Reading for Life
Reading for Life is an anthology of poems and of extracts from prose fiction, related to a series of case-histories of individuals carefully reading, discussing their reading lives, and thinking about the relation of literature to their existence. It enables readers to gain increased imaginative access to the works in question through seeing how they have intensely affected equivalent readers-a novelist, a poet, a doctor, a teacher, an anthologist, but alsonon-specialists, ordinary people within shared reading groups in many different settings, finding help from literary texts in times of often painful personal need. It is the story of the work done by Philip Davis' research unit, the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society (CRILS), at theUniversity of Liverpool, in a ten-year partnership with the outreach charity The Reader, taking serious literature to often neglected communities and struggling individuals through the shared reading-alive and aloud-of literature from all ages. Reading for Life is a detailed account of what reading literature can do for a wide variety of individuals in relation to a wide variety of texts: it will be of interest to serious readers in the wider world as much as to scholars working within literary studies, and to all those involved in thinking about the therapeutic interactions of literature and life in psychology, medicine, and mental health support settings.