Bookmark and Halifax Humanities 101 are very pleased to present David Denby, author of LIT UP One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives.
This exciting event will be held, May 4th starting at 7:30 PM in the Scotiabank Auditorium at the Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building on the Dalhousie University campus.
David Denby, a staff writer and former film critic for the New Yorker, returned to Columbia University at age 48 and wrote Great Books, an acclaimed account of returning to college and reading the Western classics during the curriculum wars. Now, after twenty years, Denby goes back to high school to see if screen-obsessed teens can be turned on to serious reading, and if so, what kind of teachers and which books can do it. The result is LIT UP: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives [Henry Holt; On-Sale: February 2, 2016].
Sitting in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year, and making frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester country, Denby read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the students were assigned, and here creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes from the Underground, A Long Way Gone, and many more.
LIT UP is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance of an inspiration provided by great books. A delight in itself, LIT UP will make readers fall in love with reading all over again, and send them rushing to their nearest bookstore or library.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Denby is the author of Great Books, an acclaimed account of returning to college and reading the Western classics during the curriculum wars; American Sucker; Snark; and Do the Movies Have a Future? He is a staff writer at the New Yorker, and his reviews and essays have appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and New York magazine, among other places. He lives in New York City with his wife, writer Susan Rieger.