I reread An Imperial Affliction until Mom woke up and rolled over toward me around six. She nuzzled her head against my shoulder, which felt uncomfortable and vaguely Augustinian.
The contrasts between what is spent today to educate a child in the poorest New York City neighborhoods, where teacher salaries are often even lower than the city averages, and spending levels in the wealthiest suburban areas are daunting challenges to any hope New Yorkers might retain that even semblances of fairness still prevail.
I didn't want to be the archetypal sponging brother-in-law, so I didn't go into acting when I got to the States. I thought, 'No, I'll go to school and then I'll be an English teacher that'll be fun.' But I was horrible as a teacher. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't inspire those kids to take an interest in Milton and Shakespeare and Donne.
Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning.
I grew up in a family that was multifaceted, sexually oriented, and pretty much open to everything. And because I was working, my friends were all adults. I had a tough time going to different schools because people knew me from films and I was the fat child who got beaten up every day.