Essayist Speaks Out

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When the wonderful Scottish writer Andrew O' Hagan isn't wallowing in luxury in Bora Bora (see his terrific article in ' The Guardian'), he has also been known to travel to beautiful downtown Toronto to speak to Eleanor.

was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

How does your experience working those kinds of jobs years ago influence the way you think about work now?

When I was writing the book, and then when I was rereading it again, one of the common themes was: Why did I keep doing this job even though I didn't love it, even though no one was watching me?

It was actually based on a very real breakup that I had with my now husband but David said to me: “This narrator, she's real doormat.” And he went on and on about his own situation. The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our judicial system. But in Concord native Meredith Tate's new novel for young adults, accused criminals have the presumption of guilt.

I'm not saying he would use these as therapy but it was a way for him to kind of work through some stuff he was dealing with and so he would sit there engage and talk with you about what was going on in a way that I just don't think is very typical, especially of writers who have really made it and are still teaching. At a time when our nation is gripped by conversations about due process and the court of public opinion, a young adult novel about what it means to be accused of and punished for a crime feels particularly relevant.

Following this work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

considered to be America's "intellectual Declaration of Independence." Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first and then revised them for print.

On a recent morning, in the hazy heat, poet Mark De Carteret opened up Water Street Books in Exeter, where he works, as what he calls "book clerk extraordinare." "Alice who works here has got quite the skill with the sign-making," he says, pointing to a sandwich board on which someone has drawn a bird.

"So she came up with that for the book launch.", Dartmouth college professor Alexander Chee wrote about a difficult subject: child sexual abuse.


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