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A Reader for Writers

Nancy Enright

Publication Date - 31 December 2015

ISBN: 9780190277079

448 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Nancy Enright's Community: A Reader for Writers explores the theme of writing as community through a variety of readings organized around the communities out of which they arose. The selections-spanning from familial and cultural to economic and artistic-all attest to the text's underlying message that writing, when seen as an act of community, becomes essentially a dialogue, linking the writer with others who have written in the past and will write in the future.

Developed for courses in first-year writing, Community: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and cultural reading selections. It provides students with the rhetorical knowledge and analytical strategies required to participate effectively in discussions about community.

Community: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief, single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.


  • Visual texts help students engage beyond traditional written prose
  • Contemporary and core selections offer a helpful and coherent blend of classic and timely readings
  • Chapter 7 explores lived community in two religious-based groups: the Catholic Workers of NYC and the Hasidic Jews
  • Chapter 8 focuses on service learning and community outreach

About the Author(s)

Nancy Enright holds a Ph.D. in English from Drew University and a master's degree in English from Seton Hall University. She is Associate Professor of English and Catholic Studies at Seton Hall, where she is also the Coordinator for the inter-disciplinary Core course for first year students, Journey of Transformation. She served as director of first year writing for twelve years and has taught both literature and writing for many years. Her publications include articles on Dante, Augustine, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Julian of Norwich. She is interested in the connections between spiritual and community values and the academic subjects of writing and literature. She is also interested in the use of film in connection with literature.

Table of Contents

    1: The First Community: The Family
    Mary Cassatt, "Mother Playing with Child"
    Maya Angelou, "Grandmother," I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
    Elizabeth Gaskell, "Home Difficulties," The Life of Charlotte Bronte
    Genesis 4:1-16
    Luke 15:12-32

    Hisaye Yamamoto, "The Brown House," Seventeen Syllables

    2: Academic Communities
    Angela Kelly, Classroom Discussion at Chrysalis
    John Henry Newman, "Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Learning"
    Augustine of Hippo, "Memories of School Days," Confessions
    Frederick Douglass, "Sabbath School," Narrative of a Life
    Jonathan Kozol, Stephen and Death at an Early Age
    Fan Shen, "The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition"

    3: Oppressed Communities and the Struggle for Freedom
    Charles Moore, Police Dogs Attack Demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama Protests, Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from the Birmingham Jail"
    Susan Sontag, AIDS and Its Metaphors
    Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love
    Perpetua of Carthage, The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, translated and edited by Thomas Heffernan

    4: Creative Communities: Artists, Musicians, Writers
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Bower Meadow
    Dinah Roe, "The Pre-Raphaelites," The British Library
    Zora Neale Hurston, "Books and Things," Dust Tracks on a Road
    Dorothy Wordsworth, Journal Entries, Grasmere Journals
    J. R. R. Tolkien, Letters, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

    5: Communities of Work
    Eugene Atget, Ragpicker, (1899)
    V.S. Naipaul, "Women's Era," India: A Million Mutinies
    C. S. Lewis, "The Inner Ring," The Weight of Glory
    Studs Terkel, "Babe Secoli, Supermarket Checker (282); Pat Zimmerman, Alternative School Teacher (489); Ward Quaal, TV/Radio Executive (390)," Working
    Simone Weil, "The Mysticism of Work," Gravity and Grace
    Paul Farmer, "If You Take the Red Pill: Reflections on the Future of Medicine," To Repair the World, Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation

    6 Language and the Defining of Community
    Walker Evans, Man and the Movie Poster, New Orleans (1935)
    Richard Rodriguez, "The Acheievement of Desire," Hunger of Memory
    Julia Alvarez, "My English," Something to Declare
    Mark Twain, English as She is Taught
    Toni Morrison, "Black Matters," Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination

    7 The Call to Community--Two Case Studies from New York City and Beyond
    Dorothy Day, New York Catholic Worker Breadline on Mott Street
    Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker Movement
    Matthew 5:1-48
    Acts of the Apostles 2:37-47
    Dorothy Day, Loaves and Fishes, excerpt
    Robert Ellsberg, "A Faithful Striving," Commonweal Magazine
    The Hasidic Movement
    Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and 15:17-18
    Genesis 28:10-22
    Nehemia Polen, "Coming of Age in Kozienice: Malkah Shapiero's Memoir of Youth in the Sacred Space of a Hasidic Zaddik," Celebrating Elie Weisel, Stories, Essays, Reflections
    Jerome R. Mintz, "Three Hasidic Legends," Legends of the Hasidim: An Introduction to Hasidic Culture and Oral Tradition in the New World
    "Charity for the Widow"
    "No Way Out"

    8 Engaging One's Own Community
    Vincent van Gogh, The Good Samaritan, (After Delacroix)
    Paulo Freire, Second Letter, "Don't Let the Fear of What is Difficult Paralyze You," Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare Teach
    Jonathan Kozol, "Growing Up in the South Bronx," The Progressive
    Mary McLeod Bethune, "Faith That Moved a Dump Heap (excerpt)," American Women Activists' Writings: An Anthology, 1637-2002, edited by Kathryn Cullen-DuPoint
    Thomas Deans, "Writing About the Community," Writing Partnerships: Service-Learning in Composition


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