In this engrossing memoir, poet and literacy scholar Eli Goldblatt
shares the intimate ways reading and writing influenced the first
thirty years of his life--in the classroom but mostly outside it.
"Writing Home: A Literacy Autobiography "traces Goldblatt's search
for home and his growing recognition that only through his writing
life can he fully contextualize the world he inhabits. Goldblatt
connects his educational journey as a poet and a teacher to his
conception of literacy, and assesses his intellectual, emotional,
and political development through undergraduate and postgraduate
experiences alongside the social imperatives of the era. He
explores his decision to leave medical school after he realized
that he could not compartmentalize work and creative life or follow
in his surgeon father's footsteps. A brief first marriage
rearranged his understanding of gender and sexuality, and a job
teaching in an innercity school initiated him into racial politics.
Literacy became a dramatic social reality when he witnessed the
start of the national literacy campaign in postrevolutionary
Nicaragua and spent two months finding his bearings while writing
poetry in Mexico City. Goldblatt presents a thoughtful and
exquisitely crafted narrative of his life to illustrate that
literacy exists at the intersection of individual and social life
and is practiced in relationship to others. While the concept of
literacy autobiography is a common assignment in undergraduate and
graduate writing courses, few books model the exercise. "Writing
Home "helps fill that void and, with Goldblatt's emphasis on "out
of school" literacy, fosters an understanding of literacy as a
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