The Worthington International Friendship Association is starting a book club to help get residents more involved, according to board member and Worthington spokeswoman Anne Brown.

Correction: The print version of this story in the March 7 edition of the ThisWeek Worthington News included an incorrect date for the book club.

The Worthington International Friendship Association is starting a book club to help get residents more involved, according to board member and Worthington spokeswoman Anne Brown.

WIFA fosters intercultural friendships in Worthington through community events, according to worthington.org. WIFA is sponsored by the city, Brown said.

The idea of the book club was introduced by the WIFA programming committee, Brown said.

The group always is looking for ways to provide more information about other cultures, she said.

The book club is scheduled to meet for the first time from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in the Old Worthington Library meeting room, 820 High St. in Worthington.

The topic will be "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri, an American author of Indian origin.

The book club is free to join and is available to all residents. Anyone who wants to attend is asked to contact Brown at anne.brown@worthington.org or call 614-854-7173, so the group can prepare for the number of attendees.

Brown said the book focuses on nine short stories about Indians and Indian-Americans and the contrast between the culture they inherited and their new home in the United States.

Although she is not a participant, Brown said, the book has been well received thus far.

"People who have been reading it said they've enjoyed it," she said.

Brown said WIFA member Christina Clark would lead the club, which will meet on a quarterly basis.

She said board members also have discussed meeting in other locations during warmer months.

Brown said in the future, the group could focus on Japanese culture because of Worthington's sister-city relationship with Sayama, Japan.

They have been friendship cities since 1994 and sister cities since 1999.

A sister city is a long-term partnership between two communities in two countries, according to the website for Sister Cities International, a nonprofit diplomacy network that helps organize such partnerships.

A friendship city, by comparison, is less permanent and is used as a pathway to the more formal sister-city agreement, according to Sister Cities International.

Meredith Southard, a librarian at the Old Worthington Library and a WIFA board member, said she has been working on a selection of books for the group.

Southard said all the copies "Interpreter of Maladies" on the shelves throughout the Worthington Libraries system have been checked out.

"That indicates there is some interest," she said.

Southard said copies of the book still could be reserved from another library in the Central Library Consortium through worthingtonlibraries.org or by calling 614-807-2626.

For discussion questions for the WIFA book club's first meeting, go to readinggroupguides.com/reviews/interpreter-of-maladies-stories/guide.

More information about the WIFA can be found online at worthington.org/wifa.

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@ThisWeekOlivia