Book Club Booklists

“Stories of Exile”: Last Reading Group Discussion

By Associate Librarian – Readers’ Advisory Specialist Debbie

The Yiddish Book Center “Stories of Exile” Series concludes this February and March with the powerful novel Beloved by the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, is a moving story of an African American family in post-civil war America recovering from the trauma of enslavement.

The “Stories of Exile” series has the overall goal of showing how, even though our experiences are different, many more things connect us than separate us. Yiddish culture is very particular, but the issues of cultural identity, homeland, and belonging are universal.

Our first two discussion books, On the Landing by Yenta Mash and In the Land of the Postscript by Chava Rosenfarb touched on Jewish diaspora caused by the disasters of the pogroms in eastern Europe and the Holocaust. The Glatstein Chronicles by Jacob Glatstein is about the title character’s journey from America back to Poland and his thoughts on his identity (American? Polish?) and how to hold onto his culture. In Beloved the characters are exiles in their own country. Part of the African American diaspora, they are trying to mend their lives after being enslaved.

It should be a great discussion, and we are lucky to have Simone C. Drake, PhD, a Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor from OSU College of Arts & Sciences; English and African American & African Studies with us on Monday, February 19th at 7 pm to co-facilitate. The Zoom discussion will be on Monday, March 18th at 7 pm.

If you like further reading, please check out some of the other suggested books below. Happy Reading!

“Stories of Exile” Reading List

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui | Book / Libby
The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang | Book
We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai | Book / Libby
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende | Book / Libby
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen | Book / Libby
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | Book
The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives ed. by Viet Thanh Nguyen | Book
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar | Book / Libby
Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie | Book / Libby
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good | Book / Libby
There There by Tommy Orange | Book / Libby
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | Book / Libby
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead | Book / Libby
The Free World by David Bezmozgis | Book
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri | Book / Libby
Gardens in the Dunes by Leslie Marmon Silko | Book
The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich | Book / Libby