Blog, book club, Fiction, poetry, The Novelist

Book Club Announcement: The Novelist


Laura has about 30 days to write a novel before the calendar strikes September. And me? I have about 59 minutes to write an announcement about our next book club before the clock strikes twelve.

When I first read The Novelist ( I say first because I’ve read it more than once), I was struck by dichotomies–the way L.L. Barkat wove truth and fiction seamlessly, the way things that didn’t make sense made sense, the way both yes and no could be equally powerful, the way poetry insinuated itself into a work of fiction. It was, as the main character herself said, “more of a thing and less of a thing.”

I’ve been struck by those same things with each subsequent reading, but also with the artful and intricate layering of the story-truth so deeply embedded into the pages.

I am delighted to announce that our next Tweetspeak book club title is The Novelist. We’ll begin on Wednesday, November 28, for a three-week series based loosely on a set of discussion questions developed by readers.

The Novelist is a book that can be read in a sitting or two (maybe three, if you’re having trouble finding your tea basket). So we encourage you to read the entire novella before our first discussion, and consider the first group of questions on the discussion guide.

Now: get the book if you haven’t already, download the discussion guide, and brew your favorite tea. Then, meet us back here around the coffee table in the Tweetspeak living room on November 28. I’ll get us a nice fire going.


Download the discussion guide.

Read the first chapter online.

Buy The Novelist: a novella:

Photo by Flood G. Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by Lyla Willingham Lindquist.

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Great selection, Lyla! Will be looking forward to your posts.

    I want to know if Geoffrey’s for real. And how much poetry got written in those 28 hotel rooms.

    One of the things I like about “The Novelist” is how much room it gives the imagination. There’s a lot to be said (though I’m not necessarily going to be sayin’ it) for how much detail to provide and how much to withhold. And the play of truth against fiction and vice versa is so skillful in this book.

    • L. L. Barkat says:

      Have you ever met someone like Geoffrey, Maureen? I’m thinking he’s real in some sense, if you have :)

      I love that you say that about the imagination. I forgot to add a question about Imagination to the discussion questions, but it is actually a critical aspect of the book. Maybe Lyla can slip in a question about it in one of her posts :)

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