Robert Wilder is the author of a novel, Nickel, and two critically acclaimed essay collections, Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge and Daddy Needs A Drink, both optioned for television and film.
A teacher for twenty-five years, Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.
From the author's Q&A at the Leaf Storm Press website:
What’s the story behind your latest book, NICKEL?Visit Robert Wilder's website and Facebook page.
NICKEL is based on over twenty years teaching teenagers as well as having two of my own. One of the most rewarding moments as a teacher is when you read the work of a quiet or quirky kid and you see that he or she has this wild (and often quite funny) interior life. I’ve also witnessed how much my students have had to deal with—divorce, death, illness, violence, loneliness, neglect, and I marveled at how they coped. When I started writing NICKEL, I heard Coy’s voice as an amalgamation of so many of intriguing kids I’ve known over the decades. I just followed that voice as honestly as I could.
What do you admire most about today’s teenagers?
So much. I love: 1) the way my daughter Poppy can send me a song by some obscure band that is exactly what I need to hear at the time, 2) the deep-rooted empathy of my son London, 3) the incredible creativity and possibility of a young artist, 4) the way a sharp kid can spot a liar a mile away, 5) the ability of a student to discover something new in a text I’ve read over 20 times, 6) teenage fortitude to withstand...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Daddy Needs A Drink.
My Book, The Movie: Nickel.
Writers Read: Robert Wilder.
The Page 69 Test: Nickel.