We have books that contain collected essays, verse, and humor. What we see less often are books that contain collected interviews on various topics. Interviews have a certain outside discipline about them. The one interviewed responds to a question someone else asks of him. Often the questions are unexpected, sometimes annoying. Answers have a freshness to them. They can be more personal, frank.
The responses in At a Breezy Time of Day are occasioned when someone writes or phones with a request for an interview. There may be a common theme but often side questions come up. We are curious about what someone has to say – about sports, about God, about Plato, about education, about books, about just about anything. Usually central questions occur. The same question can be answered in different ways. We often have more to say on a given topic than we do say on our first being asked about it.
These interviews appeared in various on-line and printed sources. Having them collected in one text makes the interview form itself seem more substantial. Interviews too often seem to be passing, ephemeral things, but often we want to hold on to them. There is something more existential about them. Yet there is also something more lightsome about them also. The truth of things seems more bearable when it is spoken, when it has a human voice.
So, as the title of this collection intimates, we begin with the very first interview in the Garden of Eden. We touch many places and issues. The interview always has somewhere even in its written form the touch of the human voice. The one who interviews invites us to speak, to tell us what we hold, why we hold it. Interviews are themselves part of that engagement in conversation that defines our kind in its search for a full knowledge of what is.
We know that when we have said the last word, much remains to be said. We can rejoice both in what we know, and in what we know that we do not know. I believe it was Socrates who, in an earlier form of interview at the end of The Apology, alerted us to be aware of what we know and to await the many other interviews that we hope to carry on with so many others of our kind in the Isles of the Blessed.
The title of Christine Schutt's second collection strikes the theme of swiftly passing time that runs through each of the stories. In "The Life of the Palm and the Breast" a woman watches her half-grown children running through the house and wonders: Whose boys are these? Whose life is this? The title story tells of a grandfather who has lived long enough to see his daughter's struggles echoed in his granddaughter and how her unhappiness leads him to unexpectedly feel the weight of his years. In "Darkest of All" a mother's relationship with her sons is wreaked by a repeated cycle of drugs and abusive relationships, the years pass and the pain-and its chosen remedy-remains the same. The narrator in "Winterreise" evokes Thoreau and strives to be heroic in the face of her longtime friend's imminent death, a harsh reminder of the time that is allotted to each of us.
Schutt's indomitable, original talent is once again on full display in each of these deeply informed, intensely realized stories. Many of the narratives take place in a space as small as a house, where the doors are many and what is hidden behind these thin domestic barriers tends towards violence, abusive sex, and mental anguish. Schutt opens these doors in sudden, bold moments that also reveal how the characters are often hopeful, even optimistic. With a style that is at once sensual and spare, dreamlike and deliberate, she exposes the terrible intimacy of the rooms and corridors of our innermost lives.
"To perform heroically in a perilous situation is one thing, but I found that, in my case, the real difficulty was in getting myself into a spot where heroism was possible. Nobody on latrine duty ever got the Medal of Honor."
This delightful memoir of A. E. Hotchner’s World War II experiences explores a different side of the troubled war years. Hotchner, who grew up in St. Louis, was a rookie lawyer fresh out of Washington University Law School when the United States declared war. Like many others of his generation, he aspired to serve his country. He tried to enlist in the navy, first as a pilot and then as a deck officer, but he was rejected for faulty depth perception and flat feet, respectively. Drafted as a lowly GI into the air force branch of the army, he was accepted to bombardier school. But on the eve of his departure, he was ordered to write and perform in an air force musical comedy instead. He eventually went to Officer Candidate School and was assigned to the Anti-Submarine Command as a lieutenant adjutant, but just before his squadron’s departure for North Africa he was detached and, despite knowing nothing about moviemaking, ordered to make a film that glorified the Anti-Submarine Command’s role in combating U-boats.
All through his four-year military career, despite his efforts to get into combat, fate and the military bureaucracy thwarted him. The author skillfully recounts the events of those years, describing the encounters he had with many unforgettable characters, including a footsore and sentimental Clark Gable and an inept Alan Ladd—best known as the star of Shane. Ladd, then a GI, did such a poor job reading the narration for Hotchner’s film Atlantic Mission that Hotchner had to fire him. The author also describes his encounters with other well-known people, notably Tennessee Williams, with whom he attended a playwriting class at Washington University, and a wistful, vulnerable Dorothy Parker.
Although much of Hotchner’s memoir is lighthearted, it also provides a unique look at the impact of the war on everyday life in the United States. Hotchner’s fast-paced prose makes this memoir an insightful pleasure to read.
The Day I Wasn't There
Helene Cixous Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PQ2663.I9J6913 2006 | Dewey Decimal 843.914
In this memoir-novel, a narrator who resembles Hélène Cixous obsessively recounts an incident--the premature death of her first-born child, a Down Syndrome baby left in the care of the clinic in Algeria where her midwife mother works. She uses this event to probe her family history and her relationship with her mother, a refugee from Nazi Germany; her dead father, after whom the baby is named; and her medical-student brother, who takes on some of the duties of a father figure.
Cixous's elusive writing bears all the trademarks of her poetic, provocative style, vivid with word play, intense feeling and a stream-of-consciousness that moves freely over time and place. The narrator's mother claims not to remember what happened, and the brother tries to fill in some gaps in the story. By the end of the book we understand the significance of the title: one day Cixous's mother returned to the clinic to find the baby on the brink of death. Rather than attempt to save him she chose to end his suffering.
By closing the door to the imaginary clinic at the end, the narrator at last resolves the feelings of guilt and realizes that each human being has a fate they must endure. Informed by psychoanalytical theory, and always brutally honest, The Day I Wasn't There is above all an intimate study of a woman's inner landscape.
A Day in a Medieval City
Chiara Frugoni University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress D134.F7913 2005 | Dewey Decimal 940.1
An opportunity to experience the daily hustle and bustle of life in the late Middle Ages, A Day in a Medieval City provides a captivating dawn-to-dark account of medieval life. A visual trek through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries—with seasoned historian and expert on medieval iconography Chiara Frugoni as guide—this book offers a vast array of images and vignettes that depicts the everyday hardships and commonplace pleasures for people living in the Middle Ages.
A Day in a Medieval City breathes life into the activities of the city streets, homes, fields, schools, and places of worship. With entertaining anecdotes and gritty details, it engages the modern reader with its discoveries of the religious, economic, and institutional practices of the day. From urban planning and education to child care, hygiene, and the more leisurely pursuits of games, food, books, and superstitions, Frugoni unearths the daily routines of the private and public lives of citizens. A Day in a Medieval City is a charming portal to the Middle Ages that you'll surely want with you on your travels to Europe—or in your armchair.
“With its color illustrations of rare paintings and artifacts, this thoughtful and informative, elegantly fashioned excursion into the life of a medieval city is a veritable feast of information and visual delights. Frugoni is a marvelously experienced historical travel guide.”—Choice
“Stunningly beautiful . . . and a good read as well. . . . It’s amazing how much wealth of detail and image Ms. Frugoni has packed into this delightful, relatively small book.”—Steve Goode, Washington Times
“Charming and insightful. . . .Written with exceptional grace and infused with a warm sense of humanity.”—Library Journal
Day In Day Out Alzheimers
Karen Lyman Temple University Press, 1993 Library of Congress RC523.L85 1993 | Dewey Decimal 362.198976831
"...an insightful and constructive view of persons with dementia and their caregivers."
--Carroll L. Estes, Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco
Stress for care providers and distress for clients with varying degrees of dementia--these are the dynamics Karen A. Lyman discovered in her study of eight Alzheimer's day care centers in California. Speaking as an advocate for both day care providers and people with Alzheimer's disease, the author presents a model of "what works" in Alzheimer's care.
Many strategies developed by caregivers are self-defeating, Lyman found. Drawing on personal reflections, interviews, and anecdotes, she demonstrates how caregivers' struggle to maintain order through often unnecessary control contributed to patients' increased sense of self-doubt, anxiety, and incompetence. Negative expectations by caregivers brought on depression and rapid intellectual decline in patients, a "sense of hopelessness" that has been called "therapeutic nihilism."
Lyman identifies unsupportive institutional policies, restrictive environments, and poorly organized programs as chronic sources of stress. The alternatives she offers meet caregivers' needs and permit clients a degree of self-determination and identity. Her model for care will be of great interest to gerontological professionals, policy makers, and family members dealing with victims of Alzheimer's disease.
"[A]n insightful, comprehensive analysis of the unique reciprocal relationship between people with Alzheimer's disease and people who care for them. The author's compassionate concern emphasizes the need for innovative methods of care which alleviate stress for the care-giver and distress for the patients...an important book for policy makers, health care administrators, medical and nursing students, and all others who care."
--Maggie Kuhn, Founder and National Convener of the Gray Panthers
This deeply moving collection of poetry by Renato Rosaldo focuses on the shock of his wife Michelle (Shelly) Rosaldo's sudden death on October 11, 1981. Just the day before, Shelly and her family had arrived in the northern Philippine village of Mungayang, where she and her husband Renato, both accomplished anthropologists, planned to conduct fieldwork. On October 11, Shelly died after losing her footing and falling some sixty feet from a cliff into a swollen river. Renato Rosaldo explored the relationship between bereavement and rage in his canonical essay, "Grief and a Headhunter's Rage," which first appeared in 1984 and is reprinted here. In the poems at the heart of this book, he returns to the trauma of Shelly's death through the medium of free verse, maintaining a tight focus on the events of October 11, 1981. He explores not only his own experience of Shelly's death but also the imagined perspectives of many others whose lives intersected with that tragic event and its immediate aftermath, from Shelly herself to the cliff from which she fell, from the two young boys who lost their mother to the strangers who carried and cared for them, from a tricycle taxi driver, to a soldier, to priests and nuns. Photographs taken years earlier, when Renato and Shelly were conducting research across the river valley from Mungayang, add a stark beauty. In a new essay, "Notes on Poetry and Ethnography," Rosaldo explains how and why he came to write the harrowing yet beautiful poems in The Day of Shelly's Death. More than anything else though, the essay is a manifesto in support of what he calls antropoesía, verse with an ethnographic sensibility. The essay clarifies how this book of rare humanity and insight challenges the limits of ethnography as it is usually practiced.
The Day of the Cattleman was first published in 1929. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The legend of the Wild West, as celebrated in thousands upon thousands of western stories and movies, radio and television programs, has a firm grip on the imaginations of both young and old, not only in America but in many other lands. But, popular though such versions are, they do not tell how the west was really won. Professor Osgood's account sets the record straight for those who want authentic history rather than melodramatic fiction.
"The range cattleman," Professor Osgood writes, "has more solid achievements to his credit than the creation of a legend. He was the first to utilize the semi-arid plains. Using the most available natural resources, the native grasses, as a basis, he built up a great and lucrative enterprise, attracted eastern and foreign capital to aid him in the development of a new economic area, stimulated railroad building in order that the product of the ranges might get to an eastern market, and laid the economic foundation of more than one western commonwealth."
Professor Osgood traces the rise and fall of the range cattle industry, particularly in Montana and Wyoming, from 1845 to the turn of the century. He gives a detailed account of the activities of the stock growers' associations and of the cattlemen's relations with the railroads and with the Federal government.
The book has won critical acclaim both in this country and abroad. The Saturday Review has described it as an "honest, scientific, and thorough examination" of a "semi-epic phase of Western life, now almost completely dead." In England, the Times Literary Supplement called it "the only substantial record of this particular chapter in the history of the West."
Honoring relatives by tending graves, building altars, and cooking festive meals has been an honored tradition among Latin Americans for centuries. The tribute, "el Dia de los Muertos," has enjoyed renewed popularity since the 1970s when Latino activists and artists in the United States began expanding "Day of the Dead" north of the border with celebrations of performance art, Aztec danza, art exhibits, and other public expressions.
Focusing on the power of ritual to serve as a communication medium, Regina M. Marchi combines a mix of ethnography, historical research, oral history, and critical cultural analysis to explore the manifold and unexpected transformations that occur when the tradition is embraced by the mainstream. A testament to the complex nature of ethnic identity, Day of the Dead in the USA provides insight into the power of ritual to create community, transmit oppositional messages, and advance educational, political, and economic goals.
Pilipino Cultural Nights at American campuses have been a rite of passage for youth culture and a source of local community pride since the 1980s. Through performances—and parodies of them—these celebrations of national identity through music, dance, and theatrical narratives reemphasize what it means to be Filipino American. In The Day the Dancers Stayed, scholar and performer Theodore Gonzalves uses interviews and participant observer techniques to consider the relationship between the invention of performance repertoire and the development of diasporic identification.
Gonzalves traces a genealogy of performance repertoire from the 1930s to the present. Culture nights serve several functions: as exercises in nostalgia, celebrations of rigid community entertainment, and occasionally forums for political intervention. Taking up more recent parodies of Pilipino Cultural Nights, Gonzalves discusses how the rebellious spirit that enlivened the original seditious performances has been stifled.
Demands of the Day asks about the logical standards and forms that should guide ethical and experimental anthropology in the twenty-first century. Anthropologists Paul Rabinow and Anthony Stavrianakis do so by taking up Max Weber’s notion of the “demands of the day.” Just as the demand of the day for anthropology decades ago consisted of thinking about fieldwork, today, they argue, the demand is to examine what happens after, how the experiences of fieldwork are gathered, curated, narrated, and ultimately made available for an anthropological practice that moves beyond mere ethnographic description.
Rabinow and Stavrianakis draw on experiences from an innovative set of anthropological experiments that investigated how and whether the human and biological sciences could be brought into a mutually enriching relationship. Conceptualizing the anthropological and philosophic ramifications of these inquiries, they offer a bold challenge to contemporary anthropology to undertake a more rigorous examination of its own practices, blind spots, and capacities, in order to meet the demands of our day.
House of Day, House of Night
Olga Tokarczuk Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PG7179.O37D6613 2003 | Dewey Decimal 891.85373
The English translation of the prize-winning international bestseller
Winner of the Gunter Grass Prize
Nowa Ruda is a small town in Silesia, an area that has been a part of Poland, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia in the past. When the narrator moves into the area, she and discovers everyone-and everything-has its own story. With the help of Marta, her enigmatic neighbor, the narrator accumulates these stories, tracing the history of Nowa Ruda from the founding of the town to the lives of its saints, from the caller who wins the radio quiz every day to the tale of the man who causes international tension when he dies on the border, one leg on the Polish side, the other on the Czech side. Each of the stories represents a brick and they interlock to reveal the immense monument that is the town. What emerges is the message that the history of any place--no matter how humble--is limitless, that by describing or digging at the roots of a life, a house, or a neighborhood, one can see all the connections, not only with one's self and one's dreams but also with all of the universe.
Richly imagined, weaving in anecdote with recipes and gossip, Tokarczuk's novel is an epic of a small place. Since its original publication in 1998 it has remained a bestseller in Poland. House of Day, House of Night is the English-language debut of one of Europe's best young writers.
Gazing up at the heavens from our backyards or a nearby field, most of us see an undifferentiated mess of stars—if, that is, we can see anything at all through the glow of light pollution. Today’s casual observer knows far less about the sky than did our ancestors, who depended on the sun and the moon to tell them the time and on the stars to guide them through the seas. Nowadays, we don’t need the sky, which is good, because we’ve made it far less accessible, hiding it behind the skyscrapers and the excessive artificial light of our cities.
How We See the Sky gives us back our knowledge of the sky, offering a fascinating overview of what can be seen there without the aid of a telescope. Thomas Hockey begins by scanning the horizon, explaining how the visible universe rotates through this horizon as night turns to day and season to season. Subsequent chapters explore the sun’s and moon’s respective motions through the celestial globe, as well as the appearance of solstices, eclipses, and planets, and how these are accounted for in different kinds of calendars. In every chapter, Hockey introduces the common vocabulary of today’s astronomers, uses examples past and present to explain them, and provides conceptual tools to help newcomers understand the topics he discusses.
Packed with illustrations and enlivened by historical anecdotes and literary references, How We See the Sky reacquaints us with the wonders to be found in our own backyards.
On a cold Wednesday morning in February 2003 Colin Powell argued before the United Nations Security Council that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. Before the speech, nearly 90 percent of Americans reported that Powell’s speech would help them determine their view about invading Iraq. In the days after the speech, a strong majority of Americans reported that they found Powell’s evidence convincing enough to justify war. But most American adults did not watch Powell’s speech. Instead, they learned about it from journalists—and to a large extent formed their opinions about war with Iraq based on news coverage of his address. In Intertextuality and the 24-Hour News Cycle John Oddo investigates the “rhetorical life” of Colin Powell’s address as it was extended across several media reports. Focusing on one day of pre- and postspeech news coverage, Oddo examines how journalists influenced Powell’s presentation— precontextualizing and recontextualizing his speech, and prepositioning and repositioning audiences to respond to it. The book surveys a variety of news media (television, newspaper, and Internet) and systematically integrates several methodological approaches (critical, rhetorical, discourse-analytic, and multimodal). This revealing text shows the decisive role that journalists played in shaping American attitudes about Powell, his presentation, and the desirability of war in Iraq.
Eleanor Roosevelt called her one of the most influential women in America. Among the earliest and most assertive members of the Book-of-the-Month Club selection committee, Dorothy Canfield Fisher helped define literary taste in America for more than three decades. She helped shape the careers of such great writers as Pearl Buck, Isak Dinesen, and Richard Wright. A best-selling author herself, Fisher was also a deeply committed social activist. In Keeping Fires Night and Day, Mark J. Madigan collects much of Fisher's copious correspondence. With letters to Willa Cather, W.E.B. Du Bois, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Margaret Mead, James Thurber, and E.B. White, he documents Fisher's personal and professional life and career in a way that no biography could. Set against the American historical and cultural landscape from 1900 to 1958, these letters offer a firsthand account of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable women.
While Fisher's novels treated such conventional subjects as marriage and domestic life, her own life was anything but conventional. When her best-selling novels made her the chief breadwinner in her marriage, her husband, John Fisher, quietly assumed the role of secretary and editor of her work. Fluent in five languages, Dorothy Canfield Fisher founded a Braille press in France and introduced the educational methods of Dr. Maria Montessori to the United States. She became a pioneering advocate of adult education and served as the first woman on the Vermont Board of Education.
In letters to friends, fans, and colleagues, Fisher discussed her homelife, her work, and the world around her. Her passions and concerns-revealed in her correspondence with wit and poignancy-include the "New Woman' and the suffrage movement, racial discrimination and the emergence of the NAACP, the development of the national education system, two world wars, the depression, and the influence of book clubs in the literary market-place.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher "helped twentieth-century American literature to come of age," writes Clifton Fadimon in his Foreward. Yet lasting recognition has eluded her. In Keeping Fires Night and Day the distinctive voice of this gifted, intelligent and spirited woman is heard once again.
Based on more than a decade of research in Palikur lands known as Arukwa in the state of Amapá, Brazil, Knowing the Day, Knowing the World reconsiders the dialogue between formal scholarship and Amerindian ways of knowing. Beginning and ending with a public archaeology project in the region, the book engages head-on with Amerindian ways of thinking about space, time, and personhood. Demonstrating that Palikur knowledges are based on movement and a careful theorization of what it means to be present in a place, the book makes a sustained case for engaging with different ways of knowing. It shows how this kind of research can generate rich dialogues about nature, reality, and the ethical production of knowledge.
The structure of the book reflects a gradual comprehension of Palikur ways of knowing during the course of field research. The text enters into the ethnographic material from the perspective of familiar disciplines—history, geography, astronomy, geometry, and philosophy—and explores the junctures in which conventional disciplinary frameworks cannot adequately convey Palikur understandings. Beginning with reflections on questions of personhood, ethics, and ethnicity, the authors rethink assumptions about history and geography. They learn and recount an alternative way of thinking about astronomy from the Palikur astronomical narratives, and they show how topological concepts embedded in everyday Palikur speech extend to different ways of conceptualizing landscape. In conclusion, they reflect on the challenges of comprehending alternative cosmologies and consider the insights that come from allowing ethnographic material to pose questions of modernist frameworks.
Opening with David Mancuso’s seminal “Love Saves the Day” Valentine’s party, Tim Lawrence tells the definitive story of American dance music culture in the 1970s—from its subterranean roots in NoHo and Hell’s Kitchen to its gaudy blossoming in midtown Manhattan to its wildfire transmission through America’s suburbs and urban hotspots such as Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark, and Miami.
Tales of nocturnal journeys, radical music making, and polymorphous sexuality flow through the arteries of Love Saves the Day like hot liquid vinyl. They are interspersed with a detailed examination of the era’s most powerful djs, the venues in which they played, and the records they loved to spin—as well as the labels, musicians, vocalists, producers, remixers, party promoters, journalists, and dance crowds that fueled dance music’s tireless engine.
Love Saves the Day includes material from over three hundred original interviews with the scene's most influential players, including David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Tom Moulton, Loleatta Holloway, Giorgio Moroder, Francis Grasso, Frankie Knuckles, and Earl Young. It incorporates more than twenty special dj discographies—listing the favorite records of the most important spinners of the disco decade—and a more general discography cataloging some six hundred releases. Love Saves the Day also contains a unique collection of more than seventy rare photos.
The Pages of Day and Night
Adonis Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PJ7862.A519A24 2000 | Dewey Decimal 892.716
Calling poetry a "question that begets another question," Adonis sets into motion this stream of unending inquiry with difficult questions about exile, identity, language, politics, and religion. Repeatedly mentioned as a possible Nobel laureate, Adonis is a leading figure in twentieth-century Arabic poetry.
Restless and relentless, Adonis explores the pain and otherness of exile, a state so complete that absence replaces identity and becomes the exile's only presence. Exile can take many forms for the Arabic poet, who must practice his craft as an outsider, separated not only from the nation of his birth but from his own language; in the present as in the past, that exile can mean censorship, banishment, or death. Through these poems, Adonis gives an exquisite voice to the silence of absence.
"Somewhere between Sex and the City, Sharon Olds and Spalding Grey lies the poetry of Denise Duhamel, who in six volumes during the 1990s (all from small independent or small university presses) established herself as a vivacious, sarcastic, uninhibited and sometimes sex-obsessed observer of contemporary culture. Long fascinated by downtown New York, Duhamel got poetic mileage from her once-rough neighborhoods. Now she lives and teaches in Miami: this new-and-selected sums up her NYC years . . . Its humor, anger and forceful personality could make the book a genuine popular hit." --Publishers Weekly
"Duhamel is an entertainer, as her new, retrospective collection confirms. . . . Throughout the book, each poem is utterly engaging, as hard to abandon as a chapter in a taut thriller." --Booklist
Celebrates ideas and topics that aren't often the subect of bards and poets. Her playful, inventive way of string together ideas is evident. . . . Despite the frolicsome nature of much of her work, Duhamel writes incisively about serious themes and issues. The clash between high and low art never seems abraisive in Duhamel's work." --Pittsburgh Tribune- Review
"Duhamel writes about Garcia-Lorca's Deli, Georgia O'Keefe's pelvis, a Barbie Doll in a Twelve-Step Program, Barbie as a Bisexual, Barbie's GYN appointment, and the difference between Pepsi and the Pope. . . . If you like knee-slapping, quasi-existential poetry, go out and pick up a Queen for a Day." --RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities
"Engagingly charts her evolution as a fictionist-from ribald, bemused poems about body parts and coming of age dramas to increasingly sophisticated mock-narratives. Her work is tremendous fun, but often there's an underpinning of sadness in it as well, which keeps the poems from being mere play. You'll want to read parts of this book aloud to your smart friends. Or to give it as a gift." --Stephen Dunn
"Denise Duhamel is a red-headed, red-lipped wild woman, a human and humane poet who isn't afraid to tackle any subject: violence, racism, A.I.D.S., bulimia, childishness, the myth of Bluebeard, the phenomenon of Barbie. It's been a singular joy to read this "selected" and see Duhamel's work grow and develop over the years. Queen for a Day is exuberant, brazen, bold, honest as hell, audaciously unpretentious and outrageously self-referential, a Frank O'Hara meets Lucille Ball meets Sandra Bernhard of a book: sin verguenza!" --Dorianne Laux
Denise Duhamel's Queen for a Day includes poems from her five previous full-length books (The Star-Spangled Banner, Kinky, Girl Soldier, The Woman with Two Vaginas, and Smile!) as well as her chapbook, How the Sky Fell. Her poems have been anthologized widely, including four editions of The Best American Poetry. Her work has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," MPR's "The Writers' Almanac," and PBS's "Fooling with Words." She has collaborated with the poet Maureen Seaton in two volumes: Oyl and Exquisite Politics. Duhamel is assistant professor at Florida International University in Miami.
Queen for a Day connects the logic of Venezuelan modernity with the production of a national femininity. In this ethnography, Marcia Ochoa considers how femininities are produced, performed, and consumed in the mass-media spectacles of international beauty pageants, on the runways of the Miss Venezuela contest, on the well-traveled Caracas avenue where transgender women (transformistas) project themselves into the urban imaginary, and on the bodies of both transformistas and beauty pageant contestants (misses). Placing transformistas and misses in the same analytic frame enables Ochoa to delve deeply into complex questions of media and spectacle, gender and sexuality, race and class, and self-fashioning and identity in Venezuela.
Beauty pageants play an outsized role in Venezuela. The country has won more international beauty contests than any other. The femininity performed by Venezuelan women in high-profile, widely viewed pageants defines a kind of national femininity. Ochoa argues that as transformistas and misses work to achieve the bodies, clothing and makeup styles, and postures and gestures of this national femininity, they come to embody Venezuelan modernity.
In The Day of the Scorpion, Scott draws us deeper in to his epic of India at the close of World War II. With force and subtlety, he recreates both private ambition and perversity, and the politics of an entire subcontinent at a turning point in history.
As the scorpian, encircled by a ring of fire, will sting itself to death, so does the British raj hasten its own destruction when threatened by the flames of Indian independence. Brutal repression and imprisonment of India's leaders cannot still the cry for home rule. And in the midst of chaos, the English Laytons withdraw from a world they no longer know to seek solace in denial, drink, and madness.
Inhabiting the Sierra Madre Occidental of southwestern Chihuahua in Mexico, the Tarahumara (or Rarámuri) are known in their language as the "foot runners" due to the way in which they must navigate their rugged terrain. This book offers an accessible ethnography of their history, customs, and current life, accompanied by photographs that offer striking images of these gentle people.
The subtitle of the book derives from the Tarahumara's belief that the soul works at night while the body sleeps and that during this "day of the moon" both the spirits of the dead and the souls of the living move about in their mysterious ways.
As the authors observe, the fact that "so many men, women, and children persist in distinctive, centuries-old cultural traditions in spite of their nearness to all the complexities and attractions of modern industrial society is an importatn part of the story." Their book tells that story and brings readers closer to understanding the Tarahumara world and way of life.
One of twelve children in a close-knit, affluent Catholic Belgian family, Jan Vansina began life in a seemingly sheltered environment. But that cocoon was soon pierced by the escalating tensions and violence that gripped Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. In this book Vansina recalls his boyhood and youth in Antwerp, Bruges, and the Flemish countryside as the country was rocked by waves of economic depression, fascism, competing nationalisms, and the occupation of first Axis and then Allied forces.
Within the vast literature on World War II, a much smaller body of work treats the everyday experiences of civilians, particularly in smaller countries drawn into the conflict. Recalling the war in Belgium from a child’s-eye perspective, Vansina describes pangs of hunger so great as to make him crave the bitter taste of cod-liver oil. He vividly remembers the shock of seeing severely wounded men on the grounds of a field hospital, the dangers of crossing fields and swimming in ponds strafed by planes, and his family’s interactions with occupying and escaping soldiers from both sides. After the war he recalls emerging numb from the cinema where he first saw the footage of the Nazi death camps, and he describes a new phase of unrest marked by looting, vigilante justice, and the country’s efforts at reunification.
Vansina, a historian and anthropologist best known for his insights into oral tradition and social memory, draws on his own memories and those of his siblings to reconstruct daily life in Belgium during a tumultuous era.
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers