Author Robert Waxler to discuss latest work and how "books can change lives"

Two readings scheduled at White's of Westport and Southworth Library in Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth English Professor Robert Waxler's newest book The Risk of Reading: How Literature Helps Us to Understand Ourselves and the World, out in paperback and hardcover version, explores the implications of modern life through the reading of significant literary works. The author defends the need for fiction to give real life meaning. Bloomsbury Publishing, an award-winning company in New York City and London, is the publisher for The Risk of Reading. 

Professor Waxler will take part in two upcoming talks to discuss his latest work. The first reading is on May 7 at White's of Westport at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon for the Fall River Rotary Club. The second reading is May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Southworth Library in Dartmouth, sponsored by The Second Half Lifelong Learning Institute. 

"Reading books matters because by engaging with the language of a printed book, we can better understand ourselves and our relationship with the world," said Professor Waxler. "Books can change lives. When we read a book, the book reads us. It is as if we are in a meaningful dialogue as we journey through our lives on a quest to know our individual identity and our connection to others. In an age oversaturated with digital technology, we need, more than ever before, to focus on deep reading of books." 

Robert Waxler earned his Bachelor of Arts at Brown University, his Master's at Boston College, and Ph.D. at the State University of New York. He co-founded the internationally known alternative sentencing program for criminal offenders, Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) program in 1991. CLTL was founded on the philosophy that literature has the power to transform men's and women's lives. Through connections made with literary characters, individuals gain insight into their lives and behavior, while learning that they are not alone with their problems. 

Professor Waxler is also the co-founder of the UMass Dartmouth Center for Jewish Culture. He has served as Chairman of the English Department, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Continuing Education. He has authored or co-authored several books, including "Changing Lives Through Literature", "Finding a Voice", "Transforming Literacy", "Losing Jonathan", and "Courage to Walk".


College of Arts and Sciences