Three Views of Crystal Water

Three Views of Crystal Water

Three Views of Crystal Water

FAQs to get your group talking

What is the meaning of diving? Into what do we dive? What is so dangerous about it?

Why do women – rather than men – dive in traditional Japan? What rights and privileges does this grant them? What are the costs?

There are big symbols inherent in the story – the pearl, the sword, the dive itself.  How do you feel about those? Can the symbols also simply be the objects they are, without additional meaning? 

“She dove inward. Physical hunger drove her on, and the heart of her wrestled away. Was it the words? The skin? The war? Was it only Vera: would she have done this, no matter where she fell in love?”

More ideas to consider

Vera comes of age in a close community of strong women. Her parents are both absent, her mother dead, and her father away, and she is a foreigner.  Is this an ideal?

The pursuit of wild pearls in the 19th century nearly led to their “extinction”.  The culturing of the pearl was the first of many such scientific “advances”.  Do you approve?

Pearl divers were treated brutally and the process was ugly. Yet the  gem was a trophy representing beauty and purity. Where else do  we see these two opposites?

The PS section in the HarperPerennial paperback edition includes an interview with Katherine as well as many other sources of information.

“The Summer I Dove for Abalone” (29 min), a documentary created by Japanese broadcasting and translated into English, is available for viewing at the Japan Foundation Library on Bloor Street in Toronto.

What do you think?
Email [email protected] and have your say.

Alexis Hurley

InkWell Management
521 5th Avenue, Suite 2600, 
New York, New York 10175

tel: 212.922.3500 x2806
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