Necessary Discomfort:Three Preschool Classrooms Break Open The Heart and the Bottle and Sit with Hard Feelings
Shoshana Magnet and Catherine-Laura Dunnington present their findings from a project they built around Oliver Jeffers's picturebook The Heart and the Bottle (2010). Drawing from Jessica Whitelaw's assertions about the power of disquieting picturebooks as places of possibility for growth and development, preschool teachers employed listening, discussing, movement, and mark-making, inviting their preschool learners to sit with the hard feelings Jeffers's picturebook evokes.
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?…[We] need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.—Franz Kafka1
Drawing from the imperative put forth by scholar Jessica Whitelaw, who argues for the power of disquieting picturebooks as places of possibility for growth and development, we undertook a two-day project at each of three preschool centers to work with preschoolers through Oliver Jeffers's picturebook The Heart and the Bottle (2010). Employing listening, discussing, movement, and mark-making, preschool teachers invited their preschool learners to sit with the hard feelings this book evokes. As we stood ready to document the children's thoughts, responses, and questions, we were struck with just how emotionally difficult this book is for children and adults alike. Viewing this work within part of a larger social justice framework, in which the ability to sit with ambiguity and discomfort readies individuals for dealing with systemic forms of grief and injustice, we deem this work partially a success and partially a failure. We highlight themes found [End Page 1] in our project and address areas in which the project could be improved moving forward. We conclude with a call to action for books such as this and their place in the early education classroom.
Introduction: It's Just Too Sad…
I had been attending a drop-in daycare with my son and had become friendly with the educators who ran storytime. Eventually I shared with them about Catherine's and my work, and they became interested. "We have so many children here who are dealing with big sadnesses coming from challenging life situations," they told me. I recommended a number of books, including author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers's The Heart and the Bottle (2010), and they enthusiastically ordered them all: a book on settler colonization, When We Were Alone (2016); a book on queerness, Julián Is a Mermaid (2018); a book on sadness, The Rabbit Listened (2018); and a book on queer sadness, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress (2014). Despite the collection they now had, they largely opted against reading the books addressing hard feelings, both systemic and individual. When I asked the educators if they planned to read aloud any of their new books in the future, one of them replied, "Oh, no, I can't read them! It just makes me too sad, and I worry I won't be able to manage my emotions in front of the children."
Consistent with existing research that shows that "many children in schools…experience picturebook read-alouds" within contexts that assume that "students will listen quietly or respond to questions" (Whitelaw 34), we seem to be in a moment that is allergic to sadness, to staying still, and to opening up rather than shutting down. Ann Cvetkovich has eloquently labeled this "feeling bad." Consistent with an educational system that fails to trust children with difficult questions in order to privilege those questions deemed "safe" (Rose; Reynolds), we are witnessing a struggle on behalf of educators to use books that describe our complex, and so often painful, world (Nodelman and Reimer).
Though people engage in a "cultural politics of emotion" (Ahmed) that privileges behaviors that seem similar to hard feelings—such as overdisclosure, rage, and anxiety—we continue to have a low tolerance for ambiguity, nuance, and sitting with our discomfort (Whitelaw). The term sitting with is used throughout this article to signify the need for emotions to simply be, without attempting to solve or change them. In asking children to sit with hard feelings, we are asking them to live the experience of any painful emotions without excusing, minimizing, invalidating, or fixing them. To sit with is to let yourself feel anxiety, joy, fear, or perhaps confusion without judgment or repair.
As Reynolds reminds us, children's literature offers up a "curious and paradoxical space…[that is] simultaneously highly regulated and overlooked, orthodox and radical, didactic and subversive" (3). Our project borrows from queer of color affect theory, which places emotions beyond the [End Page 2] individual and into the lens of political and cultural discourses (Rowe and Royster). We aim to contribute to the necessary work of "mobilizing affect for social action," here in particular considering children's experiences of difficult emotions and how these fit into a larger cultural and curricular context (Rowe and Royster).
In this article, we describe our somewhat successful, and somewhat failed, project to integrate The Heart and the Bottle into preschool curriculum as part of a project to teach children how to remain open to "feeling bad" (Cvetkovich). How do we teach young children (ages three to six) how to tolerate their sadness and the costs of "shutting down"—pictured in Jeffers's book as the placing of one's heart into a glass bottle? Because shutting down itself is related to existing systems of oppression, the task of teaching sitting with hard feelings is further complicated. Girls shut down their authentic voices for fear of being called strident, whereas boys may shut down their capacities for empathy at the expense of their all-too-human need for connection (Gilligan and Snider). Can we use "disquieting" children's literature to explain the benefit of experiencing roller-coaster emotions, the costs of emotional hardening, and why we must feel sorrow at times if we are ever to feel (or to make the world) better?
In dealing with the possible death (or disappearance) of a caregiver, The Heart and the Bottle opens up rich possibilities for conversations about hard feelings with children. This book is useful for talking to children who have lost a parent or caregiver, who have been abandoned, or who have been deprived of a caregiver through the criminalization system, war, or displacement. If only we can find a way to tolerate sitting still with hard emotions. From being called to account for the ways that we are implicated in systems of privilege to facing our grief at the state of the world, we need to sit with discomfort as a way to move through it (Vacarr).
We understand our work in teaching preschoolers to sit with hard emotions as part of a social justice methodology, as so much of what stalls hard conversations across difference is our lack of understanding of how to tolerate the challenging emotions that originate from them. A social justice methodology is one that looks at how a society supports all citizens as they engage productively, express their experiences, and participate in their own life outcomes (Young). A social justice methodology does not erase difference but promotes and respects it, free of oppression (Young). In the spirit and practice of this social justice methodology, we present our fieldwork teaching The Heart and the Bottle to preschool classrooms. We begin with a brief description of author/illustrator Jeffers's The Heart and the Bottle. We then move to how we conducted our research and experience implementation. Finally, we discuss a number of themes emerging from this research, including the implications of this work for other social justice projects.
Context: Real Heart / Pretend Bottle
How might The Heart and the Bottle provide a visual argument for the importance of feeling one's uncomfortable feelings? Jeffers's
[End Page 3] narrative begins: "Once there was a girl, much like any other, whose head was filled with all the curiosities of the world." Detailed images that depict the messiness, wonder, and excitement of children's thinking abound, as the girl conveys to another person (who is ambiguously cast as an older caregiver figure) her excitement in her environment. That is, until "she finds an empty chair" (figure 1).
As Jeffers depicts loss visually through the physical loss of a character previously inhabiting the page, the reader is tasked with making sense of just how "gone" the caretaker is (i.e., dead, voluntarily gone, or perhaps imprisoned). Colors shift to dark blues and the visual sense is that as the sun has set, so has the caretaker's presence. Whitelaw explains that a picturebook "slows down our awareness, and it holds ideas up to the light in words and pictures in suspended moments made for dwelling and observing.… The space between the words (what is said) and the pictures (what we see) offers a particular imaginative and multimodal space" (35).
The narrative focuses on how a significant facet of grieving is its ability to halt our curiosity, evident narratively and visually when the girl finds that having a curious heart brings her too much pain. In a narrative rupture that is reminiscent of how traumatic memory interrupts chronological memory, we soon see the girl grown into a woman who goes through life with her physical heart, the metaphoric repository of her feelings, safely encased in a glass bottle outside her body.
In what we might imagine as an analogy for the long and painful process of therapeutic work, getting her heart out of the bottle proves to be harder than it looks. Jeffers's illustrations feature her dogged attempts to free her heart. In one poignant image (figure 2), the girl's tongue, clenched between her teeth, implies how arduous the work might be. Only once she meets a child, still curious, is she able to get her heart out of the bottle.
The Heart and the Bottle is a book that allows for a slowing down of time. The large square pages are physically awkward enough to render the book best for literally sitting with. Its format of scant prose and detailed drawings, surrounded by copious negative space, requires a longer look. This book physically requires the slow forms of processing and contemplation that give complicated emotions the space to bubble to the surface. For example, in the two-page spread in which the girl realizes that her parent figure is gone, there is only a single line of text, followed by images in which the slow passing of time is evident, as the empty chair remains while the day passes slowly from primary colors of yellow and red into the dark blue shadow of night. Jeffers allows readers to note the slow sinking in of time that grief takes, without rushing us through a narrative that considers the next moment. Because of its affordances regarding slowing up time, "the picturebook has a unique potential to leverage the critical and the aesthetic when social issues are represented and explored through visual art and words in a genre widely characterized by a sense of hopefulness" (Whitelaw 36). [End Page 4]
Methods: "But How Did She Get Her Heart Out?"
In undertaking the large task of empathetic listening and living with hard feelings, we are equally tasked with teaching children in ways that are both developmentally appropriate, yet challenging. "As teachers we choose whose voices we privilege…[and] when we teach in this way, we cultivate empathy, especially for those who are different from us" ("Editorial" 4-5). In choosing to teach a difficult emotional landscape, we are choosing to privilege many oft-ignored stories. While critically engaging with Jeffers's text, we are asking learners to envision the hard feelings relevant to their lives as well as the main character's experience.
This project began with an invitation to three lab preschools affiliated with a Canadian college of early childhood education. Each nonprofit center hosts a preschool-level classroom comprised of a maximum of twenty-five students, ages three through five.
All three preschool centers responded to our invitation. We provided each center with a copy of the text. Author and illustrator Jeffers was well known to the classroom children, who had previously enjoyed his books The Day the Crayons Quit (2013; written by Daywalt) and The Great Paper Caper (2008). From here, each of the teachers who were currently working in the preschool classrooms were asked to participate in a onetime session to review and discuss our three-part experience guide. Each of the teachers implemented the experiences within a designated two-day time frame, over the course of four months. Over a two-day period, each of us interacted with the preschool students and took copious freehand field notes. The three-part learning experiences tasked students first with listening, then with moving, and finally with art making (as a form of ownership).
In our "Listening and Discussion Experience," learners were engaged with the primary text at a pace that made it possible for them to connect with Jeffers's story. Louise Rosenblatt might term this connection an aesthetic reading experience, or one in which "the reader's attention is centered directly on what he is living through during his relationship with that particular text" (25).
In our "Movement Experience," students engaged with The Heart and the Bottle through open movement prompts. The goals of this experience were to bring hard feelings home to the body. Here we borrowed from Karen Kaufmann's work in developing strategies to incorporate inclusive creative movement in the classroom.
Finally, during our "Art Experience," we invited learners to reillustrate an image from the book, in order to provide ownership and a space in which retelling the story might occur.
The goals of this work were to explore, through the three-part experience process, what themes emerged as learners engaged with this subtle, yet emotionally difficult text. In engaging and looking for themes, our [End Page 5] central research question thus remained: What role do hard feelings take in the preschool learner's engagement with author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers's The Heart and the Bottle?
The two-part process of coarse-grain and fine-grain analysis, described by Butler-Kisber, was used to highlight themes found within our data sources. The body of data collected was typed, highlighted, sorted, and sifted using researcher conversation, note taking, and iterations of these processes. By engaging in this physical detailing and sorting, we aimed at honest and salient themes that arose within the work of sitting with hard feelings for a diverse group of early learners (Butler-Kisber; Huber and Whelan).
The Heart and the Bottle posed a number of challenges for students and educators alike, and it is perhaps these moments of disconnection with the book that we strive to chronicle within our identified themes. The themes that emerged centered on the discomfort that arose, and the perplexing nature of this work with preschool-aged learners. More specifically, our themes included the sadness that the book itself raised, and the children's lack of familiarity with books that made them uncomfortable. These tangled themes we unravel in detail below, in three thematic sections we term incomprehensibility, resonance, and openness.
Although the children were initially enthusiastic, we consistently found that they struggled to listen to this book all the way through. When the book was first opened, the children were interested by the densely laid images ("There's a boat! That's the water!"). Immediately after this was general confusion as the page turned to the loss/leaving of the girl's caregiver. "Where'd he go? Where is he?" were generally stated following the page in which the girl returns to find "an empty chair."
Although most of the children did grasp the book's theme of loss and sadness eventually, they continuously struggled with Jeffers's subtle message that we need to keep our hearts open if we are to continue feeling. When teachers asked if the girl in the story could still feel curious (or happy, or sad, or angry) once her heart was in the bottle, the children did not respond and remained largely silent. The children seemingly grasped that the book was about emotions; when asked what the book was "about" by her teacher, one child responded, "Feelings," also noting that there is "a heart" on the book. However, they expressed their reactions to and understandings of the book in complex and nuanced ways. Examples of this are described further below, but include silence, hunching over their knees while listening, repetitive mark-making, and repeat questioning of how the heart was taken from the protagonist's body. [End Page 6]
Of course, children—like anyone processing difficult emotions—often do not express themselves in coherent ways. Indeed, the unintelligibility of children's speech often reminds us of "the inadequacy of language in the face of trauma" (Dutro). Thus, while children did not directly state, "This book makes me sad, nervous, and uncomfortable," children did express their anxiety and grief. Though the children did not explicitly invoke the concept of "shutting down," their responses to the book involved repetitive play, seeking comfort, and the simple expression, "I feel sad now." When joining us for the art experience on the second day, one young girl, Lilah, asked if we could go "find Clarissa now." Clarissa was the classroom teacher at this preschool location (all names used here are pseudonyms unless otherwise noted). We felt this statement signified the child's seeking of a comfort figure, and an alternative to the uncomfortable text and strangeness of us researchers.
In this way, the importance of incomprehensibility in the children's immediate responses serves as an important space for analysis. The children were not clearly responding to the book, but they still seemed to wrestle through a range of difficult-to-articulate responses. "I argue that incomprehensibility invokes an important metaphorical space of not knowing that demands reciprocal approaches, testimony, and critical witness responses, that can serve to collapse the binaries so often employed in efforts to make sense of children's lives and literacies" (Dutro 301). Thus, many of the examples we offer under each blanket theme serve to witness the children's experiences, and attempt to categorize them without overexplanation or definitive assumptions. We have sought to provide alternative interpretations whenever possible.
A salient example of this thematic exploration of our work and these incomprehensible reactions came when a young boy, Corey, spent extensive time at the art experience table, making repetitive art images of what he called "concrete." No matter the art material he employed, or how he moved his marking tool across the paper, he expressed repeatedly it was "all concrete." Seven images were created by this child, all depicting concrete and all involving him folding his work on itself and sealing it up in a sense (figure 3).
We were left to wonder at the link between concrete and glass bottles. So many possible responses to the text can be found in an artistic exploration of concrete; might the child have been considering things that break less readily than hearts? Alternatively, he may have been considering protective materials, those we build and shelter ourselves with. Perhaps, even, his own caretaker works with concrete and the link to the text is in considering his own caregiver. Though we have no certain articulation that he was contemplating shutting down, he was certainly fascinated and working through his connection to the text. The Heart and the Bottle was available on the art table to the children during this art experience, as were mark-making materials suggestive of the art style employed by Jeffers [End Page 7] himself. Corey's response seems to viscerally encapsulate the theme of incomprehensibility for us.
We did wonder if the book resonated less deeply for children who had not experienced some form of loss upon the reading of this book, and whether it might still pave the way for their responses to future loss. We acknowledge loss as a broad term that, for a child of three to six years, could signal the loss of any significant relationship, permanently or temporarily, including those with the nonhuman world (e.g., the loss of a pet, a favorite toy, the use of a pacifier). The key element of loss, for us, is its destabilizing presence. For loss to be felt, a rupture in well-being must occur, though it need not remain.
This theme of resonance became clear when one child asked for the book to be reread during the art experience. Kaleb, a child who often appeared in class somewhat unkempt and still wearing his pajamas, crawled onto Catherine's lap. He was engrossed in the story, leaning forward from her lap and into the book. When the page with the empty chair was reached, she said to him, "I wonder what she is feeling." Kaleb responded forcefully and without pause, "She's angry just like me! She wants her daddy." We were startled by the force and assuredness of his words. Though Catherine paused to offer him room to say more, he pulled on her hand and said, "Keep going now."
For this child, there seemed to be very little distance between the protagonist's loss and his own. Kaleb did not expand upon his resonant feeling of anger. After prompting Catherine to continue, he sat silently and thoughtfully and later produced artwork that included a rainbow, a heart, a bottle, and daddy images (figure 4). Kaleb declined providing dictation to accompany his Daddy imagery.
As it is with all lives, we cannot know what the future holds. The children who perhaps did not resonate as deeply with The Heart and the Bottle might in the future. At the closure of our project, we purchased a copy of the book for each child involved in our study. When the project had been completed for almost a year, we received an e-mail that a center director had purchased a copy of this book when a child's father passed away unexpectedly. Another center director contacted us saying the book had been given to a child with a family member in hospice care. This book may matter to different people at different times in different ways. We suggest that for these resonances alone, the book remains important to teach.
Bearing witness to the pain of others may cause pain, or recall painful experiences, for the witness. When readers open to pain and hurt as depicted in picturebooks, they draw upon emotion as an important source of knowledge generation, and compassion as a space for critical [End Page 8] inquiry (Dutro). The challenge in grappling with hard feelings is handled with varying degrees of skill and comfort by different educators. Dutro witnesses this in many teachers and their work; for some teachers, there are "stories [that] really need to be left in the hall, zipped tightly into backpacks, until the last bell rings; if I don't hear, if I can just stop him in mid-sentence, this story that is hard to hear, that causes me discomfort, that makes me feel helpless, will simply disappear. But, we cannot allow ourselves to dwell in that delusion, for the stories a child carries will be there, as a present absence" (314; our emphasis). Though this theme was subtle, we too felt that the discomfort of this painful book provoked glossing over by some educators.
We applaud every educator who joined us on this journey to engage young learners in difficult emotional work. They all gave their time, their expertise, and their generous support for the project. It truly became "our" project. The theme of openness is meant to signify an area where we as educators, and as humans, need to continue growing ourselves to remain open to the nuances of "feeling bad," or unpleasant emotions (Cvetkovich). The nature of early education calls for immediacy and mundanity from teachers who constantly voice feeling underpaid and underappreciated (Saulnier and Frank). The work of early childhood education is often one of the most important interventions we can offer a family, and thus, we need to remain open to pain. On the other hand, the constant influx of painful stories into the bursting-with-busy preschool room might partially account for the way early childhood educators cope with and move through hard feelings.
The theme of openness was most apparent during our teaching-heavy experiences of listening/discussing and movement. Though some educators rose to the task of waiting through long silences and asking truly difficult questions of their learners, others pushed through the book and seemed uncomfortable with the children's lack of responsiveness and interest. This was embodied best by an educator who said: "I had to practice reading this book over and over so I wouldn't cry in front of the children." Though we expressed empathy for this emotionally laden experience, we also wondered, Would it be so bad to have the children see you cry? We were left to ponder this statement. When we had a chance to query the educator in a private interview at the close of the project, she offered that the reason for this was that the book was "just too sad." She is right. Yet we have to force ourselves to stay here in sadness and sit with both our preschoolers and each other.
We chose to name this theme opening, because it provides both a call to action and a movement toward the future of teaching such a hard book. This openness reminds us that we remain generally unskilled, undereducated, and afraid of having uncomfortable conversations. As we struggle to understand systemic inequalities as a form of grief, we nevertheless need to remain open to communicating this complex phenomenon to [End Page 9] children. With respect to children's books oriented toward social justice, we continue to privilege books that celebrate difference without a critical focus. We need a children's book curriculum that is focused around critical literacy and critical thinking, rather than tokenistic inclusion (Enriquez). That is, we need texts that go beyond "conventional skills to explore how literacy can truly work toward social justice goals" (Enriquez 28). We argue that The Heart in the Bottle is one such book.
Rereading: Things We Didn't Consider
This project gave us much to consider as researchers moving forward. Below we focus on three salient considerations we failed to make before undertaking this project alongside preschool learners and their teachers.
One of the most common questions the children asked their teachers during the listening and discussing experience was "But how did she get her heart out?" It was only during the second center's participation that Catherine realized: the heart is not a self-evident metaphor for feelings. As adults, we had become so used to "heart = emotions" imagery, we forgot to question whether or not children would find this evident. The answer was a resounding "no." Overwhelmingly, the children required educator guidance to understand that the little girl's heart represented all her feelings. Had we as researchers considered this hang-up, we could have foreseen this challenge area. A simple discussion about Valentine's Day cards, peace signs, and smiley face symbols might have deepened the children's understanding of symbol metaphors and, possibly, extended to a deeper experience of the book. A book that explicitly explains that we commonly think of the heart as the repository of our feelings, much like Kate Jane Neal's Words and Your Heart (2017) does, could have been an equally useful tool.
The second consideration we failed to make was the lack of nuanced feeling-language available to children. Much is made of feeling words such as happy, sad, and angry in our educator lexicon. Far less frequently used are feeling words such as unsure, nervous, discontented, grouchy, or hollow. These words, and examples of them in use within picturebooks, could have deepened our work. In the future, we would argue that pairing The Heart and the Bottle with other texts could extend our nuanced emotional vocabularies. Books such as Michael Rosen's Sad Book (2004), Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) (2015) by Keith Negley, and Cori Doerrfeld's The Rabbit Listened (2018) would all have been good places to start.
Finally, we did not plan for the complication of using a book to talk about loss and grief that never explicitly uses a word such as death. This seemed confusing for children, and they continually wondered about where the caregiver had gone. This is not necessarily negative; wondering is part of beginning to process that grief is a component of life. Indeed, the openness of the protagonist's loss leads to connections unavailable in a book clearly about death. Would children whose parent had willingly left find themselves reflected in Jeffers's book if death were explicitly mentioned? It's hard to say. Yet it did seem challenging that the children were so persistently confused. We would suggest adding some explicit statements to the script in the future. We might have suggested saying: "Perhaps he died. [End Page 10] Maybe he had to go away. Maybe he left on purpose." This might enable children to think about and discuss what happened to the girl's caregiver in different ways.
Because we are too little habituated to sitting with discomfort and to tolerating sad feelings as we read books aloud, teaching this book remains a brave and challenging act. Educators do not necessarily want to teach it, and children struggle to listen to it. As a result, we found that "the impulse for comfort bumps up against the impulse for the kinds of discomfort that are necessary to rethink, reconsider, and alter perception" (Whitelaw 34). Continuing to work with picturebooks such as The Heart and the Bottle deepens the spaces in which children (and their educators) are able to remain open, allow for discomfort, and reconsider emotions.
We use Jeffers's book in our curriculum to argue that teaching children to sit with uncomfortable feelings, including ones around grief and loss, is preparatory work for other types of challenging conversations about systems of oppression. That is, teaching children how to talk about sadness and death is intimately related to teaching/talking about the kinds of loss engendered by brutalizing and violent systems, including those of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, which produce the misrecognition of one another across difference. Although The Heart and the Bottle is not explicitly about social justice issues, it provokes a pause that facilitates critical thinking. In other words, allowing space for discomfort allows a space for reconsideration of self, belief, and the world (Laman). In particular, children's books excel at provoking critical evaluation of our worlds, while keeping hope for change alive and central to the narrative. Children's books do not necessarily give easy solutions to complex social problems, but reading aloud and sitting with these books allows us the space and time to examine and question the world around us (Enriquez).
"Illustrations" from THE HEART AND THE BOTTLE by Oliver Jeffers, copyright © 2010 by Oliver Jeffers. Used by permission of Philomel, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Shoshana Magnet is an associate professor at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Her books include the monograph When Biometrics Fail: Race, Gender and the Technology of Identity (Duke UP, 2011) and the edited collections The New Media Surveillance (co-edited with Kelly Gates; Routledge, 2010) and Feminist Surveillance Studies (co-edited with Rachel Dubrofsky; Duke UP, 2015). She has published in journals including New Media and Society, Body & Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Women's Studies Quarterly.
Catherine-Laura Dunnington (formerly Tremblay-Dion) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa, Canada, in the Faculty of Education. Her MEd was obtained at the University of Montana, where she subsequently taught preschool for several years. Her work focuses on literacy, early childhood education, and arts-based learning. She has been published in the International Journal of Education and the Arts, Bookbird: An International Journal of Children's Literature, Education Review, and Root & Star Magazine.
We would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the grant funding that made this purchase possible.
1. Fulford, Robert. "'We Ought to Read Only the Kind of Books That Wound Us': How Literature Teaches Us to Be Human." National Post, 9 Sept. 2016, nationalpost.com/entertainment/books/we-ought-to-read-only-the-kind-of-books-that-wound-us-how-literature-teaches-us-to-be-human.
2. See the full experience guide at dunnington.ca/publication/necessary-discomfort/experience-guide.pdf.