Farewell to the Book Review Course

October 1, 2009

James Shapiro, a Columbia University English professor, has long been known for his course on the art of the book review. But The New York Observer reported that he is declaring an indefinite hiatus for the class. The reason? Shapiro said: “There are intellectual reasons to teach the course again.... But what’s no longer there is the possibility of training a generation of book reviewers, since, as you know, newspapers around the country are shedding their book reviews, or shrinking these sections.... I see a lot of talent pass through my classrooms, and little opportunity for those talented students to have the opportunity early on … to review and get paid for it.”

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