“Why Diarists Write”: Chapter Available

In support of all my fellow teachers who are assigning diary or journal writing to their students during the corona virus crisis, I am making one chapter of my book, How to Read a Diary: Critical Contexts & Interpretive Strategies for 21st-Century Readers (Routledge, 2019), available here as a downloadable pdf. The chapter introduces numerous instances in the past when ordinary people found themselves caught up in extraordinary times, and used their diaries as sites of witness, creating invaluable historical records for the future. It also discusses the mental health benefits and challenges of diary writing. It’s only 10 pages and accessibly written — meant for a wide audience. I hope that both teachers and students will find it useful. Stay well everyone!


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