How to Read Now

Elaine Castillo
Published in 2022
by Viking

The author of the novel America Is Not the Heart, published in 2018 by Viking, returns with a collection of essays exploring the power and potential of a more engaged mode of reading that pulls together literature’s personal and shared histories. Attempting to deepen the aspirational claim that reading builds empathy and books can save lives, Castillo encourages us to acknowledge complicated truths (“the way we read now is simply not good enough, and it is failing not only our writers—especially, but not limited to, our most marginalized writers—but failing our readers, which is to say, ourselves,” she writes) and to forge deeper connections. An intensely personal history of one writer’s reading life and a wide-ranging intervention into our conversations about why reading matters, Castillo’s book urges us to create a space where literature truly imbues our lives with more meaning.  


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