Bor­ders and Belong­ing: A Memoir

September 1, 2020

In this grip­ping and hon­est mem­oir, Mira Sucharov shows what a search for polit­i­cal and emo­tion­al home looks like. Sucharov suf­fered from child­hood pho­bias trig­gered by her par­ents’ divorce, and she sought emo­tion­al refuge in Jew­ish sum­mer camp. But three years spent liv­ing in Israel in her twen­ties shook her to her core. Ulti­mate­ly, encoun­ters with col­leagues, stu­dents, friends and lovers force her to con­front what it means to be able to write, advo­cate and teach about Israel/​Palestine in a way that bal­ances affir­ma­tion with authenticity.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Mira Sucharov

  1. What is your rela­tion­ship to Israel? What feel­ings does Israel invoke in you?

  2. Have you ever gone through a polit­i­cal shift? What was it like?

  3. Did you find your­self agree­ing with the author on her polit­i­cal jour­ney? Argu­ing with her?

  4. What are your ear­li­est mem­o­ries? Are they hap­py ones? Sad ones? Excit­ing ones? Scary ones?

  5. How does nos­tal­gia fig­ure into your every­day life, if at all? Are there par­tic­u­lar pop cul­tur­al touch­stones in your life you think about? What is their mean­ing to you?

  6. Why do you think you chose the path/​career/​passion you did? Is there a road not tak­en” for you, a path you maybe once con­sid­ered? A per­son you miss? A place you long for?

  7. What do you dream about? Who do you dream about?

  8. What does com­mu­ni­ty mean to you? When have you felt most con­nect­ed? Least connected?

  9. Has divorce touched your life in some way (whether your own, that of your par­ents, that of your chil­dren, or that of your friends)? Did read­ing the author’s expe­ri­ence of her par­ents’ divorce bring up any relat­ed or dif­fer­ent feel­ings for you?

  10. What kind of lega­cy do you hope to leave your chil­dren and your community?