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Book Club Discussion Questions

Questions at the end of Sex & Taipei City:

1. In “The Strange Objects Museum,” how does Sheri change as the story develops? What leads to these changes?
2. In “Yuan Zu Socializing,” why does the protagonist call her actions a form of revenge?
3. Discuss Brian’s rejection of Sonnie in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.”
4. What might wearing a bra symbolize to Lily in “Underwear”?
5. Is the narrator in “Betel Nut Beauty” reliable? Why do you think she withholds information from the reader for most of the story?
6. How do Chinese beliefs around a “red suicide” inform your interpretation of how “Writing on the Basement Wall” ends?
7. In “Simple as That,” how do gender and culture inform Jolie and Mike’s relationship?
8. Consider the conflicting roles of the narrator in “Immersion”: graduate student v. “PR girl”. How are they compatible or incompatible?
9. In “Passport Baby,” why do you think Lin Lin stole the baby? Was this foreshadowed in the story?
10. If you were Serena in “Mine,” would you accept Jenna Lee’s offer? Why or why not?

Additional questions:
1. What did you know about Taiwan before you read this book? How does this book compare to or affect your perception of Taiwanese culture and people?
2. What surprised you in these stories? Why?
3. Which story did you like the best, and why?
4. Which story did you like the least, and why?
5. Are these characters uniquely foreign or Taiwanese? Could any of these stories happened in the country and culture you currently live in?
6. These stories are set in the 1990s-early 2000s. Do they feel dated in any way? How so?
7. Describe the gender dynamics in any stories of your choice. Do you feel gender and socialization greatly influence the fates of these characters? How so?
8. Did you read about any food in this book that you would like to try some day?


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