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Beyond the Page: Anna Pitoniak on Her Cold War Political Thriller

In this Beyond the Page book club event, Council members discuss the international political thriller “Our American Friend” with author Anna Pitoniak.
Bottle of wine, glass and book in front of a brick wall.
Anna Pitoniak
Event Date

About This Event

In this edition of the new Beyond the Page book club, Council members are invited to join fiction author and former editor Anna Pitoniak* for an interactive book club discussion. This conversation will explore Our American Friend, her recently released Cold War-era political thriller that takes readers from Moscow and Paris to New York and DC, weaving biographical fiction, espionage, and an underscoring theme of political power and influence.  

*Disclaimer: Author Anna Pitoniak will be joining the in-person readers remotely.

About the Beyond the Page Book Club

Beyond the Page is a book club discussion series designed to take both readers and writers "beyond the page" on topics shaping our world. Participants engage in candid and often provocative dialogue with writers to explore their opinions, personal experiences, and perspectives. Fans of geopolitical exposés, historical biographies, international romances, and espionage thrillers—this book club is for you. See full list of book discussions.


Council members are able to attend in person in our conference center for this event. Space is limited. Not a member and want to participate in person? Join now.

In-person COVID-19 related safety measures will be followed.

Event Schedule

Time Agenda
5:00 pm CT Doors and bar open
5:15 pm Welcome and introductions
5:30 pm Author's Digest: Anna Pitoniak shares overview of book (speaker will be remote)
5:45 pm Beyond the Page deep dive: group discussion
6:30 pm Adjournment
About the Speakers
Author, "Our American Friend"
Anna Pitoniak is the author of "Our American Friend," which chronicles a White House correspondent who gets tapped to write a biography of a first lady with many secrets from her past. Pitoniak worked as a senior editor at Random House and has penned two other novels, "The Futures” and "Necessary People." She grew up in Whistler, British Columbia and now lives in New York City.

To generate lively conversation, here are some questions to consider while reading the book.

  1. What was your favorite part of the book?
  2. What were your impressions of the author's writing style?
  3. Which scene, chapter, or illustration has stuck with you the most?
  4. Did this book remind you of any other books?
  5. What feelings did this book evoke for you?
  6. Are there lingering questions from the book you're still thinking about?
  7. How did it impact you? Do you think you'll remember it in a few months or years?
  8. How does the book's title work in relation to the book's contents? If you could give the book a new title, what would it be?
  9. If you could hear this same story from another person’s point of view, who would you choose?
  10. After reading this, what new things did you learn?
  11. What did you Google while reading the book?
  12. Did you agree with the author's conclusions? On what points do you disagree?