What Are Moving Literature Experiences for a Literature Professor?


    What Are Moving Literature Experiences for a Literature Professor?

    In pursuit of that profound impact literature can have on us, we turned to four literature experts, including writers and authors, to share their personal experiences with works that moved them. From being inspired to write authentically to confronting prejudice through literature, these storytellers recount moments when words on a page transcended into life-changing insights.

    • Inspired to Write Authentically
    • Stirred Soul and Challenged Faith
    • Impactful Message on Women's Rights
    • Confronting Prejudices Through Literature

    Inspired to Write Authentically

    My friend, who is an avid reader, suggested I read The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. It is the fictional story of a woman in the time of Jesus who is forced to hide her writing, and ultimately marries Jesus. As I read the book, I was inspired by the main character's passion for writing, no matter the cost. I thought, if she could find the spirit of writing within herself, I could find it within myself. That's when I started to write more under my name and less as a ghostwriter for others. Truly inspired.

    Anne McAuley Lopez
    Anne McAuley LopezWriter and Author, Agency Content Writer

    Stirred Soul and Challenged Faith

    In my reading of Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Book of Longings, my soul was deeply stirred, not only because of the content, but by Kidd's writing. It is so evocative and challengingly descriptive. I read it a year ago and still haven't gotten it out of my head.

    This book also came to me during a time when I was really struggling with my faith. It was such a godsend, and I would read it again for the first time if I could!

    Amy Vogel
    Amy VogelAuthor, Speaker, Story Coach

    Impactful Message on Women's Rights

    Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxieme Sexe (The Second Sex) made an indelible mark upon me during my college years in France. Its powerful message about women's rights made a strong, impactful statement about equality for women, broadening my horizons beyond anything I imagined before discovering works by other writers.

    De Beauvoir's work explores the historical marginalization and oppression of women within society, asserting that men have subjected them to submissive roles by withholding autonomy or assigning secondary responsibilities to them.

    De Beauvoir exposes patriarchal structures and cultural norms that restrict women's freedom through her examination of women's roles in family, politics, and the workplace. She champions for their liberation as autonomous individuals within society–something World War II women earned the right to do on April 21, 1944 (when they won the right to vote), and in 1965 (when bank accounts could be opened without approval by husbands) - landmark achievements which I credit Simone de Beauvoir with fighting hard for.

    As both a father of daughters and brother to my sisters, de Beauvoir's insights have been immensely influential in my understanding of the challenges women are currently experiencing in today's society. Gender equality remains an ongoing struggle; The Second Sex serves as an inspirational guide in my pursuit of more equitable societies–my favorite quote being, 'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.'

    Guy Blaise
    Guy BlaiseWriter & Author, The French Perspective

    Confronting Prejudices Through Literature

    One particular anecdote that comes to mind is when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The powerful portrayal of racial injustice, moral courage, and empathy deeply resonated with me. As I followed the characters' journeys, especially that of Atticus Finch, I was profoundly moved by the timeless themes of compassion and integrity.

    The novel's poignant exploration of societal issues challenged me to confront my own beliefs and prejudices, fostering a greater understanding of the complexities of human nature and the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' remains a poignant reminder of the enduring power of literature to inspire empathy, provoke reflection, and ignite social change.

    Dr Haritha Lekha
    Dr Haritha LekhaAuthor and HR Associate, harithalekha.com