Reading With Patrick
As a young English teacher keen to make a difference in the world, Michelle Kuo took a job at a tough school in the Mississippi Delta, sharing books and poetry with a young African-American teenager named Patrick and his classmates. For the first time, these kids began to engage with ideas and dreams beyond their small town, and to gain an insight into themselves that they had never had before.
Two years later, Michelle left to go to law school; but Patrick began to lose his way, ending up jailed for murder. And that’s when Michelle decided that her work was not done, and began to visit Patrick once a week, and soon every day, to read with him again.
Reading with Patrick is an inspirational story of friendship, a coming-of-age story for both a young teacher and a student, an expansive, deeply resonant meditation on education, race and justice, and a love letter to literature and its power to transcend social barriers.
Reading with Patrick [is] Michelle Kuo's rich memoir of her literary friendship with a student in a small town in the Mississippi Delta
Remarkable . . . Honest, generous, humble and wise, Reading with Patrick will endure as a defining story for our times, and, abidingly, a testament to the power of language and of books.
Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs
'Honest, thoughtful, and humane, Kuo’s book is not only a testament to a remarkable friendship, but a must-read for anyone interested in social justice and race in America. Thoughtfully provocative reading.'