Teaching and research interests: My approach to literature focuses on authors' childhood experiences as a primary aesthetic and existential key to understanding the power of their work. I find evidence that authors' own early relational traumas and ecstasies motivate their adult narrative art in particular ways that can be noticed and studied, and that exploring such motivation in a nuanced way can enrich our understanding of where art comes from, what art does, and why it sometimes affects us so deeply. While this project resembles traditional psychoanalytic approaches to literature in some respects, my own vision of "authors' childhood studies" differs from these approaches in many respects-most notably in my focus on historical adult failures toward children. Over the past six years I have interpreted auteur picture books by Anthony Browne, Wanda Gág, William Steig, Ludwig Bemelmans, Raymond Briggs, Dr. Seuss, Chris Van Allsburg, and Maurice Sendak, among others. Although many of my interpretations have been published in article or chapter form, I hope to publish a book on the subject in the near future. I have also explored the dynamic relation between fiction and memoir with respect to other authors whose work centers on childhood: Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Roald Dahl, and Margery Williams Bianco.