The second in my “Archive of Childhood” series. Trigger warning: images of a racist doll appear below. I’ve included it because this post is about racism, and I didn’t feel I could talk about the racism without displaying the doll in question. NOTE. A revised and expanded inquiry into this subject forms the Introduction (“Race,
We tend to imagine the self as an unbroken whole, but it might better be described as plural, a series of selves that, though temporally contiguous (and often overlapping) are not always the “same” self.Â That’s one of the conclusions suggested by Robert Krulwich in “Who Am I?,” a Radiolab podcast from 2007.Â It is
On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, I happen to be staying at the Washington Hilton – the hotel in front of which President Reagan was not assassinated 32 and a half years ago. Don DeLillo called the Kennedy assassination, “The seven seconds that broke the back of the American century.” But
Being a college professor would be a great job! You do a little teaching, and get the summers off! –Â frequently expressed misunderstanding To be clear: being a professor is a great job. Since I elect not to teach during the summer, I can devote more –Â though not all –Â of my time to research and writing.
I am not nostalgic for my high school years. As a teen, I was acutely self-conscious, chronically insecure, often depressed. Yes, I also experienced a wider range of emotions (including joy and laughter) during those years, but my dominant impression of teen-age-hood is gratitude at having survived it. But I returned for my 25th reunion
Those of us who read, create, study, or teach children’s literature sometimes face skepticism from other alleged adults.Â Why would adults take children’s books seriously?Â Shouldn’t adults be reading adult books? There are many responses to these questions: Children’s books are the most important books we read because they’re potentially the most influential books we
Occasionally, publishers and authors send me children’s books. When time and interest coincide (alas, too infrequently), I review them and post my reviews here. More often, I write reviews of books I’ve bought. I do not review children’s-book-related tie-ins. I view such products with some skepticism, and have written critically about merchandising that targets children.
When I started writing what was then a biography of Crockett Johnson (back in the late 1990s), I thought: When I finish this, I really will have achieved something. Even as I wrote other books, I continued to think of the biography –Â which became a double biography of Johnson and Krauss –Â as The Big Achievement.
While riding my bike last Tuesday morning, a car hit me.Â It was 7:45 am, I was cycling uphill and due west.Â A car coming due east –Â blinded by the sun, the driver later told me –Â took a left turn and hit my bicycle on its (and my) left side.Â Fortunately, neither of us were
The week’s chronicle of precisely how an academic (specifically, me) spends each summer day is now complete. Those who followed this admittedly dull exercise might have some questions. Those who couldn’t bear following it can save themselves both time and tedium by skimming through the Q+A below. Q: How many hours did you work this