I was fortunate enough to meet and work with former poet laureate Natasha Tretheway years ago when she was an artist-in-residence at my school, a memorable experience that has stayed with me ever since. And so I was delighted today to see her in the current New York Times Book Review’s By the Book feature. While all of it is worthwhile reading, one answer stood out for me as I might answer with the same book though from a different point of view.
If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
“The Diary of Anne Frank.” I read it when I was in the fourth grade and it showed me how a young girl from another time, place, race, culture, experience and situation could be so like me, that I could connect to her through a shared need, the necessary utterance of her words, and that my capacity for empathy could be deepened by reading the intimate account she left us in her own voice.