This week on The Learning Curve, guest co-hosts Alisha Searcy and Mariam Memarsadeghi interview Jay Parini, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College. A poet, professor, and author of literary biographies, Parini discusses how he came to write Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America. From William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation through The Federalist Papers, Thoreau’s Walden, and works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, and W.E.B. Du Bois, Parini explores how key works of fiction and nonfiction have shaped the American mind and character and guided our understanding of ourselves as a people and a nation. He closes the interview with a reading from Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America.

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