Book Clubs

Interested in reading My Half of the Sky for your book club? Click here if you'd like Jana to join your book club discussion.

Book Club Questions

  1. In the first chapter, Li Hui stands in line at the post office to use the phone behind Orange-haired Aunty who wore expensive perfume. Li Hui is thrilled to be behind this woman and to sniff her air. However, after she speaks on the phone with her father, she can't get out of the post office fast enough. The expensive perfume smells like a gas leak. Why is there a shift in Li Hui's appreciation of the things money can buy? How is this scene a metaphor for what later happens to Li Hui?
  2. When Li Hui goes to dinner with Chan Hai she gets all turned around, feels lost. Chan Hai points out where they are and says, "It's amazing how all of us can be so close to something and not see it." How is this phenomenon reflected in Li Hui's relationship with her father? Chan Hai? Husband? Does Li Hui ever learn to see?
  3. Waipo often told Li Hui a story about the dragon who came to the village, and how a smart little girl scared the dragon away with firecrackers. What are Li Hui's dragons? Does she ever find firecrackers? What are they?
  4. Is Crazy Lee Sa really crazy? Why is she viewed this way? What characteristics do Crazy Lee Sa and Madame Tsui Ping have in common?
  5. What does the Little Emperor in the park and Li Hui's husband, Guo Qiang, have in common?
  6. What do the Snakehead and Father have in common?
  7. Li Hui is claustrophobic—has a fear of riding in elevators ("moving boxes.") In what way is her life like a moving box? Does she ever get over her claustrophobia? How?
  8. What happens to Li Hui in the end? What will become of her?
  9. While this story takes place in China/Singapore, what aspects—if any—can you relate to?
Jana McBurney-Lin
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