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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

In the Palm of Darkness: A Novel

1. In this novel, two men from completely different societies are brought together by their common interests. How does Montero contrast the lives of Victor and Thierry? How do their similarities and differences play into the novel's themes of love, extinction, violence and tragedy?

2. Montero uses as a leitmotif the mysterious disappearance of certain amphibian populations throughout the world. How is this phenomenon an apt metaphor for the troubles that have plagued the Haitian people?

3. How does Montero portray the scientists who come to Haiti? Are they pursuing their own self-interests at the expense of the Haitian people?

4. Victor and Theirry's quest for the "blood" frog ends with a sad and ironic twist. From its beginning to its end, how does the story of the hunt for the frog illuminate man's relationship to the natural and supernatural worlds?

In the Palm of Darkness: A Novel
by Mayra Montero

  • Publication Date: June 23, 1998
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060929065
  • ISBN-13: 9780060929060