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Digging to America
by Tyler, Anne
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1. The Donaldson's and the Yazdan's meet at the airport on the day that they are meeting their adopted daughters. They begin to socialize yearly to celebrate the adoptions. What were the surface reasons that this friendship was formed? What are the underlying reasons for the friendship?

2. Bitsy Donaldson and Ziba Yazdan have very different mothering styles. How are they different? How are they the same? Are the differences cultural or just a difference in parenting styles?

3. Sami Yazdan's mother, Maryam, does not consider herself an American. In what ways does Maryam feel like an outsider?

4. There is tension between Maryam and her daughter-in-law Ziba. Whatare some of the issues that they have encountered with each other? Are these cultural or just normal family problems?

5. Maryam hosts a party for both families at her home. The fact that she had married Sami's father in an arranged marriage is exposed and she is teased about it. Connie talks to her and says "All those people who know you so well, they think they can say just anything." Are these family squabbles universal? Is Maryam's anger related to her feelings of being an outsider?

6. Bitsy Donaldson had been married before she married Brad. She never felt accepted by Brad's parents. Did you find her to be a more complex character than you originally thought when you first met her in the story?

7. Sami Yazdan was American born and American raised. Yet he often asked the question, "These Americans: can you figure them out?" and then recounted humorous anecdotes about American behavior. Why do you think he enjoyed these discussions? Do other social/cultural groups do this same thing?

8. Maryam accepts Dave's proposal of marriage, but later feels it is the biggest mistake of her life. She says she cannot marry him because "He is so American." Later Dave says about Maryam's refusal that she is reluctant to leave her own culture. Is this true? What were his expectations in this marriage? Is he reluctant to leave his own culture?

9. This book is all about acceptance and the tensions between different cultures, men and women, parents and children and the young and the old. Are these tensions universal? How can they be eased? Did these families resolve some of their problems?

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