Teaching Lolita

How do we teach traumatic subjects without hurting our students, especially when they are so beautifully narrated by the “bad guy”? This week I’m teaching Lolita in my American Literature survey course. Lolita is one of my favorite novels, but it’s also complicated and upsetting and centered on really touchy subject matter. I was both … Continue reading

Booklovers, Friendship and Shirley Jackson

I spent most of the week after my exam lounging on the couch, reading The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson. It’s the story of Elizabeth, a young woman with multiple personalities, her unmarried (lesbian?) aunt who controls her inheritance and drinks a lot of brandy, and the doctor who tries to sort out the different … Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Round-Up

I’m not a cynical person by nature. Like everyone, I have my moments, but I lean toward optimism and enthusiasm. I celebrate a lot of things and I love holidays. Except Thanksgiving. Sorry, Thanksgiving. I think that this part of my personality comes largely from my mother and partly from many viewings of The Unsinkable … Continue reading