I've come to really enjoy this textbook, especially the way it reiterates that all writing is part of a conversation, which causes students to focus oI've come to really enjoy this textbook, especially the way it reiterates that all writing is part of a conversation, which causes students to focus on becoming part of something and not trying to reinvent the wheel or feel insignificant.
The text also asks students to consider genre, like creating a website or brochure, etc., instead of a paper. That part wasn't useful to me so much....more
R & T is shorty of a book, including three brief stories and ending with a novella. The first piece, “BecomiMy first review up at Grab the Lapels!
R & T is shorty of a book, including three brief stories and ending with a novella. The first piece, “Becoming Obsolete,” is the shortest by far. It follows two men, the owner of a business that fixes refrigerators--Lucky, who can’t smell--and his apprentice, Chris. I couldn’t believe the first story I read for my ladies-only website was about two men!
Clear, with a personal tone that may or may not be interpreted as bossy, depending on how much you want someone to fill you with completely positive tClear, with a personal tone that may or may not be interpreted as bossy, depending on how much you want someone to fill you with completely positive thoughts (writing is not all "you can do it!!!'). I loved it.
The stories in this collection were really great. When I read the title of the anthology, my first thought was the Raymond Carver story "Fat," and itThe stories in this collection were really great. When I read the title of the anthology, my first thought was the Raymond Carver story "Fat," and it was in there. BUT! I kept wondering...is this all there is out there in terms of "fat-fiction"? No one else writes any? Makes me want to write more of it...also makes me wonder if people don't really want to read it and that is why I can't get any published. Also, I'm really surprised that most of the reviews of this book comment that the reader expected this to be an uplifting anthology. It can be really difficult to turn a physical/psychological problem into something feel-good. I wasn't expecting that at all.
Used for Black Lit of America and African American Lit classes in addition to PBS dvds Eyes on the Prize. Includes plays and excepts of the most imporUsed for Black Lit of America and African American Lit classes in addition to PBS dvds Eyes on the Prize. Includes plays and excepts of the most important novels of the genre, which keeps students from having to buy multiple books or spend more time on each full novel....more
Reading Alex Haley's epilogue is really fascinating, as Malcolm X agreed in a contract that Haley could write an epilogue that would not be censored oReading Alex Haley's epilogue is really fascinating, as Malcolm X agreed in a contract that Haley could write an epilogue that would not be censored or need approval from Malcolm X himself. In this section, we get some secrets that are not revealed during the autobiography, which gives more life to Malcolm X: the times he lied as a criminal, the way he felt about Elijah Muhammad, his odd habit of never being at rest (he would be telling Haley a story and writing down theories, quotes, and quips on anything available at the same time).
UPDATE: Reading this book the second time was just as powerful as the first, except this time I was teaching it at a community college. I also gave the book as a graduation present to my cousin, who read it over summer break and told me that she was able to talk about it at her own community college and impress others (because not many students read Malcolm X). Overall, a book that changes minds and hearts....more
Finished this entire book today. Now I'm sad. I think the book really takes hold over you because it's like a conversation, access, if you will, intoFinished this entire book today. Now I'm sad. I think the book really takes hold over you because it's like a conversation, access, if you will, into the depths of a grandparent whom you've never spoken to in a meaningful way. When everything comes out and you are surprised that, in fact, grandma/pa is a human being and felt feelings. That he/she lived....more
Ruth: Narrator May: Ruth’s mother Matt: Ruth’s brother who’s very smart and studies at MIT Ruby (Ruben): Ruth’s husband Mrs. Foote (Dee Dee): Daisy’s mothRuth: Narrator May: Ruth’s mother Matt: Ruth’s brother who’s very smart and studies at MIT Ruby (Ruben): Ruth’s husband Mrs. Foote (Dee Dee): Daisy’s mother & May’s best friend Randall: Dee Dee’s fat son Elmer: Ruth & Matt’s father who leaves to pick grapefruit in Texas Willard Jensen: May’s true love who died at war Miss Finch: Old blind woman who was kind to Ruth Aunt Sid: May’s sister who cares for Ruth through letters (she “saved” Ruth’s life a million times)
115-116: When I stopped I rolled over on my back, tired and wet. I looked up to the sky, to the Swan constellation. I looked up to all the untroubled stars shining down on me from so far away. Something inside, maybe the part of me that’s the best bowler in the universe, whispered faintly that I was more than an animal, and I tried to remember Miss Finch telling me I had good thoughts--good thoughts she said. And every time the memory came to me, of Ruby and his cruelty, I thought of Aunt Sid, the liar, saying how big the world is, and how when she conducts her chorus and sees all the wide open mouths and hears the music coming out of them, she knows there’s a force, perhaps born of the earth itself, that insists on beauty. Miss Finch has a lot of praise for Ruth, but we’re also given hints about the future of the book and how let down she will be. It’s easy to forget this passage because Ruth easily and quickly idolizes people, making them more than they can ever be.
60: For a split second I had the sensation all through my body that there wasn’t a reason for our being on the planet. We were hurtling through space and there wasn’t any logic to it. It was all for nothing. Such a thought made me feel so lonesome I had to turn over on my stomach and cry for all the world. I cried for the little lamb we had once that lost its hind leg in a dog attack....I cried for it, and the hungry people on top of Starved Rock, and Miss Finch’s blind eyes, and how long and soft the grasses were that I lay in. I cried for the loveliness in the night. The way she cries here shows genuine love for a suffering world. She’s a complex character.
190-191: Jungly Tom & Jungle kitten. A scene showing genuine happiness with her husband and how playful they can be, how thoughtful (even if it’s weird) that Ruby can be when he brings her the tail.
326: I don’t know how to answer the question. I didn’t know how to tell her that May and I were the same: ugly and mean and down with our luck. I stare at the ground and she knows the change the subject. Is Ruth really like May? Does she feel this way because she believes people get what they deserve?
328: Aunt Sid tells me how we’re going to live. She says I’ll have my baby and we’ll be a family, eating breakfast out on the porch, with English muffins and orange marmalade, and she’ll teach me what I need to know. She says, “Ruth, you are smart. Do you have any idea how smart you are? You can go to college and study whatever you choose.” Now that Ruth has this ideal scene she pictured as her future, she doesn’t seem to want it. Is it because she notes that Aunt Sid tells her how they’re going to live? Is Ruth really smart? We can’t know because she’s biased.
11: It took me several years to figure out that on that July night we were actually experiencing the gladness some people feel every day, not just once in a summer.
8: My eyes are squinched together; they’re small and gray and they don’t open all the way wife. My mouth isn’t too much better off. It’s tight like a closed drawstring laundry bag. There’s nothing special about my nose: it’s small and sits on my face like someone set it down and forgot to come back for it. My hair, my best feature, is nothing more than tight brown curls stuck to my head like I’d take glue to them, but at least there’s room for improvement....May is very much the same, expect she’s older and uglier and heavier than I am, and she has a wart by her nose. Did the narrator assume she would be just like her mother when she was a little girl? Or is this her looking in hindsight saying that she becomes just like May and it started long ago?...more
These stories are deep enough to make you really think, as Kilpatrick makes you question what's real and what's imagined. I've found this book works iThese stories are deep enough to make you really think, as Kilpatrick makes you question what's real and what's imagined. I've found this book works in a freshman literature classroom; the students can follow, but they will have questions, which leads to a good discussion. However, teaching from this collection also has led me to realize the similarities between many of the stories, so we end up saying the same things at times. Will have to rethink some for next semester....more
Thinking about teaching this book in my twisted domestic course Fall 2011. Is it domestic violence? We're never provided with a clear answer, and thatThinking about teaching this book in my twisted domestic course Fall 2011. Is it domestic violence? We're never provided with a clear answer, and that can be the confusing part! Some of the moments where I wanted the narrator to expound were glossed over, which is why I gave the book a 4 instead of a 5. When she beings contemplating murder, it seems like she's only had one frying pan dropped on her toe accidentally, but she claims there are other incidents, which aren't described to us. Those descriptions could have made a huge difference!
November, 2011: I'm finishing up teaching this book, and I have found that working with students and being responsible for answering their questions, there was much more to the book than I originally thought, mostly in the word choices and themes that come and go appropriately....more
I once heard on the radio that a band (can't remember which) were doing poorly because the lead singer was happy. I believe he was dating someone. AreI once heard on the radio that a band (can't remember which) were doing poorly because the lead singer was happy. I believe he was dating someone. Are all artists miserable? In world where sad things are sad, and I often feel sad myself, not knowing what to do about it, Crane's collection made me really happy. Each story is different, and I never knew what was going to come next. The theme of happiness really made the collection coherent....more
These stories had amazing imaginative qualities, yet many of them ended as if the author ran out of steam. These short stories easily could have beenThese stories had amazing imaginative qualities, yet many of them ended as if the author ran out of steam. These short stories easily could have been made into several novellas, and I really wanted them to be. The title story, "Magic for Beginners," was incredible. I wanted to know if Fox died, who was in the phone in the inherited phone booth, why the father wrote the story of his son dying as a result of a tumor, what the secret books were for; however, none of these questions come even close to answered or implied answers. So, while the book is amazing, expect to be left feeling a bit empty after sampling some flavorful cuisine, wondering why you couldn't order the full dinner....more