Themes and Related Questions
- Border crossings
- Immigrant experiences
- Where does prejudice come from? What prejudices do some people hold today?
- How do a group of strangers form a community?
- How does the telling of secrets or stories affect people's relationships?
- How do traumatic experiences shape people's personalities or behaviors?
- To what extent do people get what they deserve?
- Why might some writers choose to have ambiguous endings to their stories? How does this affect the
If you were to tell the story of one amazing thing that had happened in your life, what would it be? Would it be a memory of a gift, an experience, a person that you met, or an event that you witnessed? What made it amazing, and how did it change your life?
Would the experience of reading One Amazing Thing have been different had the narrative been from the point of view of just one person, or if the story was told by an outside figure removed from the events in the book?
If you were trapped in a similar dangerous situation as the characters in One Amazing Thing, how do you think you'd react? Was there an action or behavior by a character that resonated with you?
Out of the nine people in the visa office, did you identify with any in particular? Which one(s) and why?
Why was each character's "one amazing thing" remarkable?
The book begins and ends with Uma Sinha, the graduate student. Why did the author choose Uma's story to "bookend" the novel in this way? What about Uma set her apart from the members of the group, in your mind?
Which character's story did you find the most unexpected? Conversely, were you able to predict what was to happen in any of the stories?
Refresh your memory with the stories of the female characters in the book. Did these stories have anything in common?
"Apologize to a woman and she would gain the upper hand. Mangalam knew better than to let that happen" (pg. 55). What did you first think of Mr. Mangalam, and did this change after you learned his story?
Discuss Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett. Were you surprised, as their stories unfolded, to discover their reasons for going to India?
Almost all of the characters experience or perpetuate some kind of cultural misunderstanding. What did you learn about some of the cultures and religions explored in the book?
What did you think of the book's ending? What do you think the group's fate was? Why did Uma's story end where it did?
(Questions issued by Hyperion Books)