Diary of a Slut
- Do you find Trueblood’s work raunchy and offensive or just exceptionally frank?
- Do you think she takes it to extremes in order to make her readers see the hidden parts of women’s lives?
- On Salbatora Island, Leo keeps coming back to Maeve’s room, increasingly drugged and disturbed. At one point in the story, she asks herself, “Am I a Slut?” and later she learns that she has been called “The Whore of Healing.” How do women use sex to try and heal men? Did you learn anything about yourself reading this story?
- There’s an element of the supernatural at work in “Diary of a Slut.” How is this a ghost story and who are the ghosts?
- In “Her Wildness,” Biker Barb quotes her grandmother’s axiom: “Normal ain’t nothing but a setting on a washing machine.” How do Trueblood’s characters defy the status quo? Are you able to identify with them in some way?
- Botteger’s Bar & Grill is depicted as a wild west saloon, except the story is set in the late Seventies and told from the women’s point of view. How is the narrative a revision of the urge to come west and remake oneself?
- By the standards of our time, you could say that Maeve was date raped in “Her Wildness,” yet you could also say she sexually assaulted Seth. How do her actions complicate your reading of the story?
- How does the motif of the river beneath the river gain significance as you read the story? What does the sound of the stones seem to give voice to for Maeve? Where else in the story are stones important?
The Baby Lottery
- What was your immediate emotional reaction when you learned that Charlotte decides to have an abortion? Did your feelings change when you learned more about her partner, struggles, and situation? Why or why not?
- Though only Finley has a chapter to himself, there are several prominent male characters in The Baby Lottery. Which of these characters do you see as being strong and what makes them that way? Is what makes a male character strong different than what makes a female character strong?
- What effect did the shift to a first-person narrator have on page 188? How do you think your understanding of Charlotte would have been different if the author had not switched to the first person?
- At the core of this story there are the five old college friends. By the end of the book, how have their relationships with one another changed? Was the change avoidable?
- Was Jean’s anger with Charlotte justified? Why or why not?
- The women in this book are college-educated and pretty motivated. Many of them attempt to balance being a wife, girlfriend, lover, and/or mother with their careers. What are some of the challenges that these characters face as they attempt to occupy multiple roles? Are they successful?