Pete Hamill and the Importance of Reading and Writing

By Kate Lardner, NYU Florence Student

Reading and writing is something that almost every person in North America does on a daily basis, yet it’s rarely something that is discussed on any kind of level with the exception of politicians “outraged” by the illiteracy rates in their country. But in a Dialogue Monday night, Pete Hamill talked about where these two subjects come from and how they affect our lives. Everyone has that one book that gets them hooked on reading, for Hamill it was Babar. Even though at first he couldn’t read the words, he understood the pictures of Babar’s mother being killed and Babar visiting Paris, and because of that Hamill “… still hate[s] guns and [he] still love[s] Paris.” Hamill also compared fiction and journalism and talked about how you can find inspiration in anything around you if you only open your eyes and your imagination. Growing up in Brooklyn, Hamill had firsthand experience of being raised in a working class family. However, he made a point of saying that just because you are poor doesn’t mean that you are impoverished and that your life couldn’t be rich. Even though the title of the Dialogue was Fiction and Journalism, it was really about the importance of reading and how it can change your life.

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