Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

M. E. Kerr writes about several different kinds of stereotypes in her novels. Aside from sexual orientation and religious affiliation, what other stereotypes might experience a similar lack of social acceptance that many of Kerr’s characters experience?

Are the negative reactions against homosexuals in Night Kites and Deliver Us from Evie representative of what might happen in your community today?

Kerr often writes about a central character from the point of view of a narrator who is close to that person. In what ways might it be more or less effective to write from the viewpoint of the ostracized character?

How does Kerr’s young adult fiction address the idea of personal responsibility, either toward oneself or toward others?

Kerr’s characters are often disappointed in the behavior of people around them. In what ways do you think Kerr herself might be disappointed in people she has known?

What events in Kerr’s fiction seem to most closely parallel situations of intolerance that you have witnessed? What was the outcome of the situation?


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Kerr, M. E. Blood on the Forehead: What I Know About Writing. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Kerr, M. E. Me, Me, Me, Me, Me: Not a Novel. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.

The M. E. Kerr and Mary James Web site. http://www.mekerr.com.

Meaker, Marijane. Highsmith: A Romance of the Fifties. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2003.

Meaker, Marijane. “Marijane Meaker.” In Something About the Author. Vol. 20, edited by Anne Commire. Detroit: Gale, 1980.

Nilsen, Alleen Pace. Presenting M. E. Kerr. Updated ed. New York: Twayne, 1997.

Sutton, Roger. “A Conversation with M. E. Kerr.” School Library Journal 39, no. 6 (June, 1993): 24-29.