Dr. Jennifer Mangrum
- Teacher Education and Higher Education
- Clinical Associate Professor, 2017
That Bright Land
by Dr. Terry Roberts
This book inspires me for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the author, Dr. Terry Roberts, has been my colleague and friend for more than 20 years. Second, like myself, Terry is a former classroom teacher who has dedicated more than 30 years to promoting democracy through education. He is the Executive Director of the National Paideia Center and works both nationally and internationally with teachers, schools and districts that want to promote civil discourse and rigorous tasks in classrooms. Thirdly, Terry is finding himself at one of life’s crossroads and has chosen to move in a direction that feeds his soul by doing something he has longed to do – write historical fiction. He inspires me to make choices in my life about what I truly long to do. Finally, this is an amazing book. The story takes place in Asheville, North Carolina during the period of Reconstruction. It shares a piece of North Carolina with whoever reads it. In 2016, Terry was named the winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from Western North Carolina Historical Association for this novel. I imagine that as an English teacher from the mountains of North Carolina, this writing award means a great deal to him. I hope that honoring him today and placing his book on our shelves in Jackson Library will mean almost as much!
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