Why I Don't Write Children's Literature (Paperback)

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A collection of essays from the poet and (former) children's novelist on everything from hellstrip gardening to finding beauty in word choice.


— From Why I Don't Write Children's Literature


Gary Soto is a poet and, in his previous writing life, author of children's literature. Moreover, he is an essayist whose works, such as Living Up the Street, A Summer Life, and What Poets Are Like, were celebrated for their openness and vivid image-making. In this collection, the poet again offers prose that is robust, confessional, and peculiar in its observations. He addresses time. He considers aging. If each day of the week represented a decade, then Soto is now cruising late Saturday afternoon. As the clock's gears relentlessly grind, he's soon on Sunday--but Sunday morning He still has time to enjoy the world about him.

Soto is a master essayist. His sharply refined sentences are worth a second read, and often a pencil in hand. Soto's world is quirky, captured in narrative that will soften readers with laughter and empathy. Like many boomers, he laments his sense of failure. Like them, he shrugs off that failure to recast his remaining years. He befriends daffodils, praises theater and tribute bands, and snuggles up with his wife of nearly forty years. This book is short enough to read in one sitting on the couch and encourages a second reading with deeper pleasure in bed.

About the Author

GARY SOTO'S first book of poetry, The Elements of San Joaquin, published in 1977, was hailed as the pioneering book in Chicano literature. Other poetry collections followed. His poem "Oranges" is the most anthologized poem in contemporary literature. His work has sold in the millions and has been translated into many languages. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College, where he began to write in spring of 1972.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781611687118
ISBN-10: 161168711X
Publisher: Foreedge
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 216
Language: English