This Is The Author | Michelle Kuo
“My book, Reading with Patrick,Â is about a student of mine named Patrick, and this remarkable literary and intellectual awakening we experienced together in a county jail in Arkansas. He was a student in my class who was incredibly bright, really quiet, and just had trouble coming to school. I really encouraged him to come to school to write and to read and we had this incredible year together where he improved incredibly. Three years after this, Iâve left Arkansasâitâs a place where a lot of people leaveâI agonize about it, I decide to go to law school. My parents are like, âwhat the heck are you doing in Arkansas?â Three years later, Iâm in law school and I find out from a friend that Patrick had gotten into a fight and killed someone. I was totally devastated. I was shocked. I went back to Arkansas to visit him in county jail and I discovered that his reading skills had regressed. They were worse when I first met him in the eighth grade, and itâs because he had dropped out of school the year after I left the Delta. The heart of the book is really about us reading together in jail for seven months while weâre waiting for his trial, and about the incredible agility and the power of reading together and writing together. And itâs also about me grappling with my own failures and trying to think about the legacy of racism and poverty in the Mississippi Delta.”
Learn more aboutÂ Reading with Partick.