This Is The Author | Michelle Kuo
July 11, 2017
“My book, Reading with Patrick,Ā 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, Iāve left Arkansasāitās a place where a lot of people leaveāI agonize about it, I decide to go to law school. My parents are like, āwhat the heck are you doing in Arkansas?ā Three years later, Iām 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 itās 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 weāre waiting for his trial, and about the incredible agility and the power of reading together and writing together. And itās 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 aboutĀ Reading with Partick.