Today, my Intro to Lit students had a chance to meet a real life writer! Marion Winik came to talk to our students. She is the author of books like The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and First Comes Love. She gave us some background information on the stories and read several of them. She’s funny and engaging, and I think her easy personality made the students lean in and listen. This wouldn’t be a “stuffy” literary reading: how could it be with drugs and sex? To her credit, there were also other very touching and serious (and funny) stories about motherhood, AIDS, death, love, and family.
Especially after reading Shakespeare, which invariably strikes fear or frustration in students, I hope the students enjoyed listening to a writer read her works and discuss them. There were many good questions. Certainly not all of my students were fans – they had written lit journals before the reading that indicated such – but I think this kind of literary experience is invaluable to our students’ cultural growth. And this is what college is all about!