Reading with Patrick
Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrives in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as an optimistic Teach for America volunteer. But she soon encounters the challenges of teaching at a school in one of America's poorest counties, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this stirring memoir, Kuo, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one promising student, Patrick Browning, while he's in jail awaiting trial for murder. Michelle tutors Patrick, who is galvanised by the works of writers such as Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, and W. S. Merwin, and undergoes a stunning literary and personal awakening. Reading with Patrick is a story of Michelle and Patrick's friendship and their mutual coming-of-age; a resonant meditation on education, race, and justice in the rural South; and a love letter to literature.
2018 Nonfiction Runner-Up
Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Nonfiction
Kuo , M. (2017). Reading with Patrick. New York, NY: Random House.