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Book Discussion: Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

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Transcript of Live Discussion
Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
July 9, 2007

Summer Reading: Thank you for joining tonight's discussion of Veronica by Mary Gaitskill.

Summer Reading: For an opening question, I would like to ask the group: What is Allison's view of the world?

Summer Reading: What is Allison's idea of beauty?

melissa: I think that Allison sees beauty in music and fashion and individuality.

Summer Reading: Who is the wicked little girl in the fairy tale?

loumanthony: Hi Miriam

melisssa: The wicked girl might be a composite of Allison, Veronica and Allison's mother. Each seem to have a mean streak throughout the novel.

melissa: Welcome, Anthony. I'm so glad that you've joined our discussion.

loumanthony: Hi Miriam, this is Anthony from Brooklyn Public Library. Congratulations on pulling this through, our first Tri Lib chat book discussion. Sorry, I just came home and joining you late.

melissa: Is Allison wicked? Or is she innocent?

loumanthony: I am sorry that I did read the entire novel. I just had time to read the reviews of it, so I cannot substantively contribute much to the discussion . I will be prepared for the subsequent discussions, but I will stay with you to the end.

melissa: Allison is complex. She seems to seeking out the company of both the wicked and the innocent. And throughout the novel, she appears to be searching for the real.

Summer Reading: Why does Allison befriend Veronica?

melrose: She was, or at least started out, an innocent in the sense that many good-looking women are viewed as victims ripe for the plucking. In fact, my favorite scene in the book was when she's seduced by the creep agent as a teenager, going down the hole into the song, etc. I wish I had the book in front of me and could quote, but I do not!

larry: Veronica is complicated and complex. She makes bold statements. She is loud and sexual and blunt. Allison seems to be simultaneously attracted and repulsed by Veronica.

larry: Do the women in the novel view themselves as victims?

Summer Reading: What do they see in each other?

larry: Veronica and Allison find friendship, sisterhood and quiet understanding.

Summer Reading: At one point in the book, Veronica cries out, "Everything we did is being erased. They're denying it all. They're taking it all away." When she says it---what is she referring to?

larry: It could be referring to their choice of lifestyle perhaps.

Summer Reading: I would like to thank you all for joining this evening's discussion. Please join us again on July 30th, 2007 at 7:00 pm when we will be talking about Andrew Holleran's Grief.

mary: I loved this book. It was so raw and powerful.

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