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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Children of Crisis, a profound examination of how listening to stories promotes learning and self-discovery.
As a professor emeritus at Harvard University, a renowned child psychiatrist, and the author of more than forty books, including The Moral Intelligence of Children, Robert Coles knows better than anyone the transformative power of learning and literature on young minds. In this “persuasive” book (The New York Times Book Review), Coles convenes a virtual symposium of college, law, and medical school students to explore the phenomenon of storytelling as a source of values and character.
Here are transcriptions of classroom conversations in which Coles and his students discuss the impact of particular works of literature on their moral development. Here also are Coles’s intimate personal reflections on his experiences in the civil rights movement, his child psychiatry practice, and his interactions with his own literary mentors including William Carlos Williams and L.E. Sissman. The life lessons learned from these stories are of special resonance to doctors and teachers looking to apply them in classroom and clinical environments.
The rare public intellectual to be honored with a MacArthur Award, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a National Humanities Medal, Robert Coles is a true national treasure, and The Call of Stories is, in the words of National Book Award winner Walker Percy, “Coles at his wisest and best.”