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Carry the One

Carry the One

A Novel

  • reading group guide
“When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.”

Following a devastating moment in the hours after Carmen’s wedding, three siblings and their friends move through the next twenty-five years under its long shadow. Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest calamities and triumphs of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another, and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to each other than we’d expect. Whether they take refuge in art, drugs, social justice, or love, Carol Anshaw’s characters are sympathetic, funny, and uncannily familiar as they reflect back to us our deepest pain and longings, our joys, and our transcendent moments of understanding.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451656930 | 
  • October 2012
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Carry the One

CARRY THE ONE author, Carol Anshaw discusses the subject matter and impact of her latest novel and it exploration of tremendous social themes.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Carry the One includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Carol Anshaw. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidently hits and kills a girl on a dark, country road. In that moment, the future lives of those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, are transformed. They are bound and burdened by this shared tragedy—in the arithmetic of their lives, when they add themselves up, they always have to carry the one. Over the next twenty-five years—through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days—each passenger moves forward against the press of guilt and reacts to this shared and catastrophic moment in different and unexpected ways.


Topics & Questions for Discussion


1. At her wedding reception, Carmen, in a moment of doubt about marriage, thinks: “Still, there was nothing to be done about it now. Forward was the only available direction.” How much of see more

More Books from this Author

This free sampler features extended excerpts from six novels coming in 2012 from Simon & Schuster. The books and authors presented in this sampler include  In One Person, the first new novel in three years from  John Irving, Carry the One by Carol Anshaw, Gold by Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee,  In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer, and The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos. In addition to these exclusive previews, the...
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About the Author

Carol Anshaw
John Reilly

Carol Anshaw

Carol Anshaw is the author of Carry the One, Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She has received the Ferro-Grumley Award, the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award for Fiction, and a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She lives in Chicago.

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