Gone to the Forest
*Financial Times Best Book of 2012
*New Yorker Best Book of 2012
FROM THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF THE LONGSHOT comes this gripping saga about the destruction of a family, a home, and a way of life. Set on a struggling farm in a colonial country teetering on the brink of civil war, Gone to the Forest is a tale of family drama and political turmoil in which fiery storytelling melds with daring, original prose. Since his mother’s death, Tom and his father have fashioned a strained domestic peace, where everything is frozen under the old man’s vicious control. But when a young woman named Carine arrives at the farm, the tension between the two men escalates to the breaking point. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “a major talent,” Kitamura shines in this powerful new novel.
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Gone to the Forest
Read an Excerpt
Tom hears the noise from across the hall. A quick stream of native patois. At first he thinks it is the servants talking. But then he hears the crackle of static. The high cadence of a bugle. The voice picks up again and is louder. Agitated and declaiming.
It is the radio—somebody has left the radio on. Tom gets to his feet. The old man is not in his study, he is out by the river. But the noise is not coming from the old man’s study. Tom follows the sound down the corridor. He goes to the kitchen, thinking perhaps Celeste has been listening to the afternoon drama—
The kitchen is...see more
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Reading Group Guide
Set in an unnamed colonial country, Gone to the Forest begins at a critical historical moment—the brink of a civil war. The novel opens when Tom, the only son of a rich landowner, discovers a radio mysteriously announcing news of a spreading rebellion. A series of tragic events follows, both on the farm and across the country—events that further strain the relationship between Tom and his father, and cause Tom to lose his already fragile grip on the only life he has ever known.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1.Gone to the Forest begins when Tom hears a noise: the call to arms for the native rebellion on the radio: “Now it is time for us to awaken from our slumber. Rouse up, brothers! We will achieve our liberation and we will free this land!” (p.9) Could this message also apply to Tom and his relationship to his father, and by extension, to the land? Why do you think the author chose to begin the novel with this message? How does it foreshadow future see more