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September 2021: Bright Lines

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Order the book through your local bookstore, through Source Booksellers (our exclusive partner), online, or check your local library for digital and physical loans.

Contextual Links

We recommend perusing these links to get additional context about the book, the author, and the themes of the book. Spoilers ahead, though!

Discussion Questions

  • How did you experience Brooklyn through this narrative? How does this compare to your personal experiences or other cultural depictions of the borough?

  • How did you experience Bangladesh? How does this compare to other cultural depictions? If you've been to Bangladesh, how does the depiction square away with your experience?

  • What do you think is the cause of Ella’s visions, and are they a gift or a curse? Why doesn’t she seek help earlier?

  • What are your thoughts on Ella’s feelings for Charu? How does their relationship change when Maya enters the picture?

  • What are your thoughts on the theme "displaced love"?

  • Throughout the novel, Anwar finds it difficult to communicate with the women in his life, especially Ella. Why do you think this is?

  • How did you react to the various relationships to religion?

  • What is the significance of Rezwan’s head appearing to Ella and Anwar? How does his influence live on in their world?

  • What connections and relationships have Anwar and Hashi made in their Brooklyn community? How does this compare to the sense of belonging Ella and Charu come to find while visiting Bangladesh?

  • Why do you think Anwar felt so compelled to write the letter to Ella?

  • How do the ideas of gender and sexuality intersect with the ideas of culture?

  • What are your feelings about the ending of the book?

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