The bonds between siblings are among the strongest. May-Lee Chai describes the relationship between two sisters in her short story, “Saving Sourdi.”
After reading “Saving Sourdi,” discuss the following questions in 3–5 paragraphs:
- The story begins with a strong revealing statement from Nea, the narrator. How do you think Nea feels about her sister Sourdi based on this information? How does what happens at the beginning of the story foreshadow what happens later?
- This story is told from Nea’s point of view. How do you think the story would change if it were told from Sourdi’s point of view? Do you feel closer to the character than you would if this story were told in third person?
- Nea briefly mentions an experience she and Sourdi had in a minefield when they were younger. What impact do you think this had on the relationship between the sisters?
- Nea’s family is not originally from the United States. What are some clues the author gives to describe the origin of their ethnicity? Give 2 examples of characters who say things that are racially offensive, and discuss how this makes you feel about those characters. Can you relate to these experiences?
- How does the author describe Duke and Mr. Chhay? Do you get a sense of who these characters are based on these descriptions?
- As the story progresses, how does the relationship between Nea and Sourdi change? Why do you think it changes?
- What does the mother value, based on how reaction to updates she receives from Sourdi? Why do you think she might feel this way?