A Family Supper

Discussion questions and related resources for the short story by Kazuo Ishiguro

“A Family Supper” is a calm, understated story about a meeting between a father and his two children that subtly explores strong emotions and complex relationships.

The text of the story can be downloaded free of charge here. It is also available on the Esquire magazine website.

The short film version on YouTube is an abridged adaptation in Japanese with English subtitles.

Questions for Discussion and Writing

1. Discuss the significance of the title. Why do you think Ishiguro chose such a plain, simple title? How is this choice characteristic of his writing style in general?

2. Describe the tone and mood of the story. What factors in the story and narrative details contribute to these emotions?

3. Discuss the significance of fugu in the story.

4. What can we infer about why the narrator’s parents were upset with his “behavior” earlier in his life? What light does the story shed on his father’s values and personality?

5. Describe the narrator’s sister, her relationship with the narrator, and her relationship with her father.

6. What do you think is implied by the narrator’s reaction to the photograph of his mother?

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Questions © 2013 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.