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UT Humanities Center: Public Books Circle with Professor R.E. Toledo
Discussion of Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn

A work of nuanced reportage, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope shows readers the “other America” as the authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of people in rural Yamhill, Oregon. It’s an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. Many residents died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. But examining a host of issues, including unemployment, health care, substance use disorder and the prison system, the authors maintain that these particular stories from one corner of the country are representative of many places, from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. Now the subject of a PBS special, Tightrope is a call to arms that warns that America needs to make big changes if it is to save itself.

R.E. Toledo is Distinguished Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures with research interest in gender studies, Hispanic cinema, experiential learning, and technology in the classroom. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Letras Femeninas and Label me Latino/a. Her first two collections of poetry, Pregonero despertar de voces (2013) and Azules sueños naranjas (2013), were published in Mexico. She co-edited volume 1 of Nos pasamos de la Raya/We crossed the line (2015) and is currently working on volume 2 and her third poetry collection Vacío/Emptiness. She is serving as a 2020 Faculty Fellow in Technology Enhanced Teaching.

(Union Ave Books in downtown Knoxville will be happy to handle your book order: )

May 5, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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