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Letters for the Living: Teaching Writing in a Violent Age (Refiguring English Studies) Paperback – May 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0814128039 ISBN-10: 0814128033

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Product Details

  • Series: Refiguring English Studies
  • Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Natl Council of Teachers (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814128033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814128039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,447,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Something happened to me when I read Letters for the Living. I'm not sure what it is. I have been an adjunct, a tenure-track assistant professor, a high school teacher, and most recently a counselor in a division for troubled youths. After reading this book by Blitz and Hurlbert, I feel as though I understand my career(s) for the first time. I am doing what I can to make peace. I teach for peace. Letters for the Living is so moving, I wish it were available in every bookstore. I want to tell everyone to read this book, to appreciate the kind of friendships, experiences, and heartbreaking violence--and peace, yes--that fill the book with real power to make a difference in the lives of readers. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Too few academic books can hold an audience of non-academics. Blitz and Hurlbert have written a book that not only holds us, but rivets our attention from the first page to the last. The stories their students tell of violence combined with the stories--letters--Blitz and Hurlbert exchange throughtout the book, make for a narrative experience every bit as gripping as a fine novel. Parents of college students, fellow teachers, and students themselves should read this book. Somehow, we are all in this story, and Blitz and Hurlbert do a remarkable job in making us examine ourselves as makers of the society where violence has forced its way into everyday life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
My friend at Brown University sent me a copy of Blitz and Hurlbert's book. I let it sit around for a month or two. My son, an 11th grader, saw it sitting on the living room couch and was reading around in it. He told me it was a "weird" book. I understood this to mean that he liked it. Then I read it. It is a peculiar and interesting book. No. It is a fascinating, honest and compelling book. It is also an upsetting book. These two authors are so direct in their exchanges with one another, and their students are so vividly PRESENT in their own excerpted writings, I found myself almost flinching as I read. It's not a big book. I read it in one sitting, in about 2 hours and a half. But--and here's the crux of my review--I will read it again. I will reread sections of it many times. My friends will read this book. And yes, my son plans to finish it, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Abby Stein on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
The immediacy of Letters to the Living is jolting. Blitz and Hurlbert allow themselves to be caught in the act of teaching, with all of the sticky intimacy that implies. They struggle not only with how to convey the relevance of composition to students living in the real world, but with how to recompose that world through writing. Their classrooms are emptied of convention but thick with false starts, clownishness, subterfuge and magical connections. By having students author their own lives, writing becomes proactive as well as reflective.In the end, Blitz and Hurlbert teach self and other advocacy, as well as literacy.
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By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I teach graduate courses in Rhetoric and Composition and had heard about this book by Blitz and Hurlbert. The high praise seemed excessive...until I actually read the book. I was taken by the artfulness with which these authors render such emotional subject matter without a trace of the maudlin. They ask poignant questions, and elicit equally poignant responses from their students. This book doesn't simply offer profound insights into the nature of teaching writing, it also provides a remarkably workable plan for a large-scale assignment that students evidently appreciate deeply. I have put this book on my required-reading list for my graduate students. It should be required reading for anyone who teaches, and for anyone who believes the college writing class is a place of tranquil reflection. In fact, as Blitz and Hurlbert show, the writing class ought to be the locus of incredible discovery, sometimes painful, sometimes joyous, but always real. I hope this book finds its way into many, many hands.
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