In "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich, what does Anna's second husband teach Anna to do?

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Anna was a trapeze artist raised in the insular community of the circus. Not only was she illiterate, she was also generally ignorant of life outside the circus environment. When her first husband, a fellow performer, died in a trapeze accident, Anna was injured, and she ended up in the hospital for a protracted stay. She was pregnant at the time, but the baby was stillborn.

Anna's second husband was a doctor who worked at the hospital and who fell in love with her while she was recuperating. The doctor was a middle-class professional. The first and most important thing he did was teach Anna how to read and write. This led Anna to a lifelong love of reading. There is a sense that he also helped her negotiate the process of learning about life outside the circus.

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Anna’s second husband taught her to read and write while she was in the hospital. 

Anna was injured because of a storm when she was performing her circus act.  It was there that she met the narrator’s father, who inspected the set of her broken arm.  Growing up in the circus, Anna did not really have a chance to be educated. 

It was in the hospital that she finally learned to read and write, as a way of overcoming the boredom and depression of those weeks, and it was my father who insisted on teaching her. In return for stories of' her adventures, he graded her first exercises. 

The narrator mentions that her mother was never without a book in her hand after she learned to read.  After her mother went blind and her father died, the narrator returned to her mother to read to her.  Reading aloud to her mother made her feel better.

I wonder if my father calculated the exchange offered: one form of flying for another. For after that, and for as long as I can remember, my mother has never been without a book. Until now, that is, and it remains the greatest difficulty of her blindness.

Her mother married the doctor who taught her to read, and they settled down in the town where "the disaster had occurred" so she could be with the child who did not survive it.  Her father became a country doctor with a broader practice.

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