6 questions we always ask — Julie Landsman, teacher and author


Julie Landsman is a writer and consultant. She has published numerous books and articles on diversity and education. Her newest book, Growing Up White: A Veteran Teacher Reflects on Racism, has just been released by Rowman and Littlefield. Julie taught in the Minneapolis Public Schools for 25 years. She has also taught education and creative writing at Carleton College, Hamline University, St. Thomas University, Metropolitan State University and the Loft Literary Center, where she’ll be reading at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 16th. (The Loft is in the Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave, S, Minneapolis)

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am currently reading a new novel called The Given Day by Dennis Lehane. He also wrote the book Mystic River that was made into a movie. I love fiction and non-fiction and am working on my first novel so I am lapping up novels written at a different time in history. I think we can learn so much about history and life in novels as well as non-fiction texts. I am also reading a book that I have been asked to write a blurb for that was written by a student of mine. That is a rewarding task! It is by Rachel Carlson, and is called Whisky Love and will be published by New Rivers Press in the spring I believe.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
I love Janey in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I love her for her courage and her willingness to challenge norms and expectations. There is a character in The Given Day named Danny Coughlin who I admire greatly, with all his weaknesses.

If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?
I guess if Tolstoy were alive and came to Minnesota I would take him to Monte Carlo for a drink, probably vodka of some kind, and a hamburger. Then I would ask him how he ever created all the complexity of characters, families and plot in the novel Anna Karenina.

What was your first favorite book?
My parents read aloud to all five of their children. I loved it when they read Winnie the Pooh and also Wind in the Willows aloud to me.

Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?
Anna Karenina.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
Intruder in the Dust, by William Faulkner

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