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Gone to the Forest

Gone to the Forest

A Novel

  • reading group guide
*San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2012
*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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  • Free Press | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451656640 | 
  • August 2012
List Price $15.00
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Katie Kitamura's GONE TO THE FOREST

Katie shares the gripping saga of a father and son's relationship on a struggling farm.

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Read an Excerpt

1

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 empty. The dishes... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Gone to the Forest includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Katie Kitamura. 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

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

About the Author

Katie Kitamura
Photo Credit: Hari Kunzru

Katie Kitamura

Katie Kitamura is based in New York. She has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Wired, and The Guardian, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.

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