The students in Dee’s therapeutic writing class are an eclectic group. The oldest is Dee’s former colleague, a renowned professor against whom she has held a grudge for many years; the youngest, an inner-city teenager whose brother was killed by the police. Despite their diversity, which often divides them, as seen in their heated arguments about racial profiling, affirmative action, and sexual abuse in the military – topics recently debated in the press, Congress, and the Supreme Court – their experience of grief draws them together in unexpected ways.
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A retired professor of English, Joan Zlotnick’s publications include Portrait of an American City: The Novelists’ New York and numerous articles in scholarly journals. More recently, she has published a novel, Griefwriting, which draws on her experience as an academic, caregiver, and widow. She also does a blog for Open to Hope and has written for Seeds4Life, The Drabble, Kveller, and Kindness Blog.