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Familiarity Is the Kingdom of the Lost
Dugmore Boetie
Ohio University Press, 2020
A fast-paced romp through apartheid-era South Africa that exemplifies the creative human capacity to overcome seemingly omnipotent enemies and overwhelming odds. The picaresque hero of this novel, Duggie, is a dispossessed black street kid turned con man. Duggie’s response to being confined to the lowest level of South Africa’s oppressive and humiliating racial hierarchy is to one-up its absurdity with his own glib logic and preposterous schemes. Duggie’s story, as one critic puts it, offers “an encyclopedic catalogue of rip-offs, swindles, and hoaxes” that regularly land him in jail and rely on his white targets’ refusal to admit a black man is capable of outsmarting them. Duggie exploits South Africa’s bureaucratic pass laws and leverages his artificial leg every chance he gets. As “a worthless embarrassment to the authorities and a bad example to the convicts,” Duggie even manages to get himself thrown out of jail. From Duggie’s Depression-era childhood in urban Johannesburg to World War II and the rise of the white supremacist apartheid regime to his final, bitter triumph, Boetie’s narrative celebrates humanity’s relentless drive to survive at any cost. This new edition of Boetie’s out-of-print classic features a recently discovered photograph of the author, an introduction replete with previously unpublished research, numerous annotations, and is accompanied by Lionel Abrahams’ haunting poem, “Soweto Funeral,” composed after attending Boetie’s interment, all of which render the text accessible to a new generation of readers.

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Lost and
Jeff Griffin
University of Iowa Press, 2013
Ever since he was a child sitting in the back of his parents' car, Jeff Griffin has been taking explorative journeys into the desert. In 2007, as an art student, he started wandering the back roads of the Mojave Desert with the purpose of looking for a place to reflect in the harshly beautiful surroundings. What he found were widely scattered postmodern ruins—abandoned trailers and campers and improvised structures—whose vanished occupants had left behind, in their trash, an archaeological record of astonishing richness and poignancy.
Lost and is both a chronicle of Griffin’s obsessive journeying and a portal into a world of dispossessed people and enduring desires. Comprised entirely of unaltered reproductions of extraordinary found materials—drawings, charts, questionnaires, compulsively detailed letters, legal documents, jottings, journal entries, stunningly vivid and mysterious photographs—this is a work of sociological and literary daring that defies categorization. Part documentary history, part literary adventure, part mystical detective story, Griffin’s immersion in extremity has yielded wrenching annals of the modes and manners in which lost people inscribe their psychic, sexual, religious, and economic yearnings.
At the core of the work is a collection of poems, mostly handwritten and composed without pretense to literary sophistication, that give direct expression to the abiding impulse to tap language’s transformative potential. Assembled with deep regard for the dignity of its collective group of anonymous authors, Lost and is a book of profound conceptual originality—an engrossing, shocking, and tender work of art that strives to awaken voices from the wilderness of the inexpressible.

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Lost and Found
Locating Foundlings in the Early Modern World
Nicholas Terpstra
Harvard University Press
Florence’s foundling home of the Innocenti is often taken as a symbol of Renaissance creativity, innovation, and humanity. Its progressive approach to caring for abandoned children was matched by the iconic architectural form designed one of the period’s leading architects, Filippo Brunelleschi. Did reality match the reputation? The essays in Lost and Found explore new dimensions and contexts for foundling care at the Innocenti and use archival documents and digital tools to locate it architecturally, geographically, and socially. They ask questions that reframe the Ospedale degli Innocenti in different contexts and open paths for further research: Was Brunelleschi’s design a failure? How can digital tools recover the Innocenti’s lost spaces and extensive real estate holdings? What did the law say about foundlings and abandonment? What was it like to live in the Innocenti and in homes elsewhere? What roles did race and enslavement play in infant abandonment?

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Lost and Found
Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration
Karen L. Ishizuka
University of Illinois Press, 2006

For decades, a fog of governmental cover-ups, euphemisms, and societal silence kept the victims the mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II from understanding their experiences. The Japanese American National Museum mounted a critically acclaimed exhibition with the twin goals of educating the general public and encouraging former inmates to come to grips with and tell their own history. 

Combining heartfelt stories with first-rate scholarship, Lost and Found reveals the complexities of a people reclaiming the past. Author/curator Karen L. Ishizuka, a third-generation Japanese American, deftly blends official history with community memory to frame the historical moment of recovery within its cultural legacy. Detailing the interactive strategy that invited visitors to become part of the groundbreaking exhibition, Ishizuka narrates the processes of revelation and reclamation that unfolded as former internees and visitors alike confronted the experience of the camps. She also analyzes how the dual act of recovering—and recovering from—history necessitates private and public mediation between remembering and forgetting, speaking out and remaining silent.


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Lost and Found
Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan
Hiraku Shimoda
Harvard University Press, 2014

Lost and Found offers a new understanding of modern Japanese regionalism by revealing the tense and volatile historical relationship between region and nation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Aizu, a star-crossed region in present-day Fukushima prefecture, becomes a case study for how one locale was estranged from nationhood for its treasonous blunder in the Meiji Restoration, yet eventually found a useful place within the imperial landscape. Local mythmakers—historians, memoirists, war veterans, and others—harmonized their rebel homeland with imperial Japan so as to affirm, ironically, the ultimate integrity of the Japanese polity. What was once “lost” and then “found” again was not simply Aizu’s sense of place and identity, but the larger value of regionalism in a rapidly modernizing society.

In this study, Hiraku Shimoda suggests that “region,” which is often regarded as a hard, natural place that impedes national unity, is in fact a supple and contingent spatial category that can be made to reinforce nationalist sensibilities just as much as internal diversity.


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Lost and Found
The Adoption Experience
Betty Jean Lifton
University of Michigan Press, 2009

"[Looks] at adoption from all sides of the triangle: adoptee, birth mother, adoptive parents . . . A provocative, comprehensive inquiry."
---Kirkus Reviews

"Honest and moving."
---New York Times

"Important and powerful . . . [the author] is concerned not just with adoptees but with the experience of adoptive parents and birth parents."
---Psychology Today

"A moving and powerful plea for open discourse instead of secrecy among the participants in the adoption process."
---Public Welfare, American Public Welfare Association

The first edition of Betty Jean Lifton's Lost and Found advanced the adoption rights movement in this country in 1979, challenging many states' policies of maintaining closed birth records. For nearly three decades the book has topped recommended reading lists for those who seek to understand the effects of adoption---including adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and their friends and families.

This expanded and updated edition, with new material on the controversies concerning adoption, artificial insemination, and newer reproductive technologies, continues to add to the discussion on this important topic. A new preface and afterword by the author have been added, as well as a greatly expanded resources section that in addition to relevant organizations now lists useful Web sites.

Betty Jean Lifton, Ph.D., is a writer, psychotherapist, and leading advocate for adoption reform. Her many books include Journey of the Adopted Self and The King of Children, a New York Times Notable Book. She regularly makes appearances as a lecturer on adoption and has an adoption counseling practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York City.


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Lost in a Labyrinth of Red Tape
The Story of an Immigration that Failed
Armin Schmid and Renate Schmid
Northwestern University Press, 1996
Lost in a Labyrinth of Red Tape is the story of one family's desperate attempts to emigrate from Nazi Germany. The Frühaufs faced enormous obstacles with the German and foreign authorities when they attempted to take advantage of matriarch Hilde Frühauf's U.S. citizenship. At the mercy of various agencies and shippers, they became more and more entangled in the red tape of the title. The daughter went into hiding and fled to Belgium, where she was hidden by the Resistance and survived the war. Tragically, the remaining members of her family failed to emigrate, and were killed by the Nazis.

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Lost in Austin
A Nevada Memoir
Jim Andersen
University of Nevada Press, 2009

In 1974 Jim Andersen and his wife, tired of the congestion and high taxes in California, decided to start a new life in rural Nevada. They settled on Austin, a town of about 250 people perched on a mountainside along the legendary Highway 50, “the loneliest road in America.” In the middle of the nineteenth century, Austin was a free-wheeling boomtown at the center of a silver bonanza. By the time the Andersens arrived, it had shrunk to a quiet, isolated community of self-sufficient souls who ran their lives, economy, and local government their own way, with ingenuity, wit, and a certain disregard for convention. Andersen’s account of his life in Austin is a charming, sometimes hilarious account of city folks adapting to life in a small town. He addresses such matters as making a living from a variety of odd jobs, some of them odder than others; serving as a deputy sheriff, deputy coroner, and elected justice of the peace, and administering Austin’s unique version of justice; raising a family; finding ways to have fun; and exploring the austerely beautiful backcountry of central Nevada. He also introduces some of Austin’s residents and their stories, and describes the way the community comes together for entertainment or to respond to crises.Lost in Austin is fascinating reading for anyone who cherishes nostalgic memories of living in a small town, or who contemplates moving to one. It offers an engaging portrait of a Nevada that exists far from the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas and Reno, “a happy Bermuda Triangle” where rugged individualism and community spirit flourish amidst sagebrush and vast open spaces.


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Lost in the City
Tree of Desire and Serafin: Two novels by Ignacio Solares
By Ignacio Solares
University of Texas Press, 1998

Cristina, the young protagonist of Tree of Desire, and her little brother Joaquín run away from a home that is outwardly normal, but inwardly disfunctional. Lost on the streets of Mexico City, they confront some of the most terrifying aspects of city life. Or is it all a dream? The story suggests, without confirming, that sexual abuse has driven Cristina to her desperate escape. But is it an escape? Are they awakening from a dream, or reentering a nightmare?

Serafín, too, is lost in the city. Searching for his father who has deserted the family, he is virtually helpless amid the city dangers. Serafín finds compassion in surprising places, but will he survive to return to his mother and their rural village?

These two novels by one of Mexico's premier writers illuminate many aspects of contemporary Mexican life. Solares describes Mexico's different social classes with Dickensian realism. His focus on young protagonists, unusual in Mexican literature, opens a window onto problems of children's vulnerability that know no national borders. At the same time, his use of elements of the fantastic and the paranormal, and his evocative writing style, make reading his novels a most pleasurable experience.


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Lost in the Customhouse
Authorship in the American Renaissance
Jerome Loving
University of Iowa Press, 1993
In this vigorous challenge to dominant literary criticism, Jerome Loving extends the traditional period of American literary rebirth to the end of the 19th century and argues for the intrinsic value of literature in the face of new historicist and deconstructionist readings. Bucking the trend for revisionist interpretations, Loving discusses the major work of the 19th century’s canonized writers as restorative adventures with the self and society.
From Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Thoreau, and Emerson to Whitman, Twain, Dickinson, James, Chopin, and Dreiser, Loving finds the American literary tradition filled with narrators who keep waking up to the central scene of the author’s real or imagined life. They travel through a customhouse of the imagination in which the Old World experience of the present is taxed by the New World of the utopian past, where life is always cyclical instead of linear and ameliorative.
Loving celebrates, enjoys, and experiences these awakened and reborn writers as he challenges the notion that American literature is preponderately “cultural work.” In the epilogue, he packs up his own carpetbag—the American ego—and passes through the European customhouse to find that American writers are more readily perceived as literary geniuses outside their culture than within it.

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Lost in the Fifties
Recovering Phantom Hollywood
Wheeler Winston Dixon
Southern Illinois University Press, 2005

Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood reveals two 1950s: an era glorified in Hollywood movies and a darker reality reflected in the esoteric films of the decade. Renowned film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon turns to the margins—the television shows and films of a hidden Hollywood—to offer an authentic view of the 1950s that counters the Tinsel-town version. Dixon examines the lost films and directors of the decade. Contrasting traditional themes of love, marriage, and family, Dixon’s 1950s film world unveils once-taboo issues of rape, prostitution, and gangs. Television shows such as Captain Midnight and Ramar of the Jungle are juxtaposed with the cheerful world of I Love Lucy and Howdy Doody. Highlighting directors including Herbert L. Strock, Leslie Martinson, Arnold Laven, and Charles Haas, Dixon provides new insights on the television series Racket Squad, Topper, and The Rifleman and the teen films I Was a Teenage Werewolf and High School Confidential.

Geared for scholars and students of film and pop culture, Lost in the Fifties includes twenty-five photos—many previously unpublished—and draws on rare interviews with key directors, actors, and producers. The volume provides the first detailed profile of the most prolific producer in Hollywood history, Sam Katzman, and his pop culture classics Rock Around the Clock and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers. Dixon profiles, for the first time, B-movie phenomenon Fred F. Sears, who directed more than fifty touchstone films of a generation, including the noir thriller Chicago Syndicate, the criminal career story Cell 2455 Death Row, and the 3-D color western The Nebraskan. Also profiled is Ida Lupino, the only woman to direct in Hollywood in the 1950s, who tackled issues of bigamy, teenage pregnancy, and sports corruption in The Bigamist, The Hitch-Hiker, Outrage, Never Fear, Not Wanted, and Hard, Fast and Beautiful, when no major studio would touch such controversial topics. Dixon also looks at the era’s social guidance films, which instructed adolescents in acceptable behavior, proper etiquette, and healthy hygiene.


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Lost in the Game
A Book about Basketball
Thomas Beller
Duke University Press, 2022
For players, coaches, writers, and fans, basketball is a science and an art, a religious sacrament, a source of entertainment, and a way of interacting with the world. In Lost in the Game Thomas Beller entwines these threads with his lifetime's experience as a player and journalist, roaming NBA locker rooms and city parks as a basketball flaneur in search of the meaning of the modern game. He captures the magnificence and mastery of today’s most accomplished NBA players while paying homage to the devotion of countless congregants in the global church of pickup basketball. He shares his own stories from the courts, meditating on basketball’s role in city life and its impact on the athlete’s psyche as he moves from youth to middle age. Part journalistic account, part memoir of a slightly talented player whose main gift is being tall, Lost in the Game charts the game’s inexorable gravitational hold on those who love it.

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Lost in the Lights
Sports, Dreams, and Life
Paul Hemphill
University of Alabama Press, 2003

A veteran journalist’s collection of sportswriting on the blue-collar South.

Sport mirrors life. Or, in Paul Hemphill's opinion, “Sport is life.” The 15 pieces in this compelling collection are arranged along the timeline for an aspiring athlete's dream: “The Dawning,” with stories about boys hoping and trying to become men, “The Striving,” about athletes at work, defining themselves through their play, and “The Gloaming,” about the twilight time when athletes contend with broken dreams and fading powers. Through all the pieces, Hemphill exhibits his passion for the sports he covers and a keen eye for the dramas, details, and hopes that fire the lives of athletes, allowing them to become prototypes of all human existence.

Most of the stories have been previously published in such national magazines as Sports Illustrated, True, Life, Today’s Health, and Sport. In “White Bread and Baseball,” the author chronicles his own boyhood infatuation with the minor-league Birmingham Barons, while in “Yesterday’s Hero” he details the sad end of a former All-American football player named Bob Suffridge, a portrait of a lion in winter. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Whirl” covers nights on the road with the roller derby, and “Saturday Night at Dixie Speedway” captures all the raucous glory of a stock-car dirt track under the hot lights. “Big Night, Big City” tells of an anxious, small-town high school basketball team facing their crucial chance for glory at a state tournament in Atlanta, and the classic “Mister Cobb” details a personal lesson on sliding the young author received from “the greatest player in the history of baseball.”

These stories are often bittersweet, emotional, and mythic: little dramas bearing impact and psychological “size.” Some of them are distinctively “Dixie,” but they ultimately transcend time and place. Frye Gaillard, author of Kyle at 200 MPH: A Sizzling Season in the Petty-NASCAR Dynasty, writes, “For more than 30 years, Paul Hemphill has been one of the finest writers in the South, and I think he proves it again in this collection. He exudes a natural feel for the players and the game, drawing out the real-life themes of struggle and desire, occasional triumph, and the omnipresent possibilities of heartache and failure.”



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Lost in the Rentharpian Hills
Spanning the Decades with Carl Jacobi
R. Dixon Smith
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985

R. Dixon Smith has captured the enchanting story of the well known pulp writer Carl Jacobi. Jacobi wrote many fantasy and weird tales, while leading a somewhat bizarre yet magical life.


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Lost in the Shadow of the Word
Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe
Benjamin Paloff
Northwestern University Press, 2016
2018 AATSEEL Prize for Best Book in Literary Scholarship

Scholars of modernism have long addressed how literature, painting, and music reflected the radical reconceptualization of space and time in the early twentieth century—a veritable revolution in both physics and philosophy that has been characterized as precipitating an “epistemic trauma” around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Benjamin Paloff contends that writers in Central and Eastern Europe felt this impact quite distinctly from their counterparts in Western Europe. For the latter, the destabilization of traditional notions of space and time inspired works that saw in it a new kind of freedom. However, for many Central and Eastern European authors, who were writing from within public discourses about how to construct new social realities, the need for escape met the realization that there was both nowhere to escape to and no stable delineation of what to escape from. In reading the prose and poetry of Czech, Polish, and Russian writers, Paloff imbues the term “Kafkaesque” with a complexity so far missing from our understanding of this moment in literary history.

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Lost in the USA
American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March
Deborah Gray White
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Remembered as an era of peace and prosperity, turn-of-the-millennium America was also a time of mass protest. But the political demands of the marchers seemed secondary to an urgent desire for renewal and restoration felt by people from all walks of life. Drawing on thousands of personal testimonies, Deborah Gray White explores how Americans sought better ways of living in, and dealing with, a rapidly changing world. From the Million Man, Million Woman, and Million Mom Marches to the Promise Keepers and LGBT protests, White reveals a people lost in their own country. Mass gatherings offered a chance to bond with like-minded others against a relentless tide of loneliness and isolation. By participating, individuals opened a door to self-discovery that energized their quests for order, autonomy, personal meaning, and fellowship in a society that seemed hostile to such deeper human needs. Moving forward in time, White also shows what marchers found out about themselves and those gathered around them. The result is an eye-opening reconsideration of a defining time in contemporary America.

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Lost in the Yellowstone
"Thirty-Seven Days of Peril" and a Handwritten Account of Being Lost
Truman Everts; Edited by Lee H. Whittlesey
University of Utah Press, 2015

In 1870, Truman Everts visited what would two years later become Yellowstone National Park, traveling with an exploration party intent on mapping and investigating that mysterious region. Scattered reports of a mostly unexplored wilderness filled with natural wonders had caught the public’s attention and the fifty-four-year-old Everts, near-sighted and an inexperienced woodsman, had determined to join the expedition. He was soon separated from the rest of the party and from his horse, setting him on a grueling quest for survival. For over a month he wandered Yellowstone alone and injured, with little food, clothing, or other equipment. In “Thirty-seven Days of Peril” he recounted his experiences for the readers of Scribner’s Monthly.

In June 1996, Everts’s granddaughter arrived at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park to meet with park archivist Lee Whittlesey. She brought two documents that her father had kept hidden and both were handwritten by Everts. One was a brief autobiography that gave new insight into his early life. The other was a never-published alternative account of his confused 1870 journey through Yellowstone. Both have been added to this volume, further enhancing Everts’s unlikely tale of survival. 


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Lost in Time
Locating the Stranger in German Modernity
June J. Hwang
Northwestern University Press, 2014
June J. Hwang’s provocative Lost in Time explores discourses of timelessness in the works of central figures of German modernity such as Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel, Siegfried Kracauer, and Helmuth Plessner, as well as those of Alfred Döblin, Joseph Roth, and Hugo Bettauer. Hwang argues that in the Weimar Republic the move toward ahistoricization is itself a historical phenomenon, one that can be understood by exploring the intersections of discourses about urban modernity, the stranger, and German Jewish identity.
These intersections shed light on conceptions of German Jewish identity that rely on a negation of the specific and temporal as a way to legitimize a historical outsider position, creating a dynamic position that simultaneously challenges and acknowledges the limitations of an outsider’s agency. She reads these texts as attempts to transcend the particular, attempts that paradoxically reveal the entanglement of the particular and the universal.

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Lost in Transition
Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism
Kristen Ghodsee
Duke University Press, 2011
Lost in Transition tells of ordinary lives upended by the collapse of communism. Through ethnographic essays and short stories based on her experiences with Eastern Europe between 1989 and 2009, Kristen Ghodsee explains why it is that so many Eastern Europeans are nostalgic for the communist past. Ghodsee uses Bulgaria, the Eastern European nation where she has spent the most time, as a lens for exploring the broader transition from communism to democracy. She locates the growing nostalgia for the communist era in the disastrous, disorienting way that the transition was handled. The privatization process was contested and chaotic. A few well-connected foreigners and a new local class of oligarchs and criminals used the uncertainty of the transition process to take formerly state-owned assets for themselves. Ordinary people inevitably felt that they had been robbed. Many people lost their jobs just as the state social-support system disappeared. Lost in Transition portrays one of the most dramatic upheavals in modern history by describing the ways that it interrupted the rhythms of everyday lives, leaving confusion, frustration, and insecurity in its wake.

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Lost in Transition
Removing, Resettling, and Renewing Appalachia
Aaron D. Purcell
University of Tennessee Press, 2021

In Lost in Transition: Removing, Resettling, and Renewing Appalachia, Aaron D. Purcell presents a thematic and chronological exploration of twentieth-century removal and resettlement projects across southern Appalachia. The book shares complex stories of loss and recollection that have grown and evolved over time.

This edited volume contains seven case studies of public land removal actions in Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Tennessee from the 1930s through the 1960s. Some of the removals include the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Norris Basin, Shenandoah National Park and the New River, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Keowee-Toxaway Project in northwestern South Carolina. Each essay asks key questions: How did governmental entities throughout the twentieth century deal with land acquisition and removal of families and communities? What do the oral histories of the families and communities, particularly from different generations, tell us about the legacies of these removals? This collection reveals confrontations between past and present, federal agencies and citizens, and the original accounts of removal and resettlement and contemporary interpretations. The result is a blending of practical historical concerns with contemporary nostalgia and romanticism, which often deepen the complexity of Appalachian cultural life.

Lost in Transition provides a nuanced and insightful study of removal and resettlement projects that applies critical analysis of fact, mythology, and storytelling. It illustrates the important role of place in southern Appalachian history. This collection is a helpful resource to anthropologists, folklorists, and Appalachian studies scholars, and a powerful volume of stories for all readers who reflect upon the importance of place and home.


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Lost in Translation
Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier
Homay King
Duke University Press, 2010
In a nuanced exploration of how Western cinema has represented East Asia as a space of radical indecipherability, Homay King traces the long-standing association of the Orient with the enigmatic. The fantasy of an inscrutable East, she argues, is not merely a side note to film history, but rather a kernel of otherness that has shaped Hollywood cinema at its core. Through close readings of The Lady from Shanghai, Chinatown, Blade Runner, Lost in Translation, and other films, she develops a theory of the “Shanghai gesture,” a trope whereby orientalist curios and décor become saturated with mystery. These objects and signs come to bear the burden of explanation for riddles that escape the Western protagonist or cannot be otherwise resolved by the plot. Turning to visual texts from outside Hollywood which actively grapple with the association of the East and the unintelligible—such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s Chung Kuo: Cina, Wim Wenders’s Notebook on Cities and Clothes, and Sophie Calle’s Exquisite Pain—King suggests alternatives to the paranoid logic of the Shanghai gesture. She argues for the development of a process of cultural “de-translation” aimed at both untangling the psychic enigmas prompting the initial desire to separate the familiar from the foreign, and heightening attentiveness to the internal alterities underlying Western subjectivity.

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Miscarriage in Nineteenth-Century America
Withycombe, Shannon
Rutgers University Press, 2019
2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

In Lost, medical historian Shannon Withycombe weaves together women’s personal writings and doctors’ publications from the 1820s through the 1910s to investigate the transformative changes in how Americans conceptualized pregnancy, understood miscarriage, and interpreted fetal tissue over the course of the nineteenth century. Withycombe’s pathbreaking research reveals how Americans construed, and continue to understand, miscarriage within a context of reproductive desires, expectations, and abilities. This is the first book to utilize women’s own writings about miscarriage to explore the individual understandings of pregnancy loss and the multiple social and medical forces that helped to shape those perceptions. What emerges from Withycombe’s work is unlike most medicalization narratives. 

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Lost on the Freedom Trail
The National Park Service and Urban Renewal in Postwar Boston
Seth C. Bruggeman
University of Massachusetts Press, 2022
Winner of the 2023 Society for History in the Federal Government Book Prize
Boston National Historical Park is one of America's most popular heritage destinations, drawing in millions of visitors annually. Tourists flock there to see the site of the Boston Massacre, to relive Paul Revere's midnight ride, and to board Old Ironsides—all of these bound together by the iconic Freedom Trail, which traces the city's revolutionary saga.

Making sense of the Revolution, however, was never the primary aim for the planners who reimagined Boston's heritage landscape after the Second World War. Seth C. Bruggeman demonstrates that the Freedom Trail was always largely a tourist gimmick, devised to lure affluent white Americans into downtown revival schemes, its success hinging on a narrow vision of the city's history run through with old stories about heroic white men. When Congress pressured the National Park Service to create this historical park for the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, these ideas seeped into its organizational logic, precluding the possibility that history might prevail over gentrification and profit.

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My Victorians
Lost in the Nineteenth Century
Robert Clark
University of Iowa Press, 2019
My Victorians is a hybrid in both form and content, part memoir/extended lyric essay but also a work of biography, photography, and cultural, literary, and art history. This is a travelogue of writer Robert Clark’s attempt to work through a sudden and inexplicable five-year-long obsession focused on Victorian novelists, artists, architecture, and critics. He wends his way through England and Scotland, meticulously tracking down the haunts of Charles Dickens, George Gissing, John Millais, the Bloomsbury Group, and others, and documenting everything in ghostly photographs as he goes.

As Clark delves deeper into the Victorian world, he wonders: What can its artists offer a twenty-first century writer by way of insight into his own life and work? His obsession with Victoriana bleeds into all aspects of his life, even the seemingly incongruous world of online dating. My Victorians is in the spirit of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage and Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch. This book considers what happens when heartbreak, eros, faith, and doubt drive us to take refuge in the past.

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Napoleon’s Garden Island
Lost and Old Gardens of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
Donal P. McCracken
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2022
Napoleon’s Garden Island reveals the amazing botanical history of one remote Atlantic island.
Though the South Atlantic island of St. Helena is best known as the site of Napoleon’s exile following his final defeat in 1815, this remote locale also has a rich gardening heritage and a population of highly diverse flora, both exotic and endemic. This is due to St. Helena’s history as a stopover for the vast East India Company fleets on their way to Europe, whose cargo holds carried not only spices but also plants from China, Malaysia, and India. As a result, St. Helena became a botanical hub and the island’s private plantation houses cultivated a number of extraordinarily varied gardens.

Illustrated throughout with drawings, maps, and archival materials, Napoleon’s Garden Island looks to St. Helena’s past and future alike. McCracken explores the island’s native and introduced flora, ultimately appealing for the establishment of a new permanent garden to showcase this singular botanical blend. Turning away from the military matters that characterize most other books about St. Helena’s history, Napoleon’s Garden Island highights how a dazzling assortment of plants have thrived thousands of miles from their nearest neighbors.

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On This Modern Highway, Lost in the Jungle
Tropics, Travel, and Colonialism in Czech Poetry
Jan Mrázek
Karolinum Press, 2022
Postcolonial reflections on Indonesia’s influence upon the avant-garde poetry of a non-colonial European.

In 1926, the Communist avant-garde poet Konstantin Biebl (1898–1951) traveled from Czechoslovakia to the Dutch East Indies. In the writings from his journal—texts simultaneously poetic and comic—both landlocked Bohemia and the colonized tropical islands are seen in disorienting new perspectives, like “mirrors looking at themselves in each other.”

Jan Mrázek’s On This Modern Highway, Lost in the Jungle takes us on a journey of our own, crisscrossing Biebl’s life and work—with particular attention to his travel writing—as they mirror Mrázek’s own experiences as a multinational academic: a Prague conservatory graduate, educated at Michigan and Cornell, and now a scholar of Indonesia living in Singapore. Biebl’s writings are also the book’s point of departure for a broader exploration of the intersections of travel and poetry, issues of colonial and social injustice, and the representation of otherness in the Czech literary and visual imagination. In its attention to how poetic travel reflects the Czech historical experience in the shadow of imperial nations, Mrázek’s book elevates scholarly reflection on literary travel, modernity, and colonialism to a new level.

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Robert Johnson
Lost and Found
Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch
University of Illinois Press, 2002

Even with just forty-one recordings to his credit, Robert Johnson (1911-38) is a towering figure in the history of the blues. His vast influence on twentieth-century American music, combined with his mysterious death at the age of twenty-seven, still encourage the speculation and myth that have long obscured the facts about his life. The most famous legend depicts a young Johnson meeting the Devil at a dusty Mississippi crossroads at midnight and selling his soul in exchange for prodigious guitar skills. 

Barry Lee Pearson and Bill McCulloch examine the full range of writings about Johnson and weigh the conflicting accounts of Johnson's life story against interviews with blues musicians and others who knew the man. Their extensive research uncovers a life every bit as compelling as the fabrications and exaggerations that have sprung up around it. In examining the bluesman's life and music, and the ways in which both have been reinvented and interpreted by other artists, critics, and fans, Robert Johnson: Lost and Found charts the cultural forces that have mediated the expression of African American artistic traditions.


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Stations of the Lost
The Treatment of Skid Row Alcoholics
Jacqueline P. Wiseman
University of Chicago Press, 1979
When first published in 1970, Stations of the Lost won the C. Wright Mills Award for Best Book in the Area of Social Problems. The study considers the Skid Row alcoholic from two points of view, that of the alcoholic himself and that of the agents of social control who treat him. A major discovery of Wiseman's research was that Skid Row men spend only about one third of the year on Skid Row. The rest of the time is spent "making the loop"—going from Skid Row to city jail, to county jail, to the state mental hospital, to the missions, and back to Skid Row. While these facilities are designed to handle or rehabilitate Skid Row men, they are actually used by these men as a means of survival.

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