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Reading Group Guide

    Reading Group Guide
    The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion for Jane Ransom's Bye-Bye. We hope that these ideas will enrich your discussion and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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    1. The catalyst for the narrator's behavior seems to be the break-up of her marriage. What do you see as the reasons the marriage deteriorated?
    2. We know the narrator's assumed name, Rose Anne Waldin. But we don't know her real name or the names of several other important characters in the book. What are they called? How does their "namelessness" shape the way we view them?
    3. What is the narrator's new identity like? In what ways does it differ from her own?
    4. The narrator is fascinated with the "Andorgenie." Why do you think this performance artist holds such an attraction for her?
    5. Much of the novel focuses on the narrator's sexual adventures. What is her role with each of her lovers? What are her feelings about each one?
    6. Although the narrator is very cynical about psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, she frequently analyzes her own behavior. What reasons does she give for acting as she does?
    7. In talking about her family, the narrator tells a riddle, pointing out that she correctly answered it as a child. What is the riddle's relationship to the rest of the book? Is it symbolic of what is going on in the narrator's life?
    8. What is the narrator's father like? Her brother? Why do you think she finally decides, after eighteen years, to go back home?
    9. Why do you think the narrator's last lover is the bartender? Why do you think he is called The Bartender? Is his name symbolic? He is also a locksmith. Does this have a particular significance?
    10. What or who is the narrator saying "bye-bye" to? Does she succeed? What do you think is going to happen to her?

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