• Picador
Reading Group Gold
Rules for Saying Goodbye - Katherine TaylorSee larger image
See Hi-Res Jpeg image


email/print EmailPrint

Rules for Saying Goodbye



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

Katherine TaylorKatherine Taylor

KATHERINE TAYLOR has won a Pushcart Prize, and her work has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares. She now lives in Los Angeles.

photo: Russel Taylor

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

More formats
eBook
Magic Time
A Novel

Picador
Born and raised in Mississippi, Carter Ransom came to New York as a young man and has risen to become a columnist with a major city newspaper. But when his...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Path of Minor Planets
A Novel

Picador
In 1965, on a small island in the South Pacific, a group of astronomers gather to witness the passing of a comet, but when a young boy dies during a meteor...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The War of the End of the World

Picador
Deep within the remote backlands of nineteenth-century Brazil lies Canudos, home to all the damned of the earth: prostitutes, bandits, beggars, and every kind...
cover Buy
In the Presence of Horses
A Novel

Picador
A moving, powerful novel of a woman coming to terms with her past -- for readers of Jane Hamilton and Barbara Kingsolver. Throughout her life Natalie Baxter...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Hundred Brothers
A Novel

Picador
With a New Introduction by Jonathan Franzen There’s Rob, Bob, Tom, Paul, Ralph, and Noah; Nick, Dennis, Bertram, Russell, and Virgil. The doctor, the...
  
cover Buy
In the Wake
A Novel

Picador
When Arvid Jansen comes-to one morning in the doorway of a bookstore in Oslo, Norway, his grief comes back to him in devastating flashes: His parents and his...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Hotel Iris
A Novel

Picador
In this trade paperback original, Yoko Ogawa, beloved author of The Housekeeper and the Professor, returns with the twisted tale of a young girl’s affair with...
cover Buy
Raising Holy Hell
A Novel

Picador
On October 16, 1859, John Brown led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, leaving fifteen people dead. Viewed in the North as a saint of freedom and...
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Speaker for the Dead

Tor Books
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger...
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Sophie's World
A Novel About the History of Philosophy

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
A page-turning novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie’s World has fired the imagination of readers...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Dark Water Rising

Square Fish
With the entire city under water, will Seth and his family make it out alive?

Reading Group Gold

About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about Rules for Saying Goodbye 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 Rules for Saying Goodbye.



Praise for Rules for Saying Goodbye

"A delightful amuse-esprit--a delicious light morsel of a story that tantalizes and whets the appetite for more." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Bursts of brilliant dialogue and description illuminate many already bright scenes from California to Massachusetts to Rome, from teenage through 20-something. Taylor’s story moves far and fast and is engaging and entertaining at every point." —The Boston Globe

"A finely crafted debut novel." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A delightful debut." —Vogue

"Taylor is not only a natural storyteller but a fabulously bitchy wit. Reading her feels like a marathon gossip with one’s cleverest, loveliest, and oldest friend." —The Times (London)



Discussion Questions

1. How much were you affected by the fact that the author’s name is the same as the narrator’s? Does the line between fact and fiction, memoir and novel, matter very much?

2. What is at the root of Elizabeth’s fear regarding Fresno and life in general? What unfulfilled dreams is she working through by sending Kate away? How does Kate’s concept of the future compare to her mother’s dream for her? Did your parents try to foist any odd visions of fulfillment on you?

3. What distinctions separate a girl’s coming-of-age story from a boy’s? Who are Kate’s greatest role models in shaping her identity as a woman? In what ways do her parents treat sons and daughters differently?

4. As a prep school, what did Claver promise to prepare its graduates to do? For Kate, what were the best and worst aspects of life there? Was she prepared for the world after she completed high school?

5. Page and Clarissa were raised in very different households. How much influence did their families have over their lives? Did the girls make it safely to adulthood because of or despite the way they were raised? Who were the most memorable parents you encountered among your friends when you were growing up?

6. How would you characterize Kate’s Claver friendships? What did it take to gain and keep friends there? Was her circle similar to yours, in terms of loyalty, disobedience, or other factors?

7. Doris feels safe in hospitals, surrounded by caretakers who are the opposite of sadistic Aunt Lou. How was Kate affected by the presence of Doris and Lou in her family? What harm existed in both Kate’s and Doris’s households?

8. Discuss the cross-country road trip Kate and her mother took. What new perspectives did Kate gain about Elizabeth, now that Kate had reached adulthood? How would you and your mother have gotten along on a trip like this one?

9. Is having wealthy parents a boon or a curse in Kate’s life?

10. How does Kate’s existence with Ethan in New York compare to her days on the West Coast? How does her life in Europe compare to her time in the United States? Where does Kate feel the least homesick?

11. At the end of chapter eleven, Kate encounters an aging Mrs. Burns, who is gleefully watching Jonas and Ethan roller-skate. What liberating lessons had Mrs. Burns taught her more than a decade ago?

12. In what way was climbing Le Dom with Henry and Oliver similar to the other challenges Kate faced—in dating, coping with her mother, keeping a job?

13. Chapter fourteen gives the novel its title. How could Kate’s rules have improved some of your departures? Who has said goodbye to her at various points in her life, and vice versa?

14. What aspects of Kate are represented in the novel’s four parts? What is the effect of the way the author blends humorous and wrenching moments in her storytelling?

15. In the closing scenes of chapter nineteen, Delia leaves the city after "she had made us believe, for a little while, that we had been missing something." How did Delia develop such a hold over her friends? Did you envy any aspects of her personality or her life?

16. At the summer house in Michigan, Clarissa is both recovering from a frightening illness and getting used to the prospect of motherhood. How did your impressions of her shift from the beginning of the novel to this point?

17. "I no longer needed to be reminded that a lot of girls would have stayed," the author writes in the novel’s final line. Would you have stayed with Lucas?

You May Also Be Interested In

cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Anatomy of Story
22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

Faber and Faber, Inc.
"If you're ready to graduate from the boy-meets-girl league of screenwriting, meet John Truby . . . [his lessons inspire] epiphanies that make you see the...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Monday, Monday
A Novel

Sarah Crichton Books
In this gripping, emotionally charged novel, a tragedy in Texas changes the course of three lives On an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student...
  
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
The Marriage Plot
A Novel

Picador
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review • NPR • The New Republic • Salon • The Seattle...
  Bonus