History of Love  - A Visit with Nicole Krauss

"when we read a character and we read a really great book that we love and feel for, we become those people and they become us and it adds this whole dimension to our being."   Nicole Krauss

Lesson Overview 

I am still in disbelief that we were fortunate enough to have Nicole Krauss - the author of "The History of Love" - come to our classroom for a 2 period reading with a question and answer period and, of course, a book signing.  It was a combination of luck, geography and keeping my eyes out that allowed it to happen.  Ms. Krauss had a new book out - "Forest Dark" - and I saw that she was going to be in Chicago for a promotional event the next week.  I contacted her agent (through the Publisher website) and told her that we had just finished the novel, that we were 10 minutes from downtown, and would there be any chance that Ms. Krauss could come and talk to us briefly (or lengthily if she could).

I heard from her agent the very next day saying that if I was still interested - Ms. Krauss would be happy to come by.  And she did.  Her reading was amazing - she mentioned that she hadn't worked on "History" in quite a few years - but she'd be  happy to answer what she could.  The students were asked to prepare thoughtful, specific (as is most of what we do in the class) questions to ask Ms. Krauss.  After the reading she not only took the time to answer all of those incredible questions - she also took the time to sign each of the student's books.  I haven't talked about it yet on this site - but students are asked to buy all of the books we read.  If they can't for any reason - I would never ask why - they can use a library book (one of the reasons I give them plenty of notice when we are on to the next book).  But I really want to them to own the books for a number of reasons:  1) to take notes directly in the book.  This is so key and one of the best skills that I can help them obtain.  2) when they buy the book - they (most of them) buy into the "ownership" and "investment" in the book.  3) starting a library and appreciating books is a wonderful thing to do!

Below you will find the audio recording of her visit.  There is no video - I didn't want to be intrusive and I wanted to respect her and the students' privacy.  Enjoy!


An Audio Recording of Nicole Krauss's visit



Some Related Documents 

(the most recent and an older) - Between these 2 quizzes - 3 periods could be quizzed.

A Handout I gave to students with prompt for their questions:  Docx   PDF 

Audio Visual Content


Remote Enhancements 

Nothing that I have found...yet. 


Class Recordings (for registered members)

Audio see above for a recording of Nicole Krauss



Everything is Illuminated - Movie and Questions.  While the students are finisihing their Illuminated Texts project - we will watch a movie thematically linked with the History of Love - one based on what happens to be Nicole Krauss's ex-husband's novel.

OR - the film that I showed before the above was Wings of Desire.  A very beautiful poetic film, I switched to Everything is Illuminated as it sometimes was found to be too esoteric or dense by students.  I then made Wings of Desire an extra credit assignment.


  The History of Love Day 14 - A Final Discussion

Thoughts on the Lesson 

I have to say that I was flabbergasted when Nicole Krauss agreed to come see our class.  I was even more in awe when she arrived.  Pretty darn speechless I was - her book is my favorite in the whole world - and it was a dream to have her come and read and talk.   We were not disappointed.  She is amazing.