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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann

  1. Historical Context:

    • How does the book shed light on a lesser-known aspect of American history? What new perspectives does it offer on the time period and events it covers?
  2. Character Analysis:

    • Analyze the motivations and actions of key characters like Mollie Burkhart, Tom White, and William Hale. How do their backgrounds and experiences shape their roles in the story?
    • Discuss the complexities of identity and cultural assimilation depicted in the characters' lives, particularly for individuals like Mollie Burkhart who straddle multiple cultural worlds.
  3. Themes:

    • Explore the theme of justice versus injustice. How does the narrative highlight systemic injustices and failures in the legal system, and what does this say about broader societal attitudes towards marginalized groups?
    • Consider the theme of greed and its consequences. How does the pursuit of wealth drive the actions of various characters, and what are the repercussions for the Osage community?
  4. Narrative Structure:

    • Assess the effectiveness of the book's narrative structure, which blends elements of true crime, history, and investigative journalism. How does Grann weave together different narrative threads to create a cohesive story?
  5. Symbolism and Imagery:

    • Discuss the significance of the "flower moon" as a symbol throughout the book. What does it represent, and how does its meaning evolve over the course of the narrative?
    • Analyze the use of imagery and descriptive language to evoke the landscapes, cultures, and historical settings depicted in the book. How does Grann bring these elements to life for the reader?
  6. Ethical and Moral Dilemmas:

    • Consider the ethical dilemmas faced by individuals like Tom White as they navigate the complexities of the case. How do personal values and professional responsibilities come into conflict, and how are these dilemmas resolved (or left unresolved)?
    • Reflect on the broader ethical implications of the events described in the book, particularly in terms of how society grapples with issues of racial prejudice, exploitation, and accountability.
  7. Legacy and Memory:

    • Reflect on the lasting impact of the Osage murders on the Osage community and American society as a whole. How has this history been remembered, memorialized, or forgotten over time?
  8. Film Adaptation (if applicable):

    • If discussing the book in light of the film adaptation, compare and contrast the two mediums. How does the adaptation capture the themes, characters, and historical context of the book? What are the strengths and limitations of each medium in telling this story?

David Grann is an American journalist, author, and staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. Born on March 10, 1967, in New York City, Grann grew up in a Jewish family in New York. He attended Connecticut College, where he earned his undergraduate degree, and later received a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Grann began his career as a journalist working for publications such as The Hill, The New Republic, and The Washington Post. In 2003, he joined The New Yorker as a staff writer, where he has written extensively on a wide range of topics including crime, justice, history, and exploration.

Throughout his career, Grann has gained acclaim for his investigative journalism and narrative storytelling. He is known for his meticulous research and compelling writing style, which often combines elements of true crime, history, and biography to explore complex issues and events.

Grann has authored several books, including:

  • "The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon" (2009): This book tells the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett's quest to find a mythical ancient civilization in the Amazon rainforest.
  • "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" (2017): In this book, Grann investigates the murders of members of the Osage Nation in the early 20th century, a case that revealed a conspiracy to exploit the oil wealth of the Osage people.
  • "The White Darkness" (2018): This is a short book that tells the story of Henry Worsley, a British explorer who attempted to complete the journey that Ernest Shackleton never finished across Antarctica.
  • "The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession" (2010): A collection of Grann's investigative journalism pieces, covering a wide range of topics from a mysterious death in Guatemala to the theft of valuable rare books.

Grann's work has received numerous awards and honors, including several nominations for the National Magazine Awards and the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. His books have been widely praised for their depth of research, compelling narratives, and exploration of historical mysteries and injustices.

In addition to his writing, Grann has also served as a visiting professor of nonfiction writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Overall, David Grann is recognized as a talented journalist and author whose work has made significant contributions to the fields of investigative journalism and narrative nonfiction.


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Islington Branch

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