This is my symphony

What I read & what I lived …

What I read Dear Jeanine Cummins, It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? I can’t imagine working on a novel for five years and then *voila*–publicity tour cancelled–death threats–hateful reviews. (I guess if anything else, the blowback has spoken to the power of the written word … but I’m sure that’s little consolation and hardly …

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The Half BrotherHolly LeCrawDoubleday (2015) Holly LeCraw’s novel The Half Brother is one of those family-with-a-secret-sagas and a story of forbidden love. And then it becomes something more. Charlie Garrett is the son of a single mother. The father he never knew died, ostensibly, in Vietnam. Then his mother married the wealthy Hugh Satterthwaite when he was …

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Educated: a memoirTara WestoverRandom House (2018) I used to try to get my high school students (at least once a year and usually when reading Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451) to think about the difference between ‘education’ and ‘schooling’. Most seemed to think that they were receiving an education in their daily classes. My contention was that they …

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Dear Committee Members Julie Schumacher Anchor Books Jason Fitger has been an English professor for twenty-something years at a small university in the Midwest. He’s under pressure, overworked, and hardly appreciated. Writer Julie Schumacher tells the prof’s story through the letters he writes: a department head and dean here, fellowship and job recommendations there. The …

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Zen Under Fire by Marianne ElliottSourcebooks 2013  Marianne Elliott documented human rights violations in Afghan prisons and police stations and trained local law enforcement officers and prosecutors about human rights and Afghan law. Her life, first in Kabul, and then in Herat, was one of contrasts. Rules and procedures narrowed her freedom: she needs a driver or …

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