Your Heart is Muscle the Size of a Fist discussion guide: Home
1. Talk about the characters. Do you see any "villains" or merely flawed individuals with complicated past? Which characters do you most sympathize with? Which ones are you least in sympathy with?
2. What are the individual, or personal, motivations for some of the protesters in attending the rally?
3. Discuss collective reasons for protesting the World Trade Organization meeting. What is the overall purpose of the protests?
4. In a BookPage interview, Yapa has said...
I...wanted readers to experience the politics and economics of IMF deals and World Bank loans, structural adjustments and austerity programs. All that stuff is very academic and kind of boring.
Does Yapa bring those esoteric, remote subjects to life in his book as he'd hoped to do? Does he put a human face on the issues?
5. At the heart of the protest, and the heart of the book, is the question, "what kind of a world do we want?" How do the characters attempt to answer that question? How do you answer it?
6. At what point does crowd psychology—the emotional impact of chanting, of linking arms, the exhilaration of togetherness—take over? What about the police, those charged with maintaining public order and safety? When does their fear and anger get out of hand? At what point do they overstep the bounds of rational behavior?
7. What does 19-year-old Charles learn about the power of belief in individual action? Can an individual make a difference?
8. Do you find the presence of Charles as the estranged stepson of Police Chief Bishop to be necessary to the development of the story...or does it feel like a gimmick?
9. Talk about the significance of the title. How does it relate to the storyline and characters?
Discussion questions courtesy of LitLovers.