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Handing One Another Along: Literature and Social Reflection: On Character, Courage, and Compassion

Robert Coles. Trevor Hall & Vicki Kennedy, eds.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9781400062034
Pages/Publication Date 273/2010
Daedalus Item Code 38418
This item is not available.
Based on his own series of undergraduate lectures at Harvard, psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Coles here explores how character, courage, and human and moral understanding are fostered by reflecting on the lives of others through literature and stories. Coles encourages us to examine our own character, kindness, and complexity by looking carefully at our perceptions of others, and by studying the wisdom of authors from Charles Dickens to Flannery O'Connor, from James Agee to George Orwell, and many others.

"What serious reader hasn't marveled at how a book has helped to shape his or her moral view of the world? ... Coles examines just how it is that literature influences moral meaning in our lives as acclaimed authors share their private wrestlings with life's inequities. He is praiseful of the breathtaking insights of aesthetic genius and critical of the mean-spiritedness of some brilliant writers, using passages from famous works to examine how we regard ourselves and how we treat each other.... Coles weaves recollections of his own life—when he rose to meet human needs and when hubris inflated him with self-importance—with writings by James Agee, Raymond Carver, Tillie Olsen, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O'Connor, and others, as well as the art of Edward Hopper.... A joy to read as much for the snippets of great literature as for Coles' interpretations and the new perspectives he offers."—Booklist (starred review)

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