Book Club Questions for The Interior

Book Club Discussion Questions

developed by Larry Sells

  1. This novel’s title can have several different meanings. Which of these meanings is most important to the book?
  2. Hulan believes that to catch Miaoshan’s murderer, she must understand Miaoshan herself. How does she go about doing this?
  3. David opposes Hulan’s going undercover at the Knight toy factory because of her pregnancy and because of the danger this poses to her. Why does she reject this advice? Is she correct or not?
  1. Women working in the Knight toy factor face both risks and opportunities. In this case, do the opportunities outweigh the risk?
  2. The relationship between Suchee and Hulan is very complex. To what extent does Hulan destroy Suchee’s life? How do you evaluate Hulan’s youthful conduct toward her friend?
  3. At the end of the novel, Hulan shares with David her fear of giving herself “over fully to love.”   What experiences have led her to feel this way?
  4. The novel’s Epilogue focuses once more on Suchee. What is the setting in which she is depicted? What are her thoughts and feelings as the novel concludes? How do you react to her reflections?
  5. As it turns out, Miaoshan is a more complex character than she appears to be at first. What are the key qualities that motivate her behavior?
  6. How do the characters change or learn throughout The Interior? What events caused these changes? Have you or someone you know experienced the same thing?
  7. In this novel, Lisa wanted to write about how the goods of our everyday lives—everything from toys and Christmas ornaments to athletic shoes and computers—are made, by whom, and how these items then come into our lives. Did The Interior make you think about the things you purchase differently?