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Dead White Guys is a timely defense of the great books, arriving in the middle of a national debate about the fate of these books in high schools and universities around the country. Burriesci shows how the great books can enrich our lives as individuals, as citizens, and in our careers. Extending the argument first made by Anna Quinndlen's on the act of reading itself, How Reading Changed My Life," ("It is like the rubbing of two sticks together to make a fire, the act of reading, an improbable pedestrian task that leads to heat and light,) Burriesci reminds us all of the enormous impact reading has on our lives.
After his daughter was born prematurely in 2010, Burriesci set out to write a book about 26 Great Books, from Plato to Karl Marx, and how their lessons have applied to his life. As someone who has spent a long and successful career advocating for great literature, Burriesci defends the great books in this series of tender and candid letters, rich in personal experience and full of humor.
Matthew Burriesci's fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines. From 1999-2011, he served in various capacities at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), including the organization’s acting executive director. From 1997-1999 he served as the marketing manager for the Tony Awardwinning Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. He received his B.A. in English and rhetoric from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, studied Shakespeare during an honors seminar at Oxford University, and received his M.F.A. from George Mason University in 2002. He lives in Chicago.