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Massachusetts Book Awards 2016

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On Tuesday, December 6th, I was lucky to be the plus-one, with amazing school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, at the sixteenth annual Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony at the State House, in recognition of “significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.” The award is administered […]

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2016 BGHB NF Honor Speech

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This book is a hymn, I hope, to a composer I love and to the power of music in general. It began when my interest was piqued by the idea of a symphony considered so important that it was transferred onto microfilm like some dossier in a spy novel and smuggled halfway across the globe. […]

Outside the Box: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2016 HBAS Keynote Speech

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I can’t stand Little Women. Sure, I know Louisa May Alcott’s book is a classic of children’s literature; Henry James called her “the Thackeray, the Trollope, of the nursery and the school-room.” But as a romantic-hearted young teen, I couldn’t bear to watch the March girls’ sunny, youthful dreams squashed by fate and by the […]

What do ordinary people do during war?

Symphony for the City of the Dead

This is one of the questions from a student that gave me pause a long time ago.  It was a sort of typical survey humanities course, and I vividly remember her interesting and important question. My own history education was often centered on primary sources or key events summarized neatly in a textbook, and I […]

Feed | Class #4, 2016

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At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Feed

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At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Monstrous Affections panel interview

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When you meet an author you admire and he says, “Hi, I’m Tobin,” it might be best not to say, “I know! …Sorry, that’s probably creepy.” Luckily for me, M. T. Anderson and his Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales colleagues — author/editors Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (who also own the mostly adult […]

M. T. Anderson is my favorite punctuation teacher

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I suppose I am a “writing person.” I study it, and teach it, and teach about teaching it pretty regularly. The most common question I get, over and over, no matter what level teachers I am with, is about the best way to teach conventions. In my experience, teachers have often tried things they don’t […]

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2007 BGHB Fiction Award Speech

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing

I would like to speak of reading and of the town where I grew up; I would like to speak of Stow, Massachusetts, some forty miles from here, as it was in the glorious year 1976. In that bicentennial year, our town was still rural, and in the center stood the white-steepled church and the […]