This anthology of stories, poems, and plays enables readers to discover their rich and diverse literary heritage and the power of literature to illuminate and enhance their lives. Integrates the classics with the best current writing, drawing timeless connections between subjects, emotions, and ideas in literary works throughout the ages. Juxtaposes similar works by authors of differing time, culture, and gender. Elicits reader response to classic and contemporary literary selections, engaging them as active participants in reading-and writing-about literature. Focuses on the relevance of criticism to the reader's response to literature. Provides writing guidelines, workshops, and model papers that serve as effective examples of how to work through the writing process. For readers who want to sharpen their critical thinking skills in order to read and write with keen perception about selections from both mainstream and culturally diverse authors.