As the week winds down, dive into some of the the recent literary discussions you might have missed.
As debates over the Common Core State Standards continue to paint an (arguably false) dichotomy between the value of fiction versus nonfiction in the classroom, everyone has their own vision for the future of the high school English class.
In “Why We Should Stop Teaching Novels to High School Students” on Bookforum, Natasha Vargas-Cooper argues that students would be better served reading nonfiction than unpopular classics. In a direct rebuttal on The Millions, high school English teacher Nick Ripatrazone mounts a passionate defense of English teachers and the fiction they teach. On Edutopia, Elena Aguilar further defends the teaching of fiction, citing literature’s empathy-building potential.
Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua’s The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, released this week, is a provocative touchstone on the role of culture in academic success. Between a divisive NYT op-ed by the authors and a rash of scathing reviews by the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time magazine, and The Washington Post, the book is already stirring up plenty of Chua’s signature “Tiger Mom” controversy.
On a lighter (but no less controversial!) note, J.K. Rowling has admitted in an interview with Wonderland magazine that Ron and Hermione’s romance might not have been a match made in literary heaven. Cue the online backlash!
A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.