MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reading guide for Spider Love Song and Other Stories by Nancy Au

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Spider Love Song and Other Stories

by Nancy Au

Spider Love Song and Other Stories by Nancy Au X
Spider Love Song and Other Stories by Nancy Au
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Oct 2019, 184 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Many of the stories in the collection explore the theme of family. In "The Richmond," for example, the daughter must contend with violence that she does not yet understand, with forced flight from one's home country, with stories told by her parents about historical events that are complex and unfathomable to the eleven-year-old. How are the characters impacted by immigration, or language, or questions of identity? What patterns emerge in these intergenerational relationships?
  2. Damselflies, dragons, slugs, beetles, dogs, turtles, and more. There are many animals and insects that inhabit the pages of this collection. How are nonhuman creatures used in the stories? What do they add to the narratives?
  3. Explore May's relationship with Lai in "Louise." Or, explore Lai's relationship with the duck. What future do you see for the couple? Why does Lai want to adopt Louise? Why doesn't May?
  4. Imaginations are used in many of the stories, as a form of strength, comfort, solace for the characters. How does Sophie use her imagination in the title story, "Spider Love Song," to cope with the disappearance of her parents? What would happen if she did not have her imagination to turn to?
  5. What do you think happened to Sophie's parents in "Spider Love Song"? What clues did you find woven into the story?
  6. In "Little Harlot," the protagonist and her older cousin, Lin, search through the belongings of their relatives during the grandmother's memorial reception dinner. What is Lin searching for? Why does the protagonist join her?
  7. "This Is Me" explores the mind and imagination and memories of an elderly woman named Mrs. Lee. What happened to her husband? Where does she really want to live—with her husband in their current home, or with her daughter, or in the elder-care facility? Whom does she trust?
  8. In "How to Become Your Own Odyssey, or The Land of Indigestion," Edmund's father sleepwalks and sleep-eats. What is he telling Edmund with his dreams? What do you imagine Edmund will find when he returns to the darkened house without his light?
  9. In the final story of the collection, the protagonist helps Bell to "seizure" after Bell's grandmother passes away. What do you think Bell saw in her seizure dream? Why was she smiling?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Acre Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 3 months or $12 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
    by Dexter Palmer
    The year is 1726 and the sleepy town of Godalming has been rocked by scandal. Called to the bedside ...
  • Book Jacket: Life Undercover
    Life Undercover
    by Amaryllis Fox
    Life Undercover, a riveting true-adventure memoir, reveals how and why a young woman decides to work...
  • Book Jacket: Celestial Bodies
    Celestial Bodies
    by Jokha Alharthi
    One typically expects to find a detailed family tree adorning the opening pages of, say, an epic ...
  • Book Jacket: All-American Muslim Girl
    All-American Muslim Girl
    by Nadine Jolie Courtney
    16-year-old Allie (Alia) Abraham, with her fair coloring, has always been able to "pass" for an All-...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Lost Man
by Jane Harper

"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"
—BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    You Were There Too
    by Colleen Oakley

    Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Father of Lions
    by Louise Callaghan

    A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win American Dirt

"A Grapes of Wrath for our times." - Don Winslow

This debut is already being hailed as a new American classic, and is the first book to receive a perfect 5-stars from BookBrowse reviewers!

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

V I T S Of L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.