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Veracity

Veracity

  • reading group guide
Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one-half of the country's population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, the Confederation of the Willing, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and a device called the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a Red-Listed, forbidden word is to risk physical punishment or even death.

But there are those who resist. Guided by the fabled "Book of Noah," they are determined to shake the people from their apathy and ignorance, and are prepared to start a war in the name of freedom. The newest member of this resistance is Harper -- a woman driven by memories of a daughter lost, a daughter whose very name was erased by the Red List. And she possesses a power that could make her the underground warriors' ultimate weapon -- or the instrument of their destruction.

In the tradition of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Laura Bynum has written an astonishing debut novel about a chilling, all-too-plausible future in which speech is a weapon and security comes at the highest price of all.
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  • Pocket Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439155950 | 
  • January 2010
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Reading Group Guide

V E R A C I T Y: Reading Group Guide

Overview:

It is the near distant future in a country that used to resemble America. In response to a Pandemic that occurred thirty years prior, the government has taken control over every aspect of a citizen’s life: where they live, where they go, what they say, who they love. By in large, the populace
has accepted this shift from freedom to security. Basic needs have been provided for via state-managed sex, the anesthetizing drug Occlusia, and a mandated, yet stable, workforce. It is a country no longer run by the people or for the people but over the people. It is a totalitarian regime in which art, nature and all other things that threaten to transcend a forced resignation have been banned.

Topics of Interest Questions:

The resistance operates on the principle that an educated populace will not stand for the continuation of a totalitarian state. Do you agree? Why or why not?

If Harper’s sentient abilities are the opposite of critical thinking, why is she so important to the resistance?

What kind of power does the control of language provide the government?

How does not being able to identify a thing via language inhibit a person’s ability to process it?

Why did the government choose to name itself The Confederation of the Willing?

To keep the masses in lockstep, the government has provided t see more

About the Author

Laura Bynum
Photograph by Greg Ziegler

Laura Bynum

LAURA BYNUM was born in Springfield, Illinois (Land of Lincoln) in 1968. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois, and earned an MA in Mass Media and Interpersonal Communications from Eastern Illinois University. She has extensive experience in marketing, corporate training and public relations. In 2006 she attended the Maui Writer’s Conference and was awarded its top prize—the Rupert Hughes Prose Award—for an early draft of VERACITY. She is currently at work on a second novel. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Virginia.

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Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Veracity?

A. After 911, I was concerned about many things that were purportedly being done in the name of 'security'. People bought the beautifully marketed idea that to question a thing was unpatriotic. Already, people had begun to blur fact and opinion and the fallout of our national tragedy seemed to throw us into a real trend away from critical thinking. These worries percolated in my noggin for a few weeks, until one day, while I was jogging, the idea of Veracity came into my head, full force. I want readers, in addition to being entertained, to really think about the importance of the word and how it can be used for the ill or the good. How it must be valued and maintained.

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