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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Talking Out of School Paperback – December 12, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fleisher goes against the grain in her work and her thinking, doing so in richly considered, evocative, original, and provocative fashion that in every way promises to make a genuine difference in our understanding of the broadest definitions of what it means to write and learn, and to live and love, in an age of new media, global consciousness, and shifting notions of what it means to be human." --Michael Joyce, author of Was

"A shockingly honest examination of the academy. Calling this book a feminist critique of higher ed would be to read the book too narrowly given the discussions of class and race. Should be required reading for everyone in academia." --Steve Tomasula, author of The Book of Portraiture

About the Author

H. Kassia (Kass) Fleisher (born in Wilmington, DE, and raised in the Philadelphia, PA, metro area) is an American writer best known for her fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds degrees in English from Dickinson College (B.A., 1981), University of North Dakota (M.A., 1989), and Binghamton University (Ph.D., 1993). Fleisher is the author of five books and numerous essays and reviews. With her spouse, the writer Joe Amato (poet), Fleisher has authored a play, Fat Jack's, and three award-winning screenplays (none of which have been produced to date). Since 2003, Fleisher has taught creative writing at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; First edition (December 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564785173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564785176
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,318,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

H. Kassia (Kass) Fleisher (born in Wilmington, DE, and raised in the Philadelphia, PA, metro area) is an American writer best known for her fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds degrees in English from Dickinson College (B.A., 1981), University of North Dakota (M.A., 1989), and Binghamton University (Ph.D., 1993). Fleisher is the author of five books and numerous essays and reviews. With her spouse, the writer Joe Amato (poet), Fleisher has authored a play, Fat Jack's, and three award-winning screenplays (none of which have been produced to date). Since 2003, Fleisher has taught creative writing at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

http://kassfleisher.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
As would be expected of a creative writing teacher, Kass Fleisher can write. She successfully mixes taut description, interrupted sentences and raw enthusiasm.

Part of Fleisher's style involves juggling time periods, adding some confusion. The first half of the book loosely covers her childhood and the second half relates her academic career with brief hints at her personal life.

The first part actually was more gripping, although it's a familiar story of childhood abuse.

Fleisher's mother taught English in the same middle school her own children attended. By day, the mother seemed cheerful and competent, even taking on leadership roles. At home, the same woman took out her frustrations on her two helpless children, belittling their value and beating them for trivial and imaginary offenses.

Encouraged by a friend, Kass talked to the school counselor. In what seems to be a colossal breach of ethics, the counselor doesn't identify a conflict of interest. She responds as the mother's colleague. Even worse, she betrays the child's confidence by telling the mother.

Somehow, Kass overcomes a weak undergraduate record earns a Ph.D. It's not clear why she was so clueless about academia. She doesn't realize that the college offering her a three-year visiting "gig" is heavily Mormon. She doesn't know that short recommendation letters send red flags to search committees.

Most important, she doesn't seem to recognize the challenges of the job market for liberal arts professors, especially English professors. Some of her struggles are attributable not to class or gender wars, but to the imbalance of supply and demand. "Cliff Walk" by Don Snyder revealed similar issues for a male English professor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roberta S. Trites on December 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for everyone who is, has been, or will be a faculty member or a student...or an administrator. Fleisher brilliantly dissects power as a function of race, class, and gender in academic settings. Starting with an account of her childhood that sets the stage for the many ways that people abuse power, Fleisher intertwines four different narratives to create a powerful feminist analysis of what the hell is wrong with post-secondary education
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul William Schumacher on July 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kass Fleisher's novel is a stark and bitter story about a hard life that is filled with valleys and peeks. From her rough childhood to the turmoil of the school system's bureaucracy, Kass maintains a level of dark humor which has allowed her to overcome the challenges in her life. A good read for those who think being a teacher is all fairies and bunnies.
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By Hannah Rodabaugh on December 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Kass Fleicher, and I love this book. I probably end up reading it once a year. It's that good. Plus, Kass is a totally awesome person.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Blankenship on July 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kass Fleisher's book is a memoir of a woman who seems to revel in her life as a victim. Certainly, the abuse she endured at the hands of her family justifies her bitter description of her childhood, but her portrayal of her victimization continues, seemingly, throughout her adult life. Thematically, I find this thoroughly unappealing, and, frankly, quite whiney. I really wanted to give her a time out by the end of the book.

In terms of structure, the text uses a po-mo style with cuts, jumps, and the ever-present use of italics to indicate author "asides," as it were. A better writer, I believe, wouldn't need to resort to this choppy and affected style.

I give the book two stars rather than one, however, because her descriptions of the political in-fighting in academia are spot on.
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