Book Club Kit: Great House

Great Housegreat-house-by-nicole-krauss
By Nicole Krauss
First Published: 2010
10 copies & Reading Guide

For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father’s study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.

Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared.

Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?

Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.

Reading Guides (questions for discussion):
Lit Lovers
Oprah Magazine

Reviews:
The New York Times
The Nation

On the web:
Author Bio
Author InterviewPBS News Hour 

Similar Reads:
The End of the Land by David Grossman
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Day for Night by Frederick Reiken

Enjoy Great House? Share your thoughts and comments below or over at Goodreads.

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