NNLM Reading Club: HIV/AIDS Health
NNLM Reading Club Book Kit
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Discussion Guide for The Great Believers: A Novel
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In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for a Chicago art gallery, is about to pull off a coup, bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona’s intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of ’80s and the chaos of the modern world, as both struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize | Finalist for the National Book Award | Winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal | Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize | Winner of the ALA Stonewall Award | Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize | Winner of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association Award | Winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award | Finalist for the Vermont Book Award | New York Times Ten Best Books of 2018
The Great Believers: A Novel | Rebecca Makkai | Viking Press | 2018 | 432 pages | ISBN: 978-0735223523
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the story collection Music for Wartime, as well as the novels The Hundred-Year House (a BookPage “Best Book” of 2014 and winner of the Chicago Writers Association Award) and The Borrower (a Booklist Top Ten Debut). Her short fiction was featured in The Best American Short Stories anthology in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and appears regularly in publications such as Harper’s, Tin House and Ploughshares, and on public radio’s This American Life and Selected Shorts. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca teaches at Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, and StoryStudio Chicago.