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Food for Thought: The House of Broken Angels (Thurs April 14)

This year, Lit Youngstown's monthly book discussion will focus on the idea of the writer: biographies, memoirs, fictional works with a writer protagonist. All are welcome. Haven't read the book yet? No worries.

We meet at 5:00 at the Michael Kusalaba Library, 2815 Mahoning Ave.

All titles will be available at the Michael Kusalaba Library and at the YSU Barnes & Noble.

April 14 we will discuss The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea.

"The House of Broken Angels is, in fact, a party. Also a funeral. When the novel opens, Big Angel de la Cruz, the patriarch of a sprawling Mexican-American family, is getting ready to bury his mother, and to die. (First sentence: "Big Angel was late to his own mother's funeral." Who wouldn't keep reading?) He's in the late stages of terminal cancer, and so he gathers his relatives for a weekend-long doubleheader. Saturday, funeral. Sunday, his last birthday party.

The setup may sound like a tearjerker, but the book's spirit is irrepressibly high. Even in its saddest moments, The House of Broken Angels hums with joy. Big Angel spends much of the book listing what he's grateful for: family, marriage, working, oysters, being taller than my kids. He and his wife, Perla, remain fiercely in love, and though he's too weak to act on it, their marriage still overflows with desire. (Another entry on the gratitude list: Perla pulling up her stockings.) And he takes deep, sensual pleasure in memory. In one brilliant page-long breath."

Also in this series:

May 12 The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Stephen Heyman



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