Monday, December 9, 2013

"stories about shattered dreams"

The Lenny Cooke story applies very much to the writing life, but, of course, literary America is suffering from an overrepresentation of affluent spawn, the young writer, agent, and publisher straight out of Scarsdale or Bethesda, not Coney Island or Flint. Even our writers who claim "working class" origins are often ignorant of the fact that by statistical data their homes had much more than most, unattached suburban residences with two parents, two incomes, etc.

Back to Cooke, his failed hoop dreams, seems consistent with recent writing on how "Youth Poverty Hurts, Not Helps, Chances Of Becoming a Pro Athlete."

I'm not aware of any study that tracks class origins in publishing, or in academia for that matter, but I'd suspect the evidence would support similar conclusions and possibly an even stronger correlation due to the link between affluence and K-12 academic access and college success. Jonathan Kozol is fond of noting that the same rich people who decry additional funding for the nation's public-school poor in turn spend plenty of their own money (either directly through private-school tuitions or indirectly through property taxes) to make sure their own kids gain an educational advantage.

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