the author use the historical setting (Hawai‘i on the cusp of statehood) to move the story along? Why do you think the author chose this specific time in Hawai‘i’s history as a backdrop for the novel?

2. How would you characterize the narrative structure of Behold the Many? What does it accomplish? How does this narrative reflect the novel’s subject matter? In what ways does the narrative structure remind you of other novels? Is there a common theme to novels written in this narrative?

3. Reexamine the first three pages of the novel. Do you have a different reaction to them now, having read the novel in its entirety? What was your first reaction? Why do you think the author chose to begin the novel this way? What does it accomplish?

4. This novel is very much about mutually inclusive dualities. What are some of the more obvious dualities? What some of the more subtle dualities? What does this overlying theme reveal not only about religion, morality, marriage, family, and culture, but also about Hawai‘i and its history? Can you see these kinds of dualities in your own family, culture and experiences?

5. What are your impressions of Sumi, Anah’s mother? Was she justified in poisoning her husband? What do you think of her as a woman and as a mother? In what ways does she bring out positive qualities in Anah?

6. What does the novel say about religion, specifically Christianity? Do you agree with it? Examine the characters of Sister Mary Deborah and Sister Bernadine. What do they represent, respectively? What does Anah’s nativity/vigil candleholder represent? Why is Anah so taken with The Acts of John?

7. Do you think that Sister Bernadine is a tyrannical hypocrite, or does she truly believe that she is following God’s path and order? Does she remind you of any other fictitious characters? What do you think of the other more frightening characters in the novel, such as Dai (Anah’s father)? How does the author make them human, rather than monsters?

8. Examine the symbolism and metaphor of bees and hives. Why are they so important to Anah? What do they represent to her? "Deborah" is a Hebrew name that means "bee." What does this contribute to the character of Sister Mary Deborah?

9. If you are familiar with Jane Eyre, please compare any similarities between Jane’s experience as a child at a Christian orphanage and Anah’s. Can you find more parallels of themes, plots and characters between the two novels? What does this indicate?

10. What makes Anah such an empathetic character? Discuss the ways in which she personally resonates with you. What do you think of the choices she made, with her sisters, her children, her brother, and within her marriage? Should she have felt guilty about lying to her sisters? What would you have done, had you been in her situations?

11. Could Hosana’s rape and murder have been prevented? Do you believe that she was cursed? What does the novel say about abuse and violence? Consider the character of Charles, and his explanation of the Medeiros family on pages 295—298. What does explaining the family and himself through fairy tales reveal about his perspective?

12. Why did Aki, Leah and Seth need Hosana to be sacrificed in order to be appeased? What does Hosana represent to them? Is there any other way that Anah could have put them at peace?

13. What are your impressions of Anah’s daughters? What do they each represent, to Anah and in the structure of the novel? Does their description on page 301 remind of you of another kind of narrative?

14. What does Behold the Many say about tragedy and catharsis? What does it say about marriage and family? Death and birth? Have you experienced emotions or tragedies similar to those of the characters? How much of your own life is reflected within the characters’ relationships, experiences and culture?

15. What were your impressions of Hawai‘i before reading this novel? How have they changed? Were you surprised? If you have visited Hawai‘i, can you recall anything that reminded you of the descriptions in the novel?



Discussion Questions

1. In what ways is Behold the Many an American story? How does the author use the historical setting (Hawai‘i on the cusp of statehood) to move the story along? Why do you think the author chose this specific time in Hawai‘i’s history as a backdrop for the novel?

2. How would you characterize the narrative structure of Behold the Many? What does it accomplish? How does this narrative reflect the novel’s subject matter? In what ways does the narrative structure remind you of other novels? Is there a common theme to novels written in this narrative?

3. Reexamine the first three pages of the novel. Do you have a different reaction to them now, having read the novel in its entirety? What was your first reaction? Why do you think the author chose to begin the novel this way? What does it accomplish?

4. This novel is very much about mutually inclusive dualities. What are some of the more obvious dualities? What some of the more subtle dualities? What does this overlying theme reveal not only about religion, morality, marriage, family, and culture, but also about Hawai‘i and its history? Can you see these kinds of dualities in your own family, culture and experiences?

5. What are your impressions of Sumi, Anah’s mother? Was she justified in poisoning her husband? What do you think of her as a woman and as a mother? In what ways does she bring out positive qualities in Anah?

6. What does the novel say about religion, specifically Christianity? Do you agree with it? Examine the characters of Sister Mary Deborah and Sister Bernadine. What do they represent, respectively? What does Anah’s nativity/vigil candleholder represent? Why is Anah so taken with The Acts of John?

7. Do you think that Sister Bernadine is a tyrannical hypocrite, or does she truly believe that she is following God’s path and order? Does she remind you of any other fictitious characters? What do you think of the other more frightening characters in the novel, such as Dai (Anah’s father)? How does the author make them human, rather than monsters?

8. Examine the symbolism and metaphor of bees and hives. Why are they so important to Anah? What do they represent to her? "Deborah" is a Hebrew name that means "bee." What does this contribute to the character of Sister Mary Deborah?

9. If you are familiar with Jane Eyre, please compare any similarities between Jane’s experience as a child at a Christian orphanage and Anah’s. Can you find more parallels of themes, plots and characters between the two novels? What does this indicate?

10. What makes Anah such an empathetic character? Discuss the ways in which she personally resonates with you. What do you think of the choices she made, with her sisters, her children, her brother, and within her marriage? Should she have felt guilty about lying to her sisters? What would you have done, had you been in her situations?

11. Could Hosana’s rape and murder have been prevented? Do you believe that she was cursed? What does the novel say about abuse and violence? Consider the character of Charles, and his explanation of the Medeiros family on pages 295—298. What does explaining the family and himself through fairy tales reveal about his perspective?

12. Why did Aki, Leah and Seth need Hosana to be sacrificed in order to be appeased? What does Hosana represent to them? Is there any other way that Anah could have put them at peace?

13. What are your impressions of Anah’s daughters? What do they each represent, to Anah and in the structure of the novel? Does their description on page 301 remind of you of another kind of narrative?

14. What does Behold the Many say about tragedy and catharsis? What does it say about marriage and family? Death and birth? Have you experienced emotions or tragedies similar to those of the characters? How much of your own life is reflected within the characters’ relationships, experiences and culture?

15. What were your impressions of Hawai‘i before reading this novel? How have they changed? Were you surprised? If you have visited Hawai‘i, can you recall anything that reminded you of the descriptions in the novel?

You May Also Be Interested In

cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Virgin Suicides
A Novel

Picador
Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution

Hill and Wang
An important new interpretation of the American colonists’ 150-year struggle to achieve independence “What do we mean by the Revolution?” John Adams asked...
  
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
The Iliad
The Fitzgerald Translation

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
Anger be now your song, immortal one, Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous, that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the...