An Article About Pedagogy
Last year I was interviewed by Catherine Buni for The Writer about culturally responsive pedagogy. At the end of the article you’ll find a fine and representative listing of craft texts .
What books do you turn to for guidance? And what books are you missing?
By Catherine Buni | Published: January 6, 2014
Last spring, novelist Gish Jen published her first book of nonfiction, a fascinating book calledTiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self. In it, Jen explores how the intersection of culture, of East and West, informs the stories she tells, indeed, how culture informs the stories all writers tell.
Tiger Writing is about writing. Tiger Writing is about art. It is also about the assumptions that underlie the standards by which art is judged. In an interview soon after the book’s release, Jen said, “With globalization in full swing, it’s a good time to take stock of our ideas about art and what ideas about art are in other cultures.”
It’s no secret the mainstream literary landscape – including lists of “must read” or “best books” about writing – does not reflect the diversity of the larger world. VIDA counts documenting the marginalization of women writers and research from journalist Roxane Gay reporting even grimmer numbers for writers of color have roundly illustrated the reality. In “Broader, Better Literary Conversations,” published by The Nation this fall, Gay noted, “[The] numbers suggest, quite plainly, that the people shaping the literary conversation are not reading diversely. If they are reading diversely, it’s a well-kept secret.”
Scanning “best of” lists of books about writing – where the technical, pedagogical, theoretical and critical appear to happily cohabitate – the landscape appears similarly distributed. This is a loss for writers.