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English Faculty: Recent Books

New Directions in Law and Literature

Overview

Edited by Elizabeth S. Anker and Bernadette Meyler

From the publisher:

After its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, many wondered whether the law and literature movement would retain vitality. This collection of essays, featuring twenty-two prominent scholars from literature departments as well as law schools, showcases the vibrancy of recent work in the field while highlighting its many new directions.

New Directions in Law and Literature furnishes an overview of where the field has been, its recent past, and its potential futures. Some of the essays examine the methodological choices that have affected the field; among these are concern for globalization, the integration of approaches from history and political theory, the application of new theoretical models from affect studies and queer theory, and expansion beyond text to performance and the image. Others grapple with particular intersections between law and literature, whether in copyright law, competing visions of alternatives to marriage, or the role of ornament in the law's construction of racialized bodies.

The volume is designed to be a course book that is accessible to undergraduates and law students as well as relevant to academics with an interest in law and the humanities. The essays are simultaneously intended to be introductory and addressed to experts in law and literature. More than any other existing book in the field, New Directions furnishes a guide to the most exciting new work in law and literature while also situating that work within more established debates and conversations.

Publication Year

Broken River

Overview

From the publisher:

A modest house in upstate New York. One in the morning. Three people—a couple and their child—hurry out the door, but it’s too late for them. As the virtuosic and terrifying opening scene of Broken River unfolds, a spectral presence seems to be watching with cold and mysterious interest. Soon the house lies abandoned, and years later a new family moves in.

Karl, Eleanor, and their daughter, Irina, arrive from New York City in the wake of Karl’s infidelity to start anew. Karl tries to stabilize his flailing art career. Eleanor, a successful commercial novelist, eagerly pivots in a new creative direction. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Irina becomes obsessed with the brutal murders that occurred in the house years earlier. And, secretly, so does her mother. As the ensemble cast grows to include Louis, a hapless salesman in a carpet warehouse who is haunted by his past, and Sam, a young woman newly reunited with her jailbird brother, the seemingly unrelated crime that opened the story becomes ominously relevant.

Hovering over all this activity looms a gradually awakening narrative consciousness that watches these characters lie to themselves and each other, unleashing forces that none of them could have anticipated and that put them in mortal danger. Broken River is a cinematic, darkly comic, and sui generis psychological thriller that could only have been written by J. Robert Lennon.

Publication Year

Critique and Postcritique

Overview

Edited by Elizabeth S. Anker and Rita Felski

From the publisher:

Now that literary critique's intellectual and political pay-off is no longer quite so self-evident, critics are vigorously debating the functions and futures of critique. The contributors to Critique and Postcritique join this conversation, evaluating critique's structural, methodological, and political potentials and limitations. Following the interventions made by Bruno Latour, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best, and others, the contributors assess the merits of the postcritical turn while exploring a range of alternate methods and critical orientations. Among other topics, the contributors challenge the distinction between surface and deep reading; outline how critique-based theory has shaped the development of the novel; examine Donna Haraway's feminist epistemology and objectivity; advocate for a "hopeful" critical disposition; highlight the difference between reading as method and critique as genre; and question critique's efficacy at attending to the affective dimensions of experience. In these and other essays this volume outlines the state of contemporary literary criticism while pointing to new ways of conducting scholarship that are better suited to the intellectual and political challenges of the present. 

Contributors: Elizabeth S. Anker, Christopher Castiglia, Russ Castronovo, Simon During, Rita Felski, Jennifer L. Fleissner, Eric Hayot, Heather Love, John Michael, Toril Moi, Ellen Rooney, C. Namwali Serpell

Publication Year

Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History

Overview

From the publisher:

The first book-length study of the Royal Chicano Air Force maps the history of this vanguard Chicano/a arts collective, which used art and cultural production as sociopolitical activism.

Publication Year

The Disinformation Age: The Collapse of Liberal Democracy in the United States

Overview

From the publisher:

The Disinformation Age, beginning in the present and going back to the American colonial period, constructs an original historical explanation for the current political crisis and the reasons the two major political parties cannot address it effectively. Commentators inside and outside academia have described this crisis with various terms ― income inequality, the disappearance of the middle-class, the collapse of the two-party system, and the emergence of a corporate oligarchy. While this book uses such terminology, it uniquely provides a unifying explanation for the current state of the union by analyzing the seismic rupture of political rhetoric from political reality used within discussion of these issues. In advancing this analysis, the book provides a term for this rupture, Disinformation, which it defines not as planned propaganda but as the inevitable failure of the language of American Exceptionalism to correspond to actual history, even as the two major political parties continue to deploy this language. Further, in its final chapter this book provides a way out of this political cul-de-sac, what it terms "the limits of capitalism’s imagination," by "thinking from a different place" that is located in the theory and practice of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Publication Year


Fictions of Dignity: Embodying Human Rights in World Literature

Overview

Paperback

From the publisher:

Over the past fifty years, debates about human rights have assumed an increasingly prominent place in postcolonial literature and theory. Writers from Salman Rushdie to Nawal El Saadawi have used the novel to explore both the possibilities and challenges of enacting and protecting human rights, particularly in the Global South. In Fictions of Dignity, Elizabeth S. Anker shows how the dual enabling fictions of human dignity and bodily integrity contribute to an anxiety about the body that helps to explain many of the contemporary and historical failures of human rights, revealing why and how lives are excluded from human rights protections along the lines of race, gender, class, disability, and species membership. In the process, Anker examines the vital work performed by a particular kind of narrative imagination in fostering respect for human rights. Drawing on phenomenology, Anker suggests how an embodied politics of reading might restore a vital fleshiness to the overly abstract, decorporealized subject of liberal rights.

Each of the novels Anker examines approaches human rights in terms of limits and paradoxes. Rushdie's Midnight's Children addresses the obstacles to incorporating rights into a formerly colonized nation's legal culture. El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero takes up controversies over women’s freedoms in Islamic society. In Disgrace, J. M. Coetzee considers the disappointments of post-apartheid reconciliation in South Africa. And in The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy confronts an array of human rights abuses widespread in contemporary India. Each of these literary case studies further demonstrates the relevance of embodiment to both comprehending and redressing the failures of human rights, even while those narratives refuse simplistic ideals or solutions.

Publication Year

Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network

Overview

Paperback

Winner of the 2016 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture, Media Ecology Association
Winner of the 2015 James Russell Lowell Prize, Modern Language Association
One of Flavorwire’s 10 Best Books by Academic Publishers in 2015

From the publisher:

Forms offers a powerful new answer to one of the most pressing problems facing literary, critical, and cultural studies today—how to connect form to political, social, and historical context. Caroline Levine argues that forms organize not only works of art but also political life—and our attempts to know both art and politics. Inescapable and frequently troubling, forms shape every aspect of our experience. Yet, forms don't impose their order in any simple way. Multiple shapes, patterns, and arrangements, overlapping and colliding, generate complex and unpredictable social landscapes that challenge and unsettle conventional analytic models in literary and cultural studies.

Borrowing the concept of "affordances" from design theory, this book investigates the specific ways that four major forms—wholes, rhythms, hierarchies, and networks—have structured culture, politics, and scholarly knowledge across periods, and it proposes exciting new ways of linking formalism to historicism and literature to politics. Levine rereads both formalist and antiformalist theorists, including Cleanth Brooks, Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, Mary Poovey, and Judith Butler, and she offers engaging accounts of a wide range of objects, from medieval convents and modern theme parks to Sophocles's Antigone and the television series The Wire.

The result is a radically new way of thinking about form for the next generation and essential reading for scholars and students across the humanities who must wrestle with the problem of form and context.

Publication Year

Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics

Overview

From the publisher:

A 2008 cover of The New Yorker featured a much-discussed Black Power parody of Michelle and Barack Obama. The image put a spotlight on how easy it is to flatten the Black Power movement as we imagine new types of blackness.

Margo Natalie Crawford argues that we have misread the Black Arts Movement's call for blackness. We have failed to see the movement's anticipation of the "new black" and "post-black."

Black Post-Blackness compares the black avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s Black Arts Movement with the most innovative spins of twenty-first century black aesthetics. Crawford zooms in on the 1970s second wave of the Black Arts Movement and shows the connections between this final wave of the Black Arts movement and the early years of twenty-first century black aesthetics. She uncovers the circle of black post-blackness that pivots on the power of anticipation, abstraction, mixed media, the global South, satire, public interiority, and the fantastic.

Publication Year

You, Too, Could Write a Poem

Overview

From the publisher:

A collection of reviews and essays by David Orr, the New York Times poetry columnist and one of the most respected critics in America today, his best work of the past fifteen years in one place.
 
Poetry is never more vital, meaningful, or accessible than in the hands of David Orr. In the pieces collected here, most of them written originally for the New York Times, Orr is at his rigorous, conversational, and edifying best. Whether he is considering the careers of contemporary masters, such as Louise Glück or Frederick Seidel, sizing up younger American poets, like Matthea Harvey and Matthew Zapruder, or even turning his attention to celebrities and public figures, namely Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Fry, when they choose to wade into the hotly contested waters of the poetry world, Orr is never any less than fully persuasive in arguing what makes a poem or poet great—or not. After all, as Orr points out in his introduction, “Poetry is a lot like America, in the sense that liking all of it means that you probably shouldn’t be trusted with money, or scissors.”
 
Orr’s prose is devoted to common sense and clarity, and, in every case, he brings to bear an impeccable ear, an openhandedness of spirit, and a deep wealth of technical knowledge—to say nothing of his shrewd sense of humor. As pleasurable as it is informative, Orr’s journalism represents a high watermark in the public discussion of literature. You, Too, Could Write a Poem is at heart a love note to poetry itself.

Publication Year

As Rain Turns to Snow and Other Stories

Overview

From the publisher:

Though Robert Morgan has for a long time now lived on the northernmost fringes of Appalachia in Ithaca, New York, his heart and his pen (well, his keyboard more likely now) have ever belonged to his native North Carolina. In this latest collection of short stories, his clear-eyed affection for and deep knowledge of the people and places and lore and landscape of the region are again in evidence. The finely observed details that form the backdrop for the little dramas here are so deftly rendered, the language so natural, that it's easy to overlook the artistry, the master touch, the brushstrokes too fine to notice. Simply life on a page. But that's merely the setting for another memorable cast of Morgan characters and situations, which here include a widower finding a new possibility of life (and sex) in a retirement community; a doctor who enlists his friends to catch his wife in flagrante delicto; an Episcopal priest surprised to find his pastoral duties include sheltering a group of nudists from a mob (this alone is worth the price of admission!); and many more. It has become fashionable in today's politics to parse the "real America" of Appalachia. Robert Morgan has always known the heartland folk, his people, warts and all. Reading these stories, their stories, though written as fiction, makes a better introduction than any stack of facts — alternative or not.

Publication Year

Reading For Fun

Overview

From the publisher:

A renowned novelist writes about some of the most brilliant and original American and British fiction of the last hundred years, including work by Henry James, Doris Lessing, John Updike, Mary McCarthy, Anthony Powell, Angela Carter, and Garrison Keillor—some of whom she has known personally.  These unusual books combine tragedy and comedy, supernatural events and social criticism, and they are all fun to read.

Publication Year

Logotherapy

Overview

From the publisher:

Written as a tribute to family, place, and bodily awareness, Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s poems speak of love, war, violence, language, immigration, and exile. From a baby girl’s penchant for her parents’ keys to a warrior’s hunt for words, Wa Ngugi’s poems move back and forth between the personal and the political. In the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, the biting winds of Boston, and the heat of Nairobi, Wa Ngugi is always mindful of his physical experience of the environment. Ultimately it is among multiple homes, nations, and identities that he finds an uneasy peace. 

Publication Year

Father Figure

Overview

From the publisher:

Imagine a boy born in the last year of World War II to parents who before the war had become the darlings of their town. The father had been a four-letter man at the state university, an open and generous and engaging personality, and his spirited and beautiful bride had matched him stride for winning stride. The son knows his parents both through the legendary stories he has heard about them and, when the father returns from the Battle of the Bulge missing his left leg, as embittered post-war casualties. How to reconcile those two versions of his parents, and of his father especially? That is the subject matter of Father Figure—that quest and the lengths to which the son is willing to go to regain a father he never knew and the efforts of a sister and a past lover to save him before he goes too far.

Publication Year


House of Lords and Commons

Overview

From the publisher:

A stunning collection that traverses the borders of culture and time, from the 2011 winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award.

In House of Lords and Commons, the revelatory and vital new collection of poems from the winner of the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award in poetry, Ishion Hutchinson returns to the difficult beauty of the Jamaican landscape with remarkable lyric precision. Here, the poet holds his world in full focus but at an astonishing angle: from the violence of the seventeenth-century English Civil War as refracted through a mythic sea wanderer, right down to the dark interior of love.

These poems arrange the contemporary continuum of home and abroad into a wonderment of cracked narrative sequences and tumultuous personae. With ears tuned to the vernacular, the collection vividly binds us to what is terrifying about happiness, loss, and the lure of the sea. House of Lords and Commons testifies to the particular courage it takes to wade unsettled, uncertain, and unfettered in the wake of our shared human experience.

Publication Year

Barely Composed

Overview

Paperback

From the publisher:

Alice Fulton reimagines the great lyric subjects―time, death, love―and imbues them with fresh urgency and depth. Barely Composed unveils the emotional devastations that follow trauma or grief―extreme states that threaten psyche and language with disintegration. With rare originality, the poems illuminate the deepest suffering and its aftermath of hypervigilance and numbness, the "formal feeling" described by Emily Dickinson.

Elegies contemplate temporal mysteries―the brief span of human/animal life, the nearly eternal existence of stars and nuclear fuel, the enduring presence of the arts―and offer unsparing glimpses of personal loss and cultural suppressions of truth. Under the duress of silencing, whether chosen or imposed, language warps into something uncanny, rich, and profoundly moving. Various forms of inscription―coloring book to redacted document―enact the combustible power of the unsaid.

Though "anguish is the universal language," there also is joy in the reciprocity of gifts and creativity, intellect and intimacy. Gorgeous vintage rhetorics merge with incandescent contemporary registers, and this recombinant linguistic mix gives rise to poems of disarming power. Visionaries―truth tellers, revelators, beholders―offer testimony as beautiful as it is unsettling.

Shimmering with the "good strangeness of poetry," Barely Composed bears witness to love’s complexities and the fragility of existence. In the midst of cruelty, a world in which “the pound is by the petting zoo,” Fulton’s poems embrace the inextinguishable search for goodness, compassion, and "the principles of tranquility."

Publication Year

Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint

Overview

From the publisher:

Many of Cy Twombly's paintings and drawings include handwritten words and phrases―naming or quoting poets ranging from Sappho, Homer, and Virgil to Mallarmé, Rilke, and Cavafy. Enigmatic and sometimes hard to decipher, these inscriptions are a distinctive feature of his work. Reading Cy Twombly poses both literary and art historical questions. How does poetic reference in largely abstract works affect their interpretation?

Reading Cy Twombly is the first book to focus specifically on the artist’s use of poetry. Twombly’s library formed an extension of his studio and he sometimes painted with a book open in front of him. Drawing on original research in an archive that includes his paint-stained and annotated books, Mary Jacobus’s account―richly illustrated with more than 125 color and black-and-white images―unlocks an important aspect of Twombly’s practice.

Jacobus shows that poetry was an indispensable source of reference throughout Twombly’s career; as he said, he "never really separated painting and literature." Among much else, she explores the influence of Ezra Pound and Charles Olson; Twombly’s fondness for Greek pastoral poetry and Virgil’s Eclogues; the inspiration of the Iliad and Ovid’s Metamorphoses; and Twombly’s love of Keats and his collaboration with Octavio Paz.

Twombly’s art reveals both his distinctive relationship to poetry and his use of quotation to solve formal problems. A modern painter, he belongs in a critical tradition that goes back, by way of Roland Barthes, to Baudelaire. Reading Cy Twombly opens up fascinating new readings of some of the most important paintings and drawings of the twentieth century.

Publication Year

Disgust in Early Modern English Literature

Overview

Edited by Barbara Correll and Natalie K. Eschenbaum

From the publisher:

What is the role of disgust or revulsion in early modern English literature? How did early modern English subjects experience revulsion and how did writers represent it in poetry, plays, and prose? What does it mean when literature instructs, delights, and disgusts? This collection of essays looks at the treatment of disgust in texts by Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Herrick, and others to demonstrate how disgust, perhaps more than other affects, gives us a more complex understanding of early modern culture. Dealing with descriptions of coagulated eye drainage, stinky leeks, and blood-filled fleas, among other sensational things, the essays focus on three kinds of disgusting encounters: sexual, cultural, and textual. Early modern English writers used disgust to explore sexual mores, describe encounters with foreign cultures, and manipulate their readers' responses. The essays in this collection show how writers deployed disgust to draw, and sometimes to upset, the boundaries that had previously defined acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, people, and literatures. Together they present the compelling argument that a critical understanding of early modern cultural perspectives requires careful attention to disgust.

Publication Year


Chasing the North Star

Overview

From the publisher:

In his latest historical novel, bestselling author Robert Morgan brings to full and vivid life the story of Jonah Williams, who, in 1850, on his eighteenth birthday, flees the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave. He takes with him only a few stolen coins, a knife, and the clothes on his back–no shoes, no map, no clear idea of where to head, except north, following a star that he prays will be his guide.

Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit.

In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him.

Bristling with breathtaking adventure, Chasing the North Star is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.

Publication Year

How to Succeed in College and Beyond: The Art of Learning

Overview

From the publisher:

How to Succeed in College and Beyond is an insightful, inspired guide to the undergraduate experience that helps students balance the joy of learning with the necessity of career preparation.

  • Features a wealth of advice for getting the most from an undergraduate education, especially inthe areas of arts and humanities, written by an experienced educator and mentor
  • Covers the entire undergraduate experience, from high school preparation, applications,financial aid, each undergraduate year from freshman to senior, junior year abroad  course selection, and extra-curricular activities, to independent study, honors essays, graduate school, dissertations, and career searches
  • Discusses the benefits of pursuing an arts and humanities degree including how to write effectively, speak articulately, and think critically and  discusses how to balance the joy and practicality of education in terms of getting vocationally-focused qualifications.
  • Packed with information that is as helpful to students as it is to their parents, teachers, and advisors, this guide is a indispensible resource for prospective and present undergraduates

Publication Year


Still Life: Suspended Development in the Victorian Novel

Overview

From the publisher:

Still Life: Suspended Development in the Victorian Novel rethinks the nineteenth-century aesthetics of agency through the Victorian novel's fascination with states of reverie, trance, and sleep. These states challenge contemporary scientific and philosophical accounts of the perfectibility of the self, which privileged reflective self-awareness. In dialogue with the field of literature and science studies and affect studies, this book shows how Victorian writers used narrative form to respond to the analytical practices and knowledge production of those other disciplines. Drawing upon canonical texts--by Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, George Meredith, and Thomas Hardy--Still Life contends that depictions of non-purposive perceptual experience suspend the processes of self-cultivation (Bildung) central to Victorian aesthetics, science, psychology, and political theory, as well as most critical accounts of the novel form. Departing from the values of individual cultivation and moral revelation associated with the genre, these writers offer an affective framework for understanding the subtly non-instrumental powers of narrative. Victorian novels ostensibly working within the parameters of the Bildungsroman are suspended by moments of "still life": a decentered lyricism associated with states of diminished consciousness. They use this style to narrate what should be unnarratable: experiences not dependent on reflective consciousness, which express a distinctive ambivalence toward dominant developmental frameworks of individual self-culture.

Publication Year

The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us

Overview

Paperback

From the publisher:

In the 1980’s, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alison Lurie wrote a meditation on clothing as an expression of history, social status and individual psychology. The Language of Clothes (Random House) came to be highly regarded in the literature of couture and design.

Lurie has returned with The Language of Houses, a provocative and entertaining journey through the architecture of houses and buildings and the divided spaces within come to reflect the attitudes and purposes of the organizations and people who inhabit them.

What makes a house is in the eye of the beholder, and the word can mean anything from church to office to domicile and more – and relies on the use of materials such as stone and wood and stucco and the roles of stairs and windows, tight interiors and open expanses.

Structures discussed are: schools, churches, government building, museums, prisons, hospitals, restaurants, and of course, houses and homes.

Filled with literary references and charming hand-drawings, Lurie’s new work will appeal to fans of Bill Bryson’s At Home, as well as provoke wide review attention for this award-winning author.

Publication Year


The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong

Overview

From the publisher:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . .” One hundred years after its first publication in August 1915, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget that it is, in fact, a poem. Yet poetry it is, and Frost’s immortal lines remain unbelievably popular. And yet in spite of this devotion, almost everyone gets the poem hopelessly wrong.

David Orr’s The Road Not Taken dives directly into the controversy, illuminating the poem’s enduring greatness while revealing its mystifying contradictions. Widely admired as the poetry columnist for The New York Times Book Review, Orr is the perfect guide for lay readers and experts alike. Orr offers a lively look at the poem’s cultural influence, its artistic complexity, and its historical journey from the margins of the First World War all the way to its canonical place today as a true masterpiece of American literature.

Publication Year

The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

Overview

From the publisher:

A deluxe edition of Frost’s early poems, selected by poet David Orr for the centennial of “The Road Not Taken.”

For one hundred years, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has enchanted and challenged readers with its deceptively simple premise—a person reaches a fork in the road, facing a choice full of doubt and possibility. The Road Not Taken and Other Poems presents Frost’s best-loved poem along with other works from his brilliant early years, including such poems as “After Apple-Picking,” “The Oven Bird,” and “Mending Wall.” Award-winning poet and critic David Orr’s introduction discusses why Frost remains so central (if often misunderstood) in American culture and how the beautiful intricacy of his poetry keeps inviting generation after generation to search for meaning in his work.
 

Publication Year

Mrs. Shaw: A Novel

Overview

From the publisher:

In the East African Kwatee Republic of the 1990s, the dictatorship is about to fall, and the nation’s exiles are preparing to return. One of these exiles, a young man named Kalumba, is a graduate student in the United States, where he encounters Mrs. Shaw, a professor emerita and former British settler who fled Kwatee’s postcolonial political and social turmoil. Kalumba’s girlfriend, too, is an exile: a Puerto Rican nationalist like her imprisoned father, she is an outcast from the island. Brought together by a history of violence and betrayals, all three are seeking a way of regaining their humanity, connecting with each other, and learning to make a life in a new land. Kalumba and Mrs. Shaw, in particular, are linked by a past rooted in colonial and postcolonial oppression, yet they are separated by their differing accounts of what really happened.

The memory of each is subject to certain lapses, whether selective or genuine. Even when they agree on the facts—be they acts of love, of betrayal, or of violence—each narrator shapes the story in his own way, by what is left in and what is left out, by what is remembered and what is forgotten.

Publication Year

Theory of the Lyric

Overview

From the publisher:

What sort of thing is a lyric poem? An intense expression of subjective experience? The fictive speech of a specifiable persona? Theory of the Lyric reveals the limitations of these two conceptions of the lyric—the older Romantic model and the modern conception that has come to dominate the study of poetry—both of which neglect what is most striking and compelling in the lyric and falsify the long and rich tradition of the lyric in the West. Jonathan Culler explores alternative conceptions offered by this tradition, such as public discourse made authoritative by its rhythmical structures, and he constructs a more capacious model of the lyric that will help readers appreciate its range of possibilities.
 
Theory of the Lyric constitutes a major advance in our understanding of the Western lyric tradition. Examining ancient as well as modern poems, from Sappho to Ashbery, in many European languages, Culler underscores lyric’s surprising continuities across centuries of change—its rhythmical resources, its strange modes of address, its use of the present tense, and the intriguing tension between its ritualistic and fictional dimensions. He defends the idea of lyric as a genre against recent critiques, arguing that lyrics address our world rather than project a fictional world and also challenging the strongly established assumption that poems exist to be interpreted. Theory of the Lyric concludes with a discussion of how to conceive the relations between lyric and society in ways that would acknowledge and respond to lyric’s enduring powers of enchantment.
 

Publication Year

Dark Energy

Overview

From the publisher:

A new collection from the awardwinning poet and author of the bestselling novel Gap Creek.

In the words of Poetry magazine, Robert Morgan’s poems “shine with beauty that transcends locale.” The work in his newest collection, rooted in his native Blue Ridge Mountains, explores the mysteries and tensions of family and childhood, the splendors and hidden dramas of the natural world, and the agriculture that supports all culture. Morgan’s voice is vigorous and exact, opening doors for the reader, finding unexpected images and connections. The poems reach beyond surfaces, to the strange forces inside atoms, our genes, our heritage, and outward to the farthest movements of galaxies, the dark energy we cannot explain but recognize in our bones and blood, in our deepest memories and imagination.

Publication Year

See You in Paradise: Stories

Overview

From the publisher:

“I guess the things that scare you are the things that are almost normal,” observes one narrator in this collection of effervescent and often uncanny stories. Drawing on fifteen years of work, See You in Paradise is the fullest expression yet of J. Robert Lennon’s distinctive and brilliantly comic take on the pathos and surreality at the heart of American life.
 
In Lennon’s America, a portal to another universe can be discovered with surprising nonchalance in a suburban backyard, adoption almost reaches the level of blood sport, and old pals return from the dead to steal your girlfriend. Sexual dysfunction, suicide, tragic accidents, and career stagnation all create surprising opportunities for unexpected grace in this full-hearted and mischievous depiction of those days (weeks, months, years) we all have when things just don’t go quite right.

Publication Year

Listening to Trauma: Conversations with Leaders in the Theory and Treatment of Catastrophic Experience

Overview

From the publisher:

This new collection from Cathy Caruth features interviews with a diverse group of leaders in the theorization of, and response to, traumatic experience in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Crossing the boundaries of discipline and profession, Caruth’s subjects include literary theorists and critics, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, political activists, filmmakers, public intellectuals, institutional leaders, and researchers. Exploring the intertwining of the intellectual and personal dimensions of experience, each interview is accompanied by Caruth's intimate photographic portrait of its subject.

Caruth chose her subjects because of their impact on her thinking as well as their significant role as witnesses to the collective and cultural significance of trauma. The individuals profiled here are innovators in the theory of trauma (Part I), in the clinical, activist, or testimonial interventions in trauma (Part II), or in the creation or modification of institutions that provide therapeutic, artistic, or legal responses to traumatic events (Part III).

Two of the interviews first appeared in Caruth's landmark 1995 work, Trauma: Explorations in Memory. The rest were conducted between 2011 and 2013 after the field of trauma studies expanded significantly.

Representing both the foundation of trauma research and cutting-edge approaches to the topic, this collection will be useful to practitioners with an interest in post-traumatic stress disorder as well as scholars exploring the multiple dimensions of profound human experience.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Grady Nia Project for abused, suicidal, and low-income African American women.

Publication Year

Giorgio Agamben: Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction

Overview

From the publisher:

Agamben’s thought has been viewed as descending primarily from the work of Heidegger, Benjamin, and, more recently, Foucault. This book complicates and expands that constellation by showing how throughout his career Agamben has consistently and closely engaged (critically, sympathetically, polemically, and often implicitly) the work of Derrida as his chief contemporary interlocutor.

The book begins by examining the development of Agamben’s key concepts—infancy, Voice, potentiality—from the 1960s to approximately 1990 and shows how these concepts consistently draw on and respond to specific texts and concepts of Derrida. The second part examines the political turn in Agamben’s and Derrida’s thinking from about 1990 onward, beginning with their investigations of sovereignty and violence and moving through their parallel treatments of juridical power, the relation between humans and animals, and finally messianism and the politics to come.

Publication Year

Reading the European Novel to 1900

Overview

From the publisher:

  • Offers a close reading of individual texts with attention to their cultural and canonical context
  • Examines the history and evolution of the novel to 1900 and defines each author’s aesthetic, cultural, political, and historical significance
  • Covers essential and frequently taught masterworks up to 1900, including Cervantes’ Don Quixote; Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina; Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov; Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma; Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Sentimental Education; Balzac’s Pere Goriot; and  Zola’s Germinal
  • Written with students and teachers in mind, this book provides accessible and engaging discussions of each novel, along with important pedagogical tools

Publication Year

American Cocktail: A “Colored Girl” in the World

Overview

Written by Anita Reynolds
Edtied by George Hutchinson

From the publisher:

This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an “American cocktail.”
 
One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin’s anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe.
 
In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.
 

Publication Year

The Complete Court of Memory

Overview

Paperback

From the publisher:

To the previous books of Court of MemoryCrossroads, The Stranger at the Crossroads, and Stories from My Life with the Other AnimalsThe Complete Court of Memory adds A Song of One’s Own, composed of narratives created from memory that have appeared in magazines but not collected until now.

Publication Year


Rewriting the Old Testament in Anglo-Saxon Verse: Becoming the Chosen People

Overview

From the publisher:

The Bible played a crucial role in shaping Anglo-Saxon national and cultural identity. However, access to Biblical texts was necessarily limited to very few individuals in Medieval England. In this book, Samantha Zacher explores how the very earliest English Biblical poetry creatively adapted, commented on and spread Biblical narratives and traditions to the wider population. Systematically surveying the manuscripts of surviving poems, the book shows how these vernacular poets commemorated the Hebrews as God's 'chosen people' and claimed the inheritance of that status for Anglo-Saxon England. Drawing on contemporary translation theory, the book undertakes close readings of the poems Exodus, Daniel and Judith in order to examine their methods of adaptation for their particular theologico-political circumstances and the way they portray and problematize Judaeo-Christian religious identities.

Publication Year

Literature in the Ashes of History

Overview

From the publisher:

Cathy Caruth juxtaposes the writings of psychoanalysts, literary and political theorists, and literary authors who write in a century faced by a new kind of history, one that is made up of events that seem to undo, rather than produce, their own remembrance. At the heart of each chapter is the enigma of a history that, in its very unfolding, seems to be slipping away before our grasp.

What does it mean for history to disappear? And what does it mean to speak of a history that disappears? These questions, Caruth suggests, lie at the center of the psychoanalytic texts that frame this book, as well as the haunting stories and theoretical arguments that resonate with each other in profound and surprising ways. In the writings of Honoré de Balzac, Hannah Arendt, Ariel Dorfman, Wilhelm Jensen, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Derrida, we encounter, across different stakes and different languages, a variety of narratives that bear witness not simply to the past but also to the pasts we have not known and that repeatedly return us to a future that remains beyond imagination.

These stories of trauma cannot be limited to the catastrophes they name, and the theory of catastrophic history may ultimately be written in a language that already lingers in a time that comes to us from the other side of the disaster.

Publication Year

New Formalist Criticism: Theory and Practice

Overview

From the publisher:

New Formalist Criticism defines and theorizes a mode of formalist criticism that is theoretically compatible with current thinking about literature and theory. New formalism anticipates a move in literary studies back towards the text and, in so doing, establishes itself as one of the most exciting areas of contemporary critical theory.

Publication Year

Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zone

Overview

From the publisher:

Drawing on both personal experience and critical theory, Carole Boyce Davies illuminates the dynamic complexity of Caribbean culture and traces its migratory patterns throughout the Americas. Both a memoir and a scholarly study, Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones explores the multivalent meanings of Caribbean space and community in a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary perspective.
 
From her childhood in Trinidad and Tobago to life and work in communities and universities in Nigeria, Brazil, England, and the United States, Carole Boyce Davies portrays a rich and fluid set of personal experiences. She reflects on these movements to understand the interrelated dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality embedded in Caribbean spaces, as well as many Caribbean people's traumatic and transformative stories of displacement, migration, exile, and sometimes return. Ultimately, Boyce Davies reestablishes the connections between theory and practice, intellectual work and activism, and personal and private space.
 

Publication Year

Fractures: A Novel

Overview

From the publisher:

A Thousand Acres and Empire Falls meet during the present hydrofracking controversy as a beleaguered patriarch must decide the fate of his land and children in this enveloping family drama.

The Joyner family sits atop prime Marcellus Shale. When landmen for the natural gas companies begin to lease property all around the family's hundred acres, the Joyners start to take notice. Undecided on whether or not to lease the family land, Frank Joyner must weigh his heirs' competing motivations. All of this culminates as a looming history of family tragedy resurfaces.

A sprawling family novel, Fractures follows each Joyner as the controversial hydrofracking issue slowly exacerbates underlying passions and demons. With echoes of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, Fractures takes its reader deep into the beating heart and hearth of a family divided.

Publication Year