Questions to Ponder
A philosopher might ask, is Abdul free? A sociologist frames a similar question in
a slightly different fashion. Does Abdul have agency or is his future determined by
social structural forces he cannot influence or overcome? How about first year students
at Skidmore; do they control their destiny?
- What happens to our garbage?
- What is the value of fresh, clean water?
- What does Abdul hope for when he hopes to be ice "in Mumbai's dirty water"?
- Where are there moments of happiness in the book?
- Does hope play a role in the lived experiences of the people we encounter in this book?
- What do you make of Adbul, the "protagonist," and his friend Sunil? What is their friendship like?
- What does it mean to be female in the cultural, social, and economic contexts portrayed in the book? Think of the women you learn about: Fatima, Asha, Manju...
- Zoom in on page 37, and discuss the meaning of Boo's title.
- Why does Boo decide to end the book as she does? In a way, it is a "non-ending." How do you the reader feel at the end of this book?
- Carefully read Boo's "Author's Note" and consider how she goes about mapping out her project for this book, how she talks about herself as a writer of this particular book, and what her aims were in writing it.