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About My Sisters By Debra Ginsberg
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About My Sisters


Sisters -- the ultimate girlfriends. In About My Sisters, Debra Ginsberg examines the mysterious and fascinating relationship between sisters as seen through the special bond she shares with her own three sisters, Maya, Lavander, and Déja. About My Sisters explores the bond through the prism of the events and passages over the course of one year. As the sisters celebrate birthdays, juggle boyfriends and careers, and gather for the holidays, they reveal their history, the depth of their relationship, and their roles of sister. This is a heartfelt, funny, and touching look at a family that's much like the one we all wish we had.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What effect did the family's nomadic lifestyle have on the Ginsbergs?
  2. Debra comments on her parents' hip and stylish lifestyle in the sixties and seventies and how they change as they become more rooted to one place. Why do you think her parents changed? How did staying in one place affect them? Do all people become more conservative as they grow older? If so, why do you think that is?
  3. When Debra describes the elaborate "Mariannas" game that she and Maya played for so many years, how did it make you feel? The two girls approached the game very differently. What did their individual storytelling styles reveal about their personalities?
  4. Debra and her sisters are separated by more than fifteen years from oldest to youngest. What effect do you think the age difference had on their relationships as children and then as adults? Does one's position in the birth order determine the nature of sibling relationships throughout one's life?
  5. Describe the relationships Debra has with each of her sisters. How do they differ? How is Debra unlike her sisters? How is she the same?
  6. Bo, the sisters' brother, relates to each of his sisters differently. Describe Bo's role in the family. Does he seem marginalized by the strong personalities of his sisters?
  7. Describe the relationships each of the sisters has with Blaze, Debra's son. What do their relationships with Blaze reveal about the sisters?
  8. Debra comments that the sisters have all had difficulties maintaining romantic relationships with men. Why do you think this is? Which of the sisters is most likely to get married and have a "traditional" life?
  9. Within the year in which About My Sisters is framed, Debra's relationship with Lavander changes the most. In what ways does it change?
  10. On the whole, the Ginsberg family -- most of whom live artistic, "alternative" lifestyles -- do not seem to be materialistic. However, Debra reports that birthdays have gotten "bigger in scope, importance, and significance." The family members take note of how much is spent on them and how much effort the other family members put forth. Why do you think this is? Does money equal love for this family? Or is it natural in a large family that each person would need to be the center of attention?


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