"Sarah Hirschman's book is ... really a manifesto for an approach to education that does all these more human, more important things."
-Danielle Allen, Professor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
"I'd love to see People and Stories programs for the parents of children in every at-risk school district in the country."
-Robert Hass, US Poet Laureate, 1995-1997
People and Stories / Gente y Cuentos describes how men and women on welfare or in rehabilitation centers, prisoners, rural workers, disadvantaged youth, or just ordinary community members are offered the chance to experience literature in a way they have not been able to in the past.
Founded by Sarah Hirschman, People and Stories / Gente y Cuentos encompasses groups of common, often under-served adults in the United States, France, and Colombia who enjoy reading and discussing works of literature. Upon attending a seminar with the philosopher, Paulo Freire, and working with groups in New York's Lower East Side and Dorchester, Massachusetts, she created Gente y Cuentos in Spanish. Some years later, the English-language People and Stories program was added. Currently, Gens et Récits in French is being developed in Paris and in the southwest of France.
This book describes the various influences that led to the development of this method. The clarity of the explanations and the attention to detail should help those who want to organize similar discussion groups in their own communities.