Sarah Marwil Lamstein
Children’s Book Author
Grad Year: 1965
Literature-the basis of my work life
I chose to study English at Michigan because I loved to read, and I loved to write. So I followed my heart in my studies and pursued the subject that most spoke to me. On graduating from Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature in 1965 and an M.A. in 1966, I became a teacher of English in middle and high school and at the college level, excited to share my love of literature with my students and eager to help them with their writing. When I became a mother, books were a most pleasurable point of connection with my son and daughters. As my children grew, I became a school librarian, immersed in the world of children’s books, trying to fix kids up with good ones. At the same time, I also became and still am a puppeteer, dramatizing stories for young people. And I am a writer of children’s books, employing language to celebrate what I love and admire – family, nature, good character. As you can see, since studying English at Michigan, I’ve followed several paths, all leading out from my literature base. But the study of literature has been more than the basis of my work life. It has also been a sort of moral compass for me. When I read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque in my undergraduate War Literature course at Michigan, the book powerfully confirmed and increased my anti-war sentiments and fueled my anti-war activities. To this day, I am certain that the portraits of injustice found in literature feed my frequent involvement in social action. In addition to action, literature has expanded my thinking and feeling. What I read of characters and situations informs not only my own behavior but affects my attitude toward others, offering me some small understanding of and compassion for the human condition. Livelihoods, social action, self-knowledge and knowledge of others – all are part of the wealth that flows from the study of literature. But have I mentioned the fun? I continue to have an abiding love for and pleasure in reading, both writers for children and adults. From earliest times, times of being read to or of having stories told to me, story cloaked in beautiful language is what holds me, what speaks to me.
Sarah Marwil Lamstein
Faith Adler Brown, Erin Crowley, Dory Gannes, Aric Knuth, Lawrence Landman, Katherine MacNair, Howard Markel, MD, PhD, Sarah Marwil Lamstein, Kelly O’Connor McNees, Amanda Richardson, Michael Richman, Melissa Shook, Rebecca Soares, Kurt Taroff, Lisa Vandenbossche, Lee Woldenberg, Anne Wyman, Betsy Carter, Jennifer Conlin, Fred Uleman
Related Career FieldsEducation, Writer