SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 28, 2014

Column: Salem reads together

(Continued)

Tinti was also inspired by classic texts such as “Great Expectations,” “Treasure Island” and “Jane Eyre,” and the whimsical spookiness shows in her work.

What really started the process for “The Good Thief,” however, was Jeffrey Kacirk’s “Forgotten English.”

“One of the entries was ‘Resurrection Men,’” Tinti said. “I thought it was a beautiful phrase, and then I read the definition and was horrified! Resurrection men were thieves who would dig up bodies and sell them to medical schools for dissection. It was a terrible thing to do — but at the same time, medical students needed bodies to practice on so that they could learn to save lives. I was intrigued by this idea (something bad leading to something good), and decided I wanted to write about these ‘resurrection men.’ I sketched out a scene in a graveyard, and Ren’s story grew from there.”

Tinti has previously published a collection of short stories, titled “Animal Crackers,” and is currently working on a modern re-telling of “The Twelve Labors of Hercules,” featuring a gangster and his daughter. With a new project in the works, Tinti is constantly investigating ways of combating writer’s block. Lately, she has taken to writing with a quill pen to help get the words flowing.

“Getting off the computer and away from the internet helps,” she said. “The tactile feel of dipping the pen in ink makes the process feel more like drawing and less like work.”

The benefits of a Community Read program are numerous. This program promotes family togetherness, literacy beyond school requirements and community bonding. Students are encouraged to read and discuss the book with their parents, and parents are encouraged to read aloud to younger children. Perhaps the opportunity to read and discuss the story with their families in a constructive environment will even encourage a healthy appreciation for literature in otherwise reluctant students. Student literacy is vital for developing vocabulary and analytical skills that can be applied to any school career path.

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