.
book book
Home awards catalogs newsletter calendar resources exam about
.



Search the Site
.


Enter keywords, ISBN, author, or book title

 
.
Search the Site

Art
Art
College Planning
Education and Teaching
Language and Literature
Foriegn Language Instruction
Performing Arts
Reference
Science and Mathematics
Social Studies
Test Prep
Writer's Workshop

Search the Site
.


Sign-up for the High School Newsletter:
   

.
Search the Site

.

online catalog --
--
title info
ABOUT THIS BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AUTHOR Q & A
READ AN EXCERPT
READER'S GUIDE
order this title
ordering info for teachers
--
Email this Page
Print this Page
Search Again
--
Gifted
A Novel
Written by Nikita Lalwani

Gifted
Enlarge View
.

Category: Fiction - Literary; Fiction - Family Life
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: August 2008
Price: $14.00
Can. Price: $
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7794-3 (0-8129-7794-7)
Pages: 304
Also available as an eBook.


FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. How does Rumi’s focus on mathematics influence the structure of the novel and the way she processes the world?

2. Shreene’s sister in India tells her she was “always the lucky one.” Would you characterize Shreene as lucky? What are the grounds for Shreene’s discontent and “desolation”? What similarities and disparities do you see between Shreene and her daughter?

3. “Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.” Rumi cites this line from e.e. cummings during her first trip to India. What does rain, the moon, and the stars represent within Gifted? How do these elements surround Rumi’s relationship with Bridgeman?

4. How do the characters in Gifted contend with cultural stereotypes?

5. Reflect on the conversations between Mahesh and Whitefoot while playing chess.What do we learn about Mahesh through their interactions?

6. Does Rumi ever transcend her self-described role as an “irrelevant... observer”? If so, how?

7. Discuss the importance of ritual for Rumi and Mahesh within Oxford University, Indian culture and Western society.

8. Rumi becomes increasingly impulsive and self-destructive as the novel progresses.What influences and perpetuates these tendencies? What do the cumin seeds represent for Rumi?

9. Shreene repeatedly admonishes Rumi for asking “shameful” questions about bras and sex, even telling Rumi “that is not how our babies are born. Only white people have sex.” Why is Shreene so critical of Rumi’s inquiries? How do her questions represent a lack of “decency” and “respect” to Shreene? How do their arguments progress?

10. Mahesh explains that “the label ‘gifted’was meaningless to them as a family and ...a damaging idea to perpetuate in the population as a whole.” He believed that “any child could achieve this kind of knowledge and success rate, given the right developmental approach by the parents.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

11. Discuss the presence of duality throughout Gifted: between right and wrong, thoughts and actions, perception and reality, and logic and emotion. How does Rumi embody these dualities?

12. Rumi insists that her strict regimen in the hopes of reaching Oxford “is what [she has] chosen ...Until [she is] free.” Her mother maintains that Mahesh “has given [her] too much freedom,” while Mahesh is not “deluded enough to think that the world is full of choices.” Discuss the manipulation of choice within Gifted and it’s relation to freedom.

13. How do Rumi’s perceptions of herself evolve throughout Gifted? What influences how she sees herself? Why does she decide to “walk in the valley of truth”?

14. Are Mahesh and Shreene perpetrators, victims, or both?





.
.
.
.
.
.