Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Interview with Katherine Patterson

I found this lovely interview with Katherine Patterson (author of Jacob, Have I Loved, among other wonderful books) yesterday. Her wise words and insights into writing her books are well worth the 10 minutes.

In case you don't have time to watch it, I wanted to share a bit of my favorite part. She talked about growing up in Asia until WWII forced them back home, and how she grew up hating Japan. She then expresses surprise at the fact that she visited Japan for a time as a young adult and loved it. She says that she had a Japanese friend and that it made all the difference in understanding and relating to a foreign, seemingly scary place.

But we can't all have friends from all the places that frighten or anger us, she reflected. But we can read a book about them. And a book can give us characters that we care about in places we thought were completely removed from our own lives.

I love this concept. I often find that reading stories about people different from me does give me a much better perspective on their experiences. Books are certainly not a replacement for real life interaction. But they can be wonderful supplements.

What books or authors have opened your eyes to a world you didn't know you cared about?

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