The Literary Traveler Book Club – State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Our book club has become a much-anticipated monthly event and we would love for all of you to join the conversation this September! We are excited to announce that our next book club will take place on Tuesday, September 25th and we will be discussing Ann Patchett’s 2011 novel, State of Wonder. Patchett is perhaps most well known for her 2001 novel Bel Canto, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Ten years later she published State of Wonder, a novel that takes readers from a pharmaceutical company in Minnesota to the Amazon jungle of Brazil. Place plays a vital role in the novel, as Patchett transports her protagonist, Dr. Marina Singh, along with the reader, to the lush Brazilian rainforest, where Singh must track down the secretive Dr. Swenson, whose research into the (fictional) Lakashi tribe is at the center of the text.
In its review of the book, The Guardian writes: “State of Wonder is heavy with literary parallels (to Henry James, to Greek myth), but in this respect the strongest links are to Heart of Darkness, a novel that Patchett substantially rewrites, with Conrad’s male text repopulated with female characters (Swenson is this book’s Kurtz). It…is her most mature work to date, a novel that tries to be more alive to the nerve ends of philosophical life than to the simpler machinery of character motivation.”
Mixing adventure and suspense with a trip to the Amazon made from the comfort of your own armchair, Literary Traveler is excited to discuss Patchett’s novel this September.
For those of you in the Boston area who would be interested in taking part in the Literary Traveler Book Club, please e-mail Amanda@literarytraveler.com to join, or for more information. We hope to see you at our September 25th Book Club meeting, which will take place in Somerville, MA at 7:30 PM.
For those of you who cannot attend in person, we would still love to hear from you. If you have read Patchett’s book, or would like to read along with us, we would love to hear what you think. E-mail us your comments or post them on Facebook or Twitter. We will be compiling readers’ comments for a feature on our blog, so don’t be shy and tell us what you think.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The LT Team