Kleinhans Symphony Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201
Date: November 18, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Patron VIP Reception: 7:00 p.m.
Photos from the BABEL Events (Photos by Bruce Jackson)
About the Author
About the Book
- How does Stephanos characterize his store? Does the store represent the American dream to Stephanos? Does he believe the American dream is attainable for him?
- Mengestu has said that Stephanos, Joseph, and Kenneth “love and mourn” their countries and the African continent as a whole. How did they employ the African dictators game to this end? How does the game and their discussions become a way to reconcile their bitterness and longing?
- Discuss the significance of Uncle Berhane’s letters to U.S. presidents regarding the conflict in Ethiopia. What do they reveal about his character and how he locates himself as an immigrant in the U.S.?
- Examine the role of beauty and beautiful things in this novel. How does Mengestu cast our eye, or ask us to reexamine what we consider “beautiful?”
- Stephanos’s trauma—watching his father captured and taken by a group of boy soldiers—is one of the most haunting moments in the novel. How does Stephanos remember his father? What do you make of Stephanos’s final words to his father at the end of the novel?
- How do different immigrants in this story navigate the American dream? For example, Uncle Berhane, Joseph, and Stephanos have seemingly different orientations to their new home. How would you characterize each man’s attitude about making a new life in the United States?
- The prose in this novel is unsentimental and sparse. How does the language contribute to the overall tone in the narrative? How does it provide insight into the characters’ consciousness and internal experiences?
After each Just Buffalo BABEL event, audience members enjoy an interview-style Q&A moderated by Artistic Director Barbara Cole, and may have their books signed by the author.
Single Event Tickets. Single event tickets are good for one BABEL event at Kleinhans for the 2015–2016 season.
- General Admission: $35
- General Admission (Student Discount): $10
- General Admission (Library Card Discount): $30
- VIP Patron: $100
*THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. Individual tickets are no longer on sale.*
2015–2016 Season Subscription Tickets. Season Subscription tickets are good for all four events at Kleinhans for the upcoming 2015–2016 season.
- General Admission: $110 (Single) | $95 (2 or more)
- VIP Patron: $275 (Single) | $247.50 (2 or more)