American Novel Club

Club Leader: Dr. Emine Geçgil

In this club, you will explore the themes of racism, poverty, and identity found in the Native American writer Sherman Alexie’s young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), with a teacher scholar in this field. Reading such a novel will encourage you to examine the issues presented by the main character’s journey from a poor, dysfunctional Indian reservation to a school in a wealthy, seemingly ideal white community beyond the reservation gates. Throughout the novel, the main character moves between these two worlds and ultimately learns that there is much to appreciate about himself and each of the communities he lives in. He also has to deal with puberty, addiction, heartbreak, loss, death, and other issues that impact young people. In this club, you will relax and read, provoke thoughts and exchange opinions, and learn many concepts about the deep roots of Native American culture, and its implications in today’s America. In fact, beyond everything, you will be proud of yourselves, because you will have read a 230-page novel in English! Everyone with a love of literature can join this club. Prospective students of AMER, ELIT and TRIN are particularly invited!

The club aims to have students

  • Determine the themes of the novel and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot.
  • Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  • Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as   suspense or humor.