Why literature matters

risk of readingIn The Risk of Reading: How Literature Helps Us to Understand Ourselves and the World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), Boston College alumnus Robert Waxler contends that deep and close readings of literature can help people understand themselves and the world around them. He says people need “fiction” to give “real life” meaning and that reading narrative fiction remains crucial to the making of a humane and democratic society. Some of the works explored in his book are Alice in WonderlandHeart of DarknessThe Old Man and the SeaCatcher in the Rye and Fight Club. Waxler, who earned a master’s degree from Boston College, is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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