Discussion Guide: Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller

Here are some of the questions we discussed at our in-person meeting on March 23.

  1. All the narrators are very similar in background, situation, and voice. What kind of voice is the author trying to focus? Do you see a lack of variety or a consistent rhythm?
  1. What do the physical spaces and locations these narrators occupy tell a reader about their characters?
  1. What roles do windows play in the stories?
  1. At what level do you engage with the stories? Are there any stories in which you see a version of yourself or someone you know? How do you relate to these women? Did you experience any “bystander frustration” in relating to these women?
  1. The stories in this collection occur almost exclusively within the “inner space” of the mind: Miller is interested in motivations (or anti-motivations) of her characters rather than what happens to them. How did your relationship with our own inner space change as/after you read these stories?
  1. How does Miller challenge traditional storytelling structures? How does she question what a story “should” do?

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