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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Ten Thousand Lovers: A Novel

1. What is the significance of the book's title?

2. Ravel's chapters alternate between the story of Lily's past love, the story of her current life, and the history of the Hebrew language. Did you like this format?

3. "The word 'Israeli' means everyone who is a citizen of Israel, including Arabs ... But when people say 'Israeli' they aren't usually thinking of Arabs living in Israel. Arabs are in the word, but not in the word. They are there, but not there." Can you think of other words that have the same kind of mystery attached to them?

4. "People aren't good or bad. They just do good and bad things. Your only hope is to know which is which." Do you agree with Ami?

5. Lily has a recurring dream about Ami and his blue number plate. What do you think this dream reflects about her relationship with Ami?

6. "What's a border, I ask you? We're living in a world of mirrors ... We have no idea who's in, who's out." Do you think Ibrahim's statement applies to our world today? Why or why not?

7. Do you understand why Ami works as an interrogator even though he hates the system? Or do you think he contributes to the problem?

8. Bracha says, "It's easier to see things on stage than on the news. You can imagine you have some control." Have you ever felt more connected to a political or cultural issue because it was presented to you in an entertainment format? If so, discuss.

9. What is the significance of Tufiq's keffiyeh around Ami's neck?

10. Discuss the last chapter, specifically the meaning of the last sentence.

Ten Thousand Lovers: A Novel
by Edeet Ravel

  • Publication Date: September 2, 2003
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060565624
  • ISBN-13: 9780060565626