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NEWS
December 1, 1990 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christmas came a few weeks early yesterday for 136 first graders from the Frederick Douglass School in North Philadelphia. A small convoy of yellow buses ferried them from their public school at 22d and Norris Streets to the green hills of Cabrini College's campus in Radnor. It was their debarkation point for a special morning that transported their imaginations all the way to the North Pole via The Polar Express to celebrate the holidays through the magic of children's literature.
NEWS
July 21, 1988 | By Donna St. George, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nicholas J. Ragni, a retired dentist with a deep interest in the arts and literature who enjoyed helping aspiring young actors, died Monday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His family declined to disclose his age. Dr. Ragni - known to friends as "Nicky" - had practiced dentistry for more than 40 years, from offices in Philadelphia, Medford and Minotola, Atlantic County, and always took great care with his patients, a family member said. "If he did a cap on you, you'd never know it was a cap by looking at it," said his sister, Anna H. Ragni.
NEWS
September 29, 1988 | By Aileen K. Beckman, Special to The Inquirer
"Dull texts that make reading a chore instead of a joy" is how former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett has described the reading programs in our elementary schools in his final report on the state of education in America. We're vindicated at last! For years, classroom teachers and reading specialists have decried the rigidity and inflexibility of reading programs. Phonics followed by inane stories with controlled vocabularies has been the norm. Even today, when classroom readers include selections from literature those excerpts are rewritten in order to control the vocabulary.
NEWS
September 27, 1992 | By Denise Breslin Kachin, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The discussion in the classroom was as heated as the late summer air outside. Lavida Clark and Andre Newton, both juniors at West Chester Henderson High School, were having a disagreement about the motives of characters in Family, a novel by J. California Cooper. When one of the characters in the book escapes from his plantation slave master - who is also his father - he heads north and passes for white. "That's wrong," Clark said. "I wouldn't change what I am for anything.
NEWS
April 2, 1988 | By Christopher Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
As state Rep. William W. Rieger sees it, his April 26 Democratic primary opponent, Benjamin Ramos, is trying to make a mountain out of a, well, dunghill. "It was a misprint, but now they are trying to make a big stink about it," Rieger said this week, explaining how an earthy Spanish term for excrement mistakenly wound up in a piece of political literature he distributed in his district, the 179th, which includes Hunting Park and parts of Logan, Feltonville and Olney. "They're screaming and hollering about it, but it was just a mistake.
NEWS
August 18, 2009 | By Walter F. Naedele INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John T. Kelly, 71, an English literature teacher at West Chester University from 1968 to 2000, died of a brain tumor Aug. 11 at St. Joseph's Villa, a nursing home in Overland Park, Kan. Born in Yukon, Okla., he graduated from high school there in 1955. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from St. Louis University in 1959 and a doctorate in medieval literature in 1968 from the University of Oklahoma. His niece Katy FitzGerald said Mr. Kelly spent his teaching career at West Chester, during which, for nine summers, he took students to Oxford, England, where he taught such classics as Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales.
NEWS
October 14, 1994 | By Carlin Romano, INQUIRER BOOK CRITIC This story contains information from the Associated Press
Kenzaburo Oe, the 59-year-old Japanese novelist and essayist whose leftist political activities and existential fictions have led some Western critics to see him as the Jean-Paul Sartre of Japan, is the 1994 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced yesterday. Although Japanese literature is considered one of the world's most sophisticated and diverse, Oe (OH-eh) is only the second Japanese writer to win the literature prize in the award's 94-year history.
NEWS
March 16, 1995 | By Albert DiBartolomeo
Nearly every time I teach a college freshman literature course, I include a play by Shakespeare. When we get to it, almost always one or two forthright students will remark that they consider the study of Shakespeare a waste of time. Plus, they say he's "boring" and "hard to understand," along with most other classical literature. My students - largely science, business or engineering majors - much prefer the likes of Stephen King and Anne Rice, or other luminaries from the best- seller list.
NEWS
November 24, 1996 | By Rachel Smolkin, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
In Jennifer Augustine's first-grade class, 24 children sit in a semicircle and read with their teacher from Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup. "It was the best soup ever . . . and we can grow it again next year," they conclude. This is only the beginning of their reading lesson. Augustine selects students to line up in "ABC order," holding vegetables made from construction paper. They huddle together, then arrange themselves - correctly - as broccoli, corn, green beans and potatoes.
NEWS
September 2, 1996 | By Ralph Vigoda, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The first three words of Joel Wingard's new college textbook ask, "What is literature?" His answer, which takes 1,756 pages, might seem a little unusual. Under drama, for instance, you'll find Sophocles, Shakespeare - and Seinfeld. The lyrics of a Tom Petty song, "Mary Jane's Last Dance," are praised for their narrative value. Short stories cited are by such authors as Anne Tyler and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The essay section features the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham City Jail.
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NEWS
May 4, 2016
Daniel Aaron Scholar and historian, 103 Daniel Aaron, 103, a literary scholar and historian who helped develop the multidisciplinary academic field of American studies and who helped launch the publishing project of literary classics known as the Library of America, died Saturday at a hospital in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Aaron, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, became one of the foremost scholars of American culture and helped shape a new field of academic study and codify the nation's literary legacy.
NEWS
August 13, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Douglas MacDonald Cameron, 71, a professor of modern languages at Ursinus College whose love of Hispanic literature and culture impressed students and colleagues, died Saturday, Aug. 8, of cancer at Phoenixville Hospital. Dr. Cameron made observation, discourse, and the written word his life's focus. He imbued students with his own passion for literature, then made intellectual connections with architecture, film, music, and the visual arts. "Family, friends, students, and colleagues worldwide mourn the loss of this brilliant mind, one that questioned, challenged, and required others to think more deeply - not to accept the obvious - and to find the connections between art, cultures, and words," his family said in a tribute.
NEWS
June 25, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
The skills Michael Toner learned in war and honed over decades on the stage carry him now. The focus and concentration. The ability to stay calm and present. The dedication to the moment. Sometimes, when the pain overwhelms him, he can only fight through the moment. "Oh, the pain is back," he will say with an apologetic smile. "I'll have to get the nice duty nurse. " And then there are the moments of uncertainty and vulnerability that come at night. But other times, when the pain eases, he relaxes and feels almost set apart from himself.
NEWS
June 20, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eddy W. Dow, 85, of Philadelphia, who retired in 1993 as a professor of American literature at Rutgers-Camden after a 29-year career there, died of liver disease Tuesday, June 9, at home. Mr. Dow was named for the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy. "It was in respect of our paternal grandmother. She was a practitioner," Mr. Dow's sister, Miriam Gene Philleo, said from Palm Springs, Calif. Born in Gaylord, Mich., he earned a bachelor's degree at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, a master's in English at the University of Iowa in 1954, and, after studying at Oxford University in England, a doctorate in American civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tom Hanks, man of letters Seems James Franco and Snooki aren't the only celebs who know how to write stories and poems and books and such. Tom Hanks , 58, the only human on the planet it is impossible to dislike (even we can't help but adore the perennial movie good guy), has signed with Alfred A. Knopf to publish a collection of his short stories. Hanks, who recently published a yarn in the New Yorker, says each story is inspired by a piece from his extensive collection of typewriters.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
John Dean is awfully tired of Americans' penchant for applying the suffix -gate - from Monicagate to Obamagate - to attack politicians they dislike. Dean, White House counsel to President Richard M. Nixon, plead guilty in 1974 to obstruction of justice in the mother of all political scandals, the real -gate , Watergate. The scandal? A cadre of Nixon operatives were arrested on June 17, 1972, after breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, most likely to steal the Dems' election strategy and bug the office.
NEWS
June 3, 2013
By Caren Lissner As the "new adult" genre moves beyond books, what does it mean about our own willingness to grow up? At the end of last month, the editors of Publishers Lunch, the publishing industry's daily digest of book deals, announced that they would add a new subgenre of literature to their ever-growing database of deals. "Welcome, new adult books," they wrote. "With six 'new adult' deal reports in the last month alone, we have created a new Deals subcategory for this growing genre.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2013
* DO NO HARM. 10 p.m. Thursday, NBC10. THERE'S A CERTAIN poetry in the fact that Phylicia Rashad has spent much of the past several months working in Philadelphia on a show for NBC. This, after all, is Bill Cosby's hometown, and Rashad, who's acted as the comedian's wife on two different networks, is probably always going to be most famous for playing Clair Huxtable to Cosby's Cliff for eight seasons on NBC's "The Cosby Show. " Cosby didn't bring Rashad to Philly for the drama "Do No Harm" - where, starting Thursday she'll be seen as the boss of a neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale, "Rescue Me")
NEWS
October 12, 2012 | By Karl Ritter and Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, a cause of pride for a government that had disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic. National television broke into its newscast to announce the prize - exceptional for the tightly scripted broadcast that usually focuses on the doings of Chinese leaders. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism" saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2012 | Howard Gensler
Tattle is ashamed that we didn't think of this idea first. British e-publisher Clandestine Classics is releasing sexed-up editions of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice and other classics, with erotic passages woven into the traditional texts. That means Mr. Darcy "buried inside the depths" of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, and Dr. Watson declared his "joy of knowing other men. " Really? Is that the best they can do? What about the May-December lust-fest between Pip and Miss Havisham?
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