About this title
Both accessible and insightful, this collection of personal critical essays employs a formal study of literature as framework for the consideration of universal issues, including grief management, death, and acceptance of, and benefit from, traumatic change. These topics offer Brackett the opportunity to reflect upon the joys and rigors of scholarship as she considers professional issues, such as academic advancement through publication. They stand as testimony to one professional's belief that academia should not only embrace but encourage a number of approaches to self-expression on the part of its scholars. Her personal commentary draws from the work and life stories of many writers, including Elizabeth Cary, Anne Bradstreet, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, Katherine Anne Porter, and V.S. Naipaul. Critical and philosophical commentary by notables such as Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, Jane Tompkins, Lois McNay, Diane P. Freeman, Olvia Frey, Frances Murphy Zauhar, Janice Radway and Patricia Waugh interlace and advance Brackett's own speculations. The book makes clear Brackett's belief that no reasonable explanation exists for the necessity some scholars see in withholding results of literary study from a broader audience, unless it be a reluctance to write with the clarity necessary to make digestible and enjoyable the fruits of their profession.