Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide
"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
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Cormac McCarthy was 74 and had one child, a seven year old son, when The Road was published. McCarthy is as handy as the father in The Road; he renovated a barn by himself, including gleaning stone and kiln-drying wood. He’s lived in Texas, Alaska, New Mexico, Tennessee, D.C. and Rhode Island.
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Featured Reader Wanted!
– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.
Father & son struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic world
Papa washes blood and brains out of his son’s hair after shooting man who threated his son with a knife
Central characters in the story are universal figures identified Hemmingway-eque only as Papa and The Boy.
Riveting 287 pages, 6+ hours
Endure. You can handle way more than you think you can.
The apocalypse is the great equalizer, though still a world of good guys versus bad guys.
The day before you gather, do not eat and imagine that the water you drink may be polluted. Bring canned goods to your meeting. Think carefully about what and how much you’ll eat and think about how grateful you are to have access to food. Share one Coke. Donate extra canned goods.
“You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.”
Someone’s safe-room/bunker or by the side of the road with a clear view.
If you knew the apocalypse was happening in a year, what would you do?
You have a sidearm with a couple of bullets. Could you pull the trigger on your beloved son to spare him if the worst scenario happens? Are you willing to kill to protect your child?
Your resources are nearly depleted and you encounter a man who’s clearly about to die. Do you help him?
How are good guys and bad guys defined in this novel?
What kind of person can survive a post-apocalyptic world?
Who is disproportionately affected during bad times?
Backbacking the Appalachian Trail during COVID is a less scary and arduous version of the novel’s survival, MacGyver-fix, extreme parenting, and mental wellness tests.
2009 “The Road” (film).
Attend a conference hosted by The Cormac McCarthy Society.