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Southwest Book Club Meets May 5

zookeeperswife.jpgThe Southwest Book Club will meet on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Library. The club will discuss the nonfiction book The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman. The book documents the true story of Warsaw Zoo keepers and resistance activists Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who in the aftermath of Germany's invasion of Poland saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish citizens by smuggling them into empty cages and their home villa.

Copies of this book may be reserved for home delivery or location pick-up at http://www.ocls.info

Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library.

For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest@ocls.info

Discussion Questions
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!

1. How does Diane Ackerman's background as a naturalist and a poet inform her telling of this slice of history? Would a historian of World War II have told it differently, and, if so, what might have been left out?

2. How would you describe Antonina's relation to animals? To her husband? How does she navigate the various relationships in the book, given the extreme circumstances? Is her default position one of trust or distrust?

3. The drive to "rewrite the genetic code of the entire planet" is not distinct to Nazism. What similar efforts are alive today? Are there lessons in Jan and Antonina's story for evaluating the benefits and dangers of trying to modify or improve upon nature? Do you see any connection between this story of more than sixty years ago and contemporary environmental issues?

Discussion questions taken from http://litlovers.com/guide_zookeeper's_wife.html

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