1. In “And We Will Be Here” we are faced with the question of the reliability of memory. This is something the other stories tackle as well (“Once the Shore, “Among the Wreckage”) . Is our narrator, albeit a third person narrator, unreliable or is her memory and her longing to return to something else something familiar and thus reliable? Yoon writes “None of it had changed, she thought. Any moment now students would appear from the main hall, as they used to… She imagined this, repeatin git in her mind, and waited for the sun to rise…. the war was far” (203). What is she longing for? Is she longing for anything? Why is it comforting to her to repeat and relive this moment?
  2. In “And We Will Be Here”, after the narrator recounts seeing the boy hanging from the ceiling: “It took her a moment to realize that what hung from the rafters was in fact a person and not a doll, his limbs dangling, as if filled with cotton. It was a boy, his face discolored from the rope around his neck.” (209), Junpei is traumatized. Yoon writes “Junpei began to wander…..’Junpei,’ she called one evening, taking hold of his wrist. ‘Where have you been?’ It was growing dark. He wouldn’t look at her, his eyes roaming over the mountains. ‘Not far,’ he said” (209). How does this shape Junpei’s character and his relationship to Miya? How does their relationship change over the course of the story? How do you feel about Miya and Junpei’s relationship as a whole? Their connection from the beginning is undeniable. In a way, is Miya reliant on Junpei? Should she be?
  3. What do you make of the blind boy with marbles? After Miya tells Henry of her encounter, he trys to talk Miya down and convince her to take her medicine, which she later crushes and spits out. Does the Blind Boy exist? What is he supposed to represent to Miya and to the larger story as a whole? How does Henry’s character serve in relation to the Blind Boy?
Carleigh’s Reading Questions for 10/23

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