What are we reading? Glad you asked. As English people it doesn't take a lot of arm twisting to get us to talk about books! This fall, English Matters features recommendations from Professors Carrie Matthews, John Webster, Frances McCue, and our Chair Brian Reed.
Carrie Matthews recommends THE SNOW CHILD, by Alaska native Eowyn Ivy. "Even if you don't obsess about wintry weather or find the notion of fake children alluring, this is a lovely read. Mabel and Jack desperately want a child, so they make one... out of snow. Magic ensues (or does it? no spoilers here), and the result is a lyrical, strangely lulling tale of longing and of a joy that is both visceral and ghostly.”
John Webster recommends WHY STUDENTS DON'T LIKE SCHOOL, by Daniel Willingham. "Willingham offers an exciting new perspective on how children learn. Full of surprising, often amusing anecdotes, his book provides a lively introduction to a whole new field of study.”
Frances McCue recommends from Graywolf Press GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS, by Max Porter. “It’s a lively mash up of: a revision on some lines by Emily Dickinson; the story of two young boys who lose a parent; the interior thoughts of a father trying to write a biography of Ted Hughes; and a ghost’s monologue. I loved it."
Brian Reed recommends FAIRYLAND, by Sumner Locke Elliott. “An autobiographical novel recounting growing up gay and coming of age in the 1930s and 1940s in Sydney, Australia. Witty, campy, sentimental, and intermittently mean-girl cruel, it faithfully recreates a lost world. Rarely has adolescence as a gay man been better described--in all of its awkwardness and elation.”