Banister Book Discussion,
Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo.
A first novel of rare beauty and sensitivity, Jeff Talarigo's The Pearl Diver follows the harsh fate of a 19-year-old Japanese pearl diver who is diagnosed with leprosy. It is 1948. There are trial medications for her condition, but a weight of prejudice against her. Her name is erased from the family register, and she is rowed to a lifelong exile at the island leprosarium on Nagashima. Ordered to give herself a new name, she decides on Miss Fuji, for the mountain she loves. The balance of the novel is delivered in poignant fragments that appear as notes to a modern-day anthropological study of the leprosarium.
We will explore our local history connected to leprosy and the colony on the Pekinese Island, located 12 miles off Cape Cod.