Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What facts of Kay Boyle’s early career contributed to her development as a novelist focused on political themes?

Boyle seems to have learned more from travel experiences than from early domestic routine and formal schooling. To what extent can the same be said of Merrill in the short story “Anschluss”?

Literary style is preeminently the effective use of language elements such as diction, phrasing, metaphors, and details generally. Examine carefully the style of a passage (a page or so) in Boyle’s writing that you think deserves praise for its style and cite particular instances.

Examine carefully a conversation in a Boyle short story that both reveals the speakers’ characters and illustrates a larger theme.

In what respects was Boyle herself, like Athena in the story of that name, an “underground woman”?