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TBE Book Group

The Temple Beth El book club is open to all of our members.

Our next selection for discussion will be Naomi Alderman's Disobedience. We will meet Tuesday August 21, at Vicki Hendin's home. We try to begin our discussion promptly at 7:30 PM, so please arrive a little early.

Disobedience is the debut novel of Naomi Alderman (The Liar's Gospel, and The Power). It won the Orange Prize for Fiction and was a Sammy Rohr Prize finalist. It is also the source for the recent film by the same name.

In Disobedience, Alderman tells the story of a young woman who has left behind her ultra-Orthodox upbringing, and the distinguished rabbinical family she was a part of, to seek happiness and fulfillment elsewhere. Many novels of disobedience in Jewish literature, from the beginning of the modern period on, paint the world left behind in largelyor entirelyunsympathetic terms. When the main character is forced, by circumstance, to return to that world, one of Alderman’s achievements is to complicate that picture by rendering it in subtle shades, and its inhabitants as real people, not caricatures. Alderman’s abilities are by no means limited to ethnography, though through a series of surprising developments, she explores how and whether change can come to a world that prides itself on holding fast against change. And how her characters’ various disobediences are themselves, if not necessary, seemingly inevitable.

Note: The Jewish Community Library copies have all been spoken for. The book is available in paperback, e-reader and audio formats from your favorite book sellers.

Jewish book resources:

Some recent books we've discussed: 

  • Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler
  • Moonglow by Michael Chabon
  • The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare
  • The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Reawakening by Primo Levi
  • Periodic Table by Primo Levi
  • The Bellarosa Connection by Saul Bellow
  • The Free World by David Bezmozgis
Tue, August 14 2018 3 Elul 5778