The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

A Text My Class Is Reading: The Old Man Who Read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda
An interview with
Dr. Bill Conlogue

Which class reads this text?
English 180: Introduction to World Literature,

Why did you assign this text?
I assigned this novel to add to the course a text set in South America.

What do the students think of it?
I think that students enjoyed learning about a place and culture new to most of them, and I believe that they found the main character’s central conflict compelling. Antonio struggles with the fact that he straddles several overlapping communities; he is within but not of the Shuar tribe, the village of El Idilio, the Amazon forest, and the world of twentieth-century Ecuador.

What have your students taught you about this text?
My students have taught me—again—that learning about one’s relationship to the world is a process without end.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about this text?
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories
explores the human relationship with nature, the hubris of humans, and the role that literature plays in making sense of the world. I recommend it.

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Dr. Bill Conlogue teaches ENGL 180 most semesters, and he also teaches upper division courses on topics in American literature and ecocriticism. He recently published a book of ecocritical essays called Here and There: Reading Pennsylvania’s Working Landscapes.