Hate: A Romance

By Tristan Garcia
Genre: Literary Fiction
Buy Now This book is on reading list for December 2012

Why We Like This Book

Hate: A Romance offers a disturbing window into the emerging gay rights movement as it is challenged by the AIDS epidemic. Seen through the actions of four central characters, the reader experiences the political and personal fights that were being waged at this historical moment. The author refuses to sugar coat any aspect of the struggle, which often leaves the reader gasping as the characters use sex as a weapon to destroy each other (and ultimately themselves).

Discussion Questions

1. What is the theme of Hate: A Romance?

2. Do you agree with Will’s statement that “AIDS is a moral argument trying to police our sexuality?”(134) How does his behavior advance this position?

3. What are the political dimensions of ‘skin to skin’? (134)

4. Is it difficult for the reader to understand the conflict between Will and Doume and the communities they come to represent?

5. Does the subject matter of Hate: A Romance limit the readership? Is this justifiable?

6. Why does Garcia give the first person narration to a straight woman? Does this help advance the author’s claim that this is a ‘novel that represents and questions ideas, acts, and people of the gay community from a point of view that remains exterior’?

7. What is the function of Liz’s relationship with Leibowitz? How does the fact that he’s married figure into the morality of the novel?

8. Tristan Garcia said, “I remember having wanted to create a novel about the gay community, not for the gay community; about political activism, not for political activists; about a character who was a philosopher, not for philosophers.” Do you think he succeeds?

9. Discuss the structure of the novel. Why does Garcia first introduce each of the four main characters then develop the overall narrative? Why is the concluding section also structured differently from the opening segments and the body of the novel?

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