Reading Questions for The Autobiography of Jenny X
10. What place does forgiveness, or the lack of it, play in The Autobiography of Jenny X?
11. Art surfaces in the novel in several guises. Identify the various kinds of art in these pages—from art therapy to commercial photography. Is one form more authentic than another? Why or why not?
12. There is a monastic quality to Nadia's artistic endeavors. Created in seclusion, her paintings are rarely seen in public. How might this private ritual be interpreted? What is Nadia hiding or protecting? What is the place of creative expression in Nadia's life? How does it compare to Christopher's ideological art?
13. When he finally sees her again, Christopher realizes: "Jenny was his fiction, his creation, his protagonist" (page 272). What is the author conveying about art, fiction and reality?
14. How do anger, resentment, desire and forgiveness bind the three main characters together?
15. Passages in the novel are set in the near future, in a period in which familiar civil liberties have been curtailed. Describe the civilization that can be glimpsed in the background. How does the author use this device to offer social commentary?
16. Jenny and Christopher are counterparts who remain interlinked. By the end of the book, Christopher has lost his inheritance to the woman he'd abandoned; he is now destitute and homeless. They have traded places. What does this dynamic suggest?
17. Though written by a woman, the novel contains three distinct points of view, telling the tale from entirely different vantage points. Who is narrating? Does anyone tell a complete version of the story? Why is it called an autobiography?
18. The novel probes the force of memory. It is not told chronologically but is fragmented. Why?
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