Art and literature meet here! Designed for both established book clubs and individuals interested in creating connections between literary and visual arts, the MFAH Book Club links works of literature to works of art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The MFAH Book Club presents three selections per year. Each book:

  • Is featured for a four-month period in the fall, spring, and summer
  • Is accompanied by a downloadable discussion guide to facilitate group discussions • For those in book clubs
  • Culminates with a docent-led tour at the Museum, scheduled in advance • For those in book clubs
  • Has a Goodreads group dedicated to online discussion throughout the book’s four-month period • For individuals

Spring/Summer 2018

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The spring/summer 2018 MFAH Book Club pick is a Pulitzer Prize winner! 

“Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Interpreter of Maladies—a collection of touching, elegant stories—seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. ‘A Temporary Matter’ follows a young Indian American couple who face the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout.” —Amazon.com

• Read more about Jhumpa Lahiri and her work.

Download the discussion guide. Tours related to “Interpreter of Maladies” are available February 5–June 30, 2018.

Summer/Fall 2018

UP NEXT

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Tours: July–October

Pachinko is the epic saga of a Korean family over four generations, beginning in 1910 during the Japanese colonialization and ending in 1989. The story starts with a young Korean man who was born with physical deformities but whose destiny comes from his inner strength and kindness. His daughter, rather than bring shame on her family, leaves their homeland for Japan, where her children and grandchildren are born and raised. Yet prejudice against their Korean heritage prevents them from ever feeling at home. Pachinko says much about success and suffering, prejudice and tradition. Min Jin Lee’s exceptional story of one family is the story of many of the world’s people.” —Amazon.com

Questions? Email bookclub@mfah.org

How to Participate

Pick the approach that works best for you and your schedule.

Not already part of a book club? Here's how to partipate on your own!

  1. Read the book at your own pace! MFAH Book Club selections are sometimes available as audiobooks via services such as Audible, or through apps that use your public library card for free audio, such as Overdrive.
     
  2. Become a part of our Goodreads online discussion group. You can sign in with your Facebook account, or create your own Goodreads account. Discussion questions for the current book club pick are posted every other week, but feel free to pose questions of your own.
     
  3. Enhance your experience by visiting the Museum and taking a free drop-in tour related to the themes of the book. Stay tuned! Information about MFAH Book Club drop-in tours is shared on this webpage, as available.

Part of a book club or other group of six or more people? Here's how to participate with your group!

Read the book. Most MFAH Book Club selections may be purchased at the MFA Shop, where Museum members receive a discount. Reading copies are also available in the Museum’s Kinder Foundation Education Center and at the Museum's Hirsch Library.

  1. Download the discussion guide to facilitate your conversation. This guide features questions about the book and select artworks on view at the MFAH.
    Discussion guide for “Interpreter of Maladies”
     
  2. Request a docent-led tour by emailing bookclub@mfah.org—a minimum of 3 weeks in advance—with the following information:

    • The name of your group and number of participants
    • The primary organizer's name, telephone number, and email address
    • Your preferred date and time for your tour (see below for tour availability)

    Tours related to Interpreter of Maladies are available between February 5 through June 30, 2018.

    Choose from the following days and times:

    Tuesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Wednesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Thursdays, 10:30 am, 3:30 p.m., or 6:30 p.m.
    Sundays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.

    Note: If your group meets on a specfic day and/or time not listed above, please email bookclub@mfah.org with a request, which we will try to accommodate.
  3. Look for a confirmation email, within 5 business days, with information about when and where to meet the docent at the Museum.

Questions? Email bookclub@mfah.org

What to Expect on an MFAH Book Club Tour

• MFAH Book Club tours are free for MFAH members and free with general Museum admission for nonmembers.
• Tours last approximately 1½ hours.
• Camp stools are provided for seating.
• Docents facilitate tours, selecting several artworks on view at the Museum that they feel best connect with aspects of the featured book.
• Excerpts from the book are a vital component of these discussion-based tours, so we encourage you to bring your copy of the book along.
• Expect lively discussion of the book and artworks!
 

Past Selections


Since the MFAH Book Club's inception, the Museum has featured a wide range of fiction and nonfiction picks. Though tours are not offered for these past selections, discussion guides are available here.