Category Archives: Wright (Richard)

Reading as a Subversive Act

Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” testifies to the liberating power of literature.

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Reading to Feel Accepted in a Strange Land

Last year, when the book discussion group that I moderate was participating in America’s Big Read program, I was referred to this essay written for the occasion by the Indian-American literary critic Parul Sehgal, an editor at The New York Times Book Review. I particularly like how she describes feeling accepted by books, even though she […]

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Back in the Day, We Parsed Sentences

Time was when grammar was king in the public schools. It didn’t seem to matter whether a student’s writing was interesting but whether it was correct. Then came the “process writing movement” and (in the lower grades) the “creative spelling movement.” The design was to unlock the writing energies that were being stifled by an […]

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Uncomfortable Books that Help Us Grow

Streep and Kline in Sophie’s Choice  A recent survey of the Tea Party movement has revealed that the movement is overwhelmingly white, educated, middle class and conservative, and people are now studying what it all means.  I love this post Ta-Tehisi Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic. As occurs in the world of the […]

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Clarence Thomas and Native Son

The focus in this week’s posts is on Supreme Court justices and literature. I notice that, in his New York Times column today, moderate conservative David Brooks endorses Sonia Sotomayor for just that restrained balance that we discussed yesterday as we explored her early love for Nancy Drew novels. Today I’m going to talk about […]

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