Plainsboro Library Book Club
Book Club Selection: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Time: 7:00 to 8:15pm
Location: 2nd Floor—History Room
Copies of the book are available for borrowing. Please inquire at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor. Come to the meeting even if you haven’t finished the book.
|Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.
Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship.
As they confront an array of common catastrophes—a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.