by Affinity Konar
 A tale that pulls you in with gorgeous prose and unspeakable atrocities against humanity. Dr. Josef Mengele performs inhumane and unspeakable experiments on his young subjects at Auschwitz. - Mischling by Affinity Konar

Discussion Questions

1. How did you experience this novel? Was it overly gruesome, or did you find rays of hope by the end?

2. Mischling has generated a fair amount of comment by reviewers who have difficulty accepting Affinity Konar's beautiful prose. There is a sense that her poetic writing masks, even separates readers from facing, the horror of Mengele's Zoo. A couple of reviewers mention a famous pronouncement by German philosopher Theodor Adorno in 1949: "after Auschwitz, to write poetry is barbaric." What do you think? Is it immoral to write so poetically about such barbarous actions? Or is Konar's writing a way for us to bear witness to events that are otherwise too terrible to describe and read about?

3. Talk, if you can bear to, about Mengele. How do you come to grips with his monstrosity? How does Mengele eventually die?

4. What about Stasha and Pearl? How do they support one another? How are they alike (aside from appearance) and how do they differ? Consider, especially, their diametrically opposed coping mechanisms.

5. In the twins' narrations, were you able to discern whether they were recounting dreams or suffering hallucinations as a result of Mengele's injections?

6. The children in the Zoo are asked to call Mengele "Uncle Doctor." How does Stasha, in particular, perceive his occasional kindness and at other times his acts of viciousness?

7. What about Dr. Miri and the role she plays? As a Jew, she is wracked by guilt over the surgery she performs in Mengele's Zoo. What is her choice-does she have any? Is it possible to justify her participation in the horrors of Auschwitz?

8. What else do readers learn about the larger world of Auschwitz, which the children hear through gossip?

9. Before handing over her two girls, Pearl and Stash's Mama tells Mengele that Stasha has an imagination. What role does imagination play as a survival tool? By the novel's end, Stasha says emphatically: "I wanted the death of my imagination more than anything. It had no place in this world after war." Is she right? Could her imagination ever offer solace again?

Discussion Questions by the LitLovers

PBRHome- for bookish gifts

Recent Book Reviews

Book Review -  Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

By Renee Rosen
This book is a must-read for anyone who's interested in the fashion world or enjoys reading stories about female friendships. It follows the journey of Gloria and Estee Lauder, two women who share their dreams of working in ...More

 Book Review - The Spectacular by Fiona Davis

The Spectacular

By Fiona Davis
It's 1956, and Marion, a passionate dancer and dance teacher, is thrilled when she has the opportunity to be a Radio City Rockette. But there is a cost; she must sacrifice her family to follow her dream ... More
Book Review -  The Violin Conspiracy by Brian Slocumb

The Violin Conspiracy

By Brendan Slocumb
This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning, with the opening playing beautiful classical music. A few times throughout the book, there are additional snippets of music. It's one of the bonuses of listening to a book on audio ...More

 Book Review - Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing

By Mary Kubica
Local Woman Missing is a gripping psychological thriller by Mary Kubica, filled with suspense, mystery, and secrets. I loved how this book grabbed from the first chapter and had me on the edge of my seat... More

Visit Our Blog

You May Also Like

PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Visit out Etsy Shop
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending