front cover of All This Belongs to Me
All This Belongs to Me
A Novel
Petra Hulova
Northwestern University Press, 2009

Winner of the American Literary Translators Association 2010 National Translation Award 

Petra Hůlová became an overnight sensation when All This Belongs to Me was originally published in Czech in 2002, when the author was just twenty three years old. She has since established herself as one of the most exciting young novelists in Europe today. Writings from an Unbound Europeis proud to publish the first translation of her work in English.

All This Belongs to Me chronicles the lives of three generations of women in a Mongolian family. Told from the point of view of a mother, three sisters, and the daughter of one of the sisters, this story of secrets and betrayals takes us from the daily rhythms of nomadic life on the steppe to the harsh realities of urban alcoholism and prostitution in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. All This Belongs to Me is a sweeping family saga that showcases Hůlová's genius.


logo for Harvard University Press
Architecture, You, and Me
The Diary of a Development
Sigfried Giedion
Harvard University Press

front cover of Between You and Me
Between You and Me
Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World, 1948-1963
Gavin Butt
Duke University Press, 2005
In the decades preceding the Stonewall riots—in the wake of the 1948 publication of Alfred Kinsey’s controversial report on male sexuality and in the midst of a cold war culture of suspicion and paranoia—discussions of homosexuality within the New York art world necessarily circulated via gossip and rumor. Between You and Me explores this informal, everyday talk and how it shaped artists’ lives, their work, and its reception. Revealing the “trivial” and “unserious” aspects of the postwar art scene as key to understanding queer subjectivity, Gavin Butt argues for a richer, more expansive concept of historical evidence, one that supplements the verifiable facts of traditional historical narrative with the gossipy fictions of sexual curiosity.

Focusing on the period from 1948 to 1963, Butt draws on the accusations and denials of homosexuality that appeared in the popular press, on early homophile publications such as One and the Mattachine Review, and on biographies, autobiographies, and interviews. In a stunning exposition of Larry Rivers’s work, he shows how Rivers incorporated gossip into his paintings, just as his friend and lover Frank O’Hara worked it into his poetry. He describes how the stories about Andy Warhol being too “swish” to be taken seriously as an artist changed following his breakthrough success, reconstructing him as an asexual dandy. Butt also speculates on the meanings surrounding a MoMA curator’s refusal in 1958 to buy Jasper Johns’s Target with Plaster Casts on the grounds that it was too scandalous for the museum to acquire. Between You and Me sheds new light on a pivotal moment in American cultural production as it signals new directions for art history.


front cover of The Buffalo, Ben, and Me
The Buffalo, Ben, and Me
Todd Parnell & Foreword by Jim Baker
University of Missouri Press, 2007

The Buffalo River in northwest Arkansas is one of the longest free-flowing, undammed rivers west of the Mississippi—and one of the most beautiful waterways on earth. Almost lost to development, it proved to be the perfect testing ground for a young boy almost lost to mediocrity.

Middle-schooler Ben is struggling with learning challenges that have left him resentful and underachieving. His father, middle-ager Todd, wants to help his son gain self-confidence but is searching for his own identity. For twelve adventure-filled days on the river—all 125 miles of her navigable course, from Ponca to the White River—father and son discover the formative, curative, and redemptive powers of nature.

Leaving video games and cell phones behind isn’t easy for kids these days, but in the great outdoors parents and youngsters can connect in unimaginable ways. The Buffalo, Ben, and Me shares such a connection in an adventure story set on a wild river. It is a captivating tale featuring a host of colorful characters and enlivened by photos that reflect the essence of the wilderness.

But deeper than that, it is the story of crossing a threshold from dream to possibility—of one man’s search for meaning in his life and his efforts to motivate his son, blending love of family with love of nature in a tale of transformation. It tells how a rebellious teen and a bored banker conspired to buck a system keyed to predictability, and how a wild river inspired both to a better use of their lives. “This trip hit me as hard as it did Ben,” writes Parnell, “as a wake-up call to life, to what is important, to what is not.”

The trip down the Buffalo was one that even Ben admits changed his life in more ways than one, as he later went on to earn a master of science degree specializing in stream ecology. For any reader who loves the outdoors—and especially those seeking to connect with their children—The Buffalo, Ben, and Me is essential reading that reminds us of possibilities to be had in facing life head-on as it raises awareness of the need to protect the Ozarks’ water resources and heritage.


front cover of Close to Me, but Far Away
Close to Me, but Far Away
Living with Alzheimer's
Burton M. Wheeler
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Each day Burt Wheeler is plagued by the same question. When did it happen? If he could pinpoint the beginning, then he might begin to make peace with himself. He vividly remembers when the doctor diagnosed Kee, his loving wife of over fifty years, with "Alzheimer-type dementia." But, as hard as he tries, it's impossible for him to determine when his wife's dementia started. He remembers her bout with depression, but that, he thinks, was surely due to her breast cancer. There was their dream vacation to Greece when Kee seemed so tired and indifferent. There were the unopened books, when reading had always been such a source of pleasure to her. And, he recalls, the gradual personality changes with friends, and even with family.

Wheeler started writing this book as a form of self-therapy when he found himself thrust into the role of caretaker to his wife--a role for which he felt unprepared. He wrote in memory of the very special woman his wife had been—a wonderful mother, charming and gracious, as well as a deeply respected psychotherapist. She was also his best friend, and he loved her. So, to some degree, this is a love story—a story about two people who have shared life's ups and downs for over fifty years. It's also about commitment.

In Close to Me, but Far Away, Wheeler provides insight into what a caregiver's day is like, as he shares his most intimate thoughts with us. The book provides a window into the author's personal life as he seeks to confront his own ineptitude and the occasional despair he feels as he deals daily with Alzheimer's. He also touches on the question of what keeps him going through times of exhaustion and frustration. Part of his answer lies in holding tenaciously to memories, and part lies in what he believes is a human's extraordinary capacity to continue plodding along simply because he must. Wheeler also believes in rejoicing in the beauty that can be experienced, and he believes in humor, humor achieved only by distancing ourselves from the events that so deeply engage us. And, of course, there is also the indefinable nature of love.

Alzheimer's is a terrifying and horrible disease, as much for loved ones as for the patient. Those who are caregivers or friends of Alzheimer's patients or caregivers will empathize with Burton Wheeler's story. And some might receive comfort from his words or learn from him. Because Alzheimer's is a disease that could affect anyone, Close to Me, but Far Away is a story that should be read by all.


front cover of Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right
Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right
American Life in Columns
Michael A. Smerconish
Temple University Press, 2020

 Opinionated talk show host and columnist Michael Smerconish has been chronicling local, state, and national events for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 15 years. He has sounded off on topics as diverse as the hunt for Osama bin Laden and what the color of your Christmas lights says about you. In this collection of 100 of his most memorable columns, Smerconish reflects on American political life with his characteristic feistiness. A new Afterword for each column provides updates on both facts and feelings, indicating how the author has evolved over the years, moving from a reliable Republican voter to a political Independent.  
Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right covers the post-9/11 years, Barack Obama’s ascension, and the rise of Donald Trump. Smerconish describes meeting Ronald Reagan, having dinner with Fidel Castro, barbequing with the band YES in his backyard, spending the same night with Pete Rose and Ted Nugent, drinking champagne from the Stanley Cup, and conducting Bill Cosby’s only pretrial interview. He also writes about local Philadelphia culture, from Sid Mark to the Rizzo statue.
Smerconish’s outlook as expressed in these impassioned opinion pieces goes beyond “liberal” or “conservative.” His thought process continues to evolve and change, and as it does, he aims to provoke readers to do the same.
All author proceeds benefit the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, a Philadelphia- based, private, nonprofit agency that provides behavioral health services to children and their families.  


front cover of Come Walk with Me
Come Walk with Me
The Art of Dorris Curtis
Dorris Curtis
University of Arkansas Press, 2004
Come Walk with Me: The Art of Dorris Curtis has enormous appeal both as a memoir and as a collection of wonderful paintings. Dorris Curtis, like Grandma Moses, began painting at a late age. She worked as a school teacher for over forty years and upon retirement at the age of sixty-five, began to study art. Curtis looked up to Grandma Moses and was heavily influenced by her achievements. This book includes 103 images of Curtis’s artwork, each with an extended caption, as well as an introduction by Robert Cochran which places Curtis’s art into the larger context of both Arkansas art and American folk art as a whole. Dorris Curtis began painting at the age of sixty-five. Since her start in 1973, Curtis’s work has been exhibited in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and she has appeared as a guest on the PBS series American Art Forum. Curtis recently donated her entire collection to the University of Central Arkansas.

front cover of Elston and Me
Elston and Me
The Story of the First Black Yankee
Arlene Howard & Ralph Wimbish & Foreword by Yogi Berra & Don Newcombe
University of Missouri Press, 2001
Of all the great ballplayers to wear Yankee pinstripes, Elston Howard was among the proudest. Remarkable temperament and courage made him the Jackie Robinson of baseball's most storied franchise. No Yankee carried himself with more dignity. No Yankee had greater respect for his teammates or love for his wife and family. And no one loved being a Yankee more than Elston Howard.

In Elston and Me, Howard's widow, Arlene, and coauthor Ralph Wimbish recall the life of the first black to play baseball for the New York Yankees. Howard, who played fourteen major-league seasons, was signed by the Yankees in 1950, but the reluctance of the Yankee organization to break the color barrier held Howard back from the major leagues until 1955 when he was twenty-six years old.

By 1961, the year he batted .348 for the Yankees, Elston had become the everyday catcher. Voted the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1963, Howard was a three-time Gold Glove winner, and his fielding average of the same year remains one of the highest among catchers in major-league history.

In 1967, with the Yankee dynasty in decay, Elston was traded to the Boston Red Sox, although Yankee management had promised him that he would finish his career in pinstripes. After contemplating retirement, he moved to Boston late that season and helped the Red Sox win the "Impossible Dream" pennant. After one more season with the Red Sox, he returned to the Yankees as the first black coach in the American League. Howard died at the age of fifty-one without fulfilling his dream of becoming baseball's first black manager.

Beginning with Howard's early years as a St. Louis teenager, the book relates his encounters with racism and his love of baseball. He began his professional career for the legendary Negro League team the Kansas City Monarchs. His three decades with the New York Yankees include numerous anecdotes about fellow Yankee legends such as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. With countless personal moments and never-before- published photographs and clippings from family albums, Elston and Me is the touching story of one of baseball's great players.


front cover of Eminent Maricones
Eminent Maricones
Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me
Jaime Manrique
University of Wisconsin Press, 2001

Jaime Manrique weaves into his own memoir the lives of three important twentieth-century Hispanic writers: the Argentine Manuel Puig, author of Kiss of the Spider Woman; the Cuban Reinaldo Arenas, author of Before Night Falls; and Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. Manrique celebrates the lives of these heroic writers who were made outcasts for both their homosexuality and their politics.

"Manrique's double vision yields insights into Puig, Arenas, and Lorca unavailable to a writer less attuned to the complex interplay of culture and sexuality, as well as that of race and class in Latino and Anglo societies."—George DeStefano, The Nation

"A splendid memoir of Manuel Puig. It evokes him—how he really was—better than anything I've read."—Susan Sontag

"Where Manrique's tale differs from others is in its unabashed and sensitive treatment of sexuality. One reads his autobiographical account with pleasure and fascination."—Jose Quiroga, George Washington University

"Manrique's voice is wise, brave, and wholly original. This chronicle of self-discovery and literary encounters is heartening and deep."—Kennedy Fraser

"In this charmingly indiscreet memoir, Jaime Manrique writes with his customary humor and warm sympathy, engaging our delighted interest on every page. He has the rare gift of invoking and inviting intimacy, in this case a triangulated intimacy between himself, his readers, and his memories. These are rich double portraits."—Phillip Lopate


front cover of Entre Nous
Entre Nous
Between the World Cup and Me
Grant Farred
Duke University Press, 2019
In Entre Nous Grant Farred examines the careers of international football stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, along with his own experience playing for an amateur township team in apartheid South Africa, to theorize the relationship between sports and the intertwined experiences of relation, separation, and belonging. Drawing on Jean-Luc Nancy's concept of relation and Heideggerian ontology, Farred outlines how various relationships—the significantly different relationships Messi has with his club team FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team; Farred's shifting modes of relation as he moved between his South African team and his Princeton graduate student team; and Suarez's deep bond with Uruguay's national team coach Oscar Tabarez—demonstrate the ways the politics of relation both exist within and transcend sports. Farred demonstrates that approaching sports philosophically offers particularly insightful means of understanding the nature of being in the world, thereby opening new paths for exploring how the self is constituted in its relation to the other.

front cover of George Sanders, Zsa Zsa, and Me
George Sanders, Zsa Zsa, and Me
David R. Slavitt
Northwestern University Press, 2009

Taking its inspiration from Sanders’s own autobiography Memoirs of a Professional Cad (1960), this book is part witty, bawdy, and irreverent memoir, part moving meditation on the price of fame; like most of David Slavitt’s work, it defies easy categorization.In George Sanders, Zsa Zsa, and Me, Slavittlooks back to his career as a film critic in the glamorous—at least superficially—world of 1950s Hollywood, when he traveled in circles that included the talented British actor George Sanders (1906–1972) and his then-wife, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was talented at, well, being famous.

Sanders, who seemed to maintain an ironic detachment from roles that were often beneath him, nonetheless couldn’t bear the decline of his later years and committed suicide at the age of sixty-five. Darkly humorous to the end, his note read, "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck." Zsa Zsa, on the other hand, remains in the headlines (with her dubiously named husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt) at age ninety-two. Although he punctuates his story with witty asides—the author’s encounter with Marilyn Monroe is particularly memorable—Slavitt turns a critic’s eye toward questions of talent and art, while also tackling the difficult and universal questions of aging, relationships, and mortality.


front cover of I Just Let Life Rain Down on Me
I Just Let Life Rain Down on Me
Selected Letters and Reflections
Rahel Levin Varnhagen
Seagull Books, 2024
A personal look into the mind of one of Europe’s first and foremost women of letters.
At times poetic but not a poem, prosaic but not an essay, a letter is often pure writing for writing’s sake. Such is the case for Rahel Varnhagen von Ense, née Levin, the illustrious German-Jewish Berlin literary salon hostess from the early nineteenth century. She penned over ten thousand letters to more than three hundred recipients, including princes, philosophers, poets, family members, and the family cook. Written with a wink at posterity, collected and first published after her passing by her husband, Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, these letters constitute a singular contribution to German literature.
Varied in subject—from family affairs to linguistic, literary, and pressing social concerns—the poignant lyricism of her letters is all the more remarkable when we take into account that High German was not her first language; she grew up speaking, reading, and writing primarily Yiddish. Her shaky social status as a woman and a member of a precarious minority, combined with an astounding lucidity and a rare capacity to put her thoughts into words, made her a force to be reckoned with in her lifetime and thereafter as one of Germany’s preeminent women of letters. As we see in I Just Let Life Rain Down on Me, her voice is as fresh and original as that of any of the recognized poets and thinkers of her day. As Rahel herself put it: “[O]ur language is our lived life; I invented mine for my own purposes, I was less able than many others to make use of preconceived turns of phrase, which is why mine are often clumsy, and in all respects faulty, but always true.”
Compiled and translated by Peter Wortsman, this rewarding volume affords English-speaking readers the first privileged peek at the mindset of one of Europe’s first and foremost women of letters.

front cover of In Other Lifetimes All I've Lost Comes Back to Me
In Other Lifetimes All I've Lost Comes Back to Me
Courtney Sender
West Virginia University Press, 2023

“A deep and howling portrait of longing and loneliness.” —Boston Globe
“A distinctive debut from a promising author.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A stunner from the very first page.” —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, in the
And praise from Ann Patchett, Alice McDermott, Danielle Evans, Elisa Albert, and Aimee Bender

Populated with lovers who leave and return, with ghosts of the Holocaust and messages from the dead, Courtney Sender’s debut collection speaks in a singular new voice about the longings and loneliness of contemporary love. The world of these fourteen interlocking stories is fiercely real but suffused with magic and myth, dark wit, and distinct humor. Here, ancient loss works its way deep into the psyche of modern characters, stirring their unrelenting lust for life.

In “To Do With the Body,” the Museum of Period Clothes becomes the perfect setting for a bloody crime. In “Lilith in God’s Hands,” Adam’s first wife has an affair in the Garden of Eden. And in the title story, a woman spends her life waiting for any of the men who have left her to come back, only to find them all at her doorstep at once.

For readers of Elena Ferrante, Nicole Krauss, and Carmen Maria Machado, and for anyone who has known love and loneliness, In Other Lifetimes All I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me is a wise and sensual collection of old hauntings, new longings, and unexpected returns, with a finale that is a rousing call to the strength we each have, together or alone.


front cover of Islam and Me
Islam and Me
Narrating a Diaspora
Shirin Ramzanali Fazel
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Growing up in Mogadishu, Somalia, Shirin Ramzanali Fazel was immersed in the language and culture of Italy, Somalia’s former colonizer. Yet when she moved to Italy as a young mother in the 1970s, she discovered a country where immigrants and Muslims were viewed with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion­–where, even today, she and her children must seemingly prove they are Italian. 
In Islam and Me, Fazel tells her story and shares the experiences of other Muslim women living in Italy, revealing the wide variety of Muslim identities and the common prejudices they encounter. Looking at Italian school textbooks, newspapers, and TV programs, she invites us to change the way Muslim immigrants, and especially women, are depicted in both news reports and scholarly research. Islam and Me is a meditation on our multireligious, multiethnic, and multilingual reality, as well as an exploration of how we might reimagine national culture and identity so that they become more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist. 


front cover of Kwanzaa and Me
Kwanzaa and Me
A Teacher’s Story
Vivian Gussin Paley
Harvard University Press, 1995

"All these white schools I've been sent to are racist," Sonya says. "I'd have done better in a black school. I was an outsider here." These are hard words for Vivian Paley, whose own kindergarten was one of Sonya's schools, the integrated classroom so lovingly and hopefully depicted by Paley in White Teacher. Confronted with the grown-up Sonya, now on her way to a black college, and with a chorus of voices questioning the fairness and effectiveness of integrated education, Paley sets out to discover the truth about the multicultural classroom from those who participate in it. This is an odyssey undertaken on the wings of conversation and storytelling in which every voice adds new meaning to the idea of belonging, really belonging, to a school culture. Here are black teachers and minority parents, immigrant families, a Native American educator, and the children themselves, whose stories mingle with the author's to create a candid picture of the successes and failures of the integrated classroom. As Paley travels the country listening to these stories, we see what lies behind recent moves toward self-segregation: an ongoing frustration with racism as well as an abiding need for a nurturing community. And yet, among these diverse voices, we hear again and again the shared dream of a classroom where no family heritage is obscured and every child's story enriches the life of the schoolhouse.

"It's all about dialogue, isn't it?" asks Lorraine, a black third-grade teacher whose story becomes a central motif. And indeed, it is the dialogue that prevails in this warmly provocative and deeply engaging book, as parents and teachers learn how they must talk to each other, and to their children, if every child is to secure a sense of self in the schoolroom, no matter what the predominant ethnic background. Vivian Paley offers these discoveries to readers as a starting point for their own journeys toward community and kinship in today's schools and tomorrow's culture.


front cover of
"Let the Little Children Come to Me"
Childhood and Children in Early Christianity"
Cornelia B. Horn
Catholic University of America Press, 2009

front cover of Mark Twain, the World, and Me
Mark Twain, the World, and Me
"Following the Equator," Then and Now
Susan K. Harris
University of Alabama Press, 2020
A scholar accompanies Twain on his journey around the world
In Mark Twain, the World, and Me: “Following the Equator,” Then and Now, Susan K. Harris follows Twain’s last lecture tour as he wound his way through the British Empire in 1895–1896. Deftly blending history, biography, literary criticism, reportage, and travel memoir, Harris gives readers a unique take on one of America’s most widely studied writers.
Structured as a series of interlocking essays written in the first person, this engaging volume draws on Twain’s insights into the histories and cultures of Australia, India, and South Africa and weaves them into timely reflections on the legacies of those countries today. Harris offers meditations on what Twain’s travels mean for her as a scholar, a white woman, a Jewish American, a wife, and a mother. By treating topics as varied as colonial rule, the clash between indigenous and settler communities, racial and sexual “inbetweenness,” and species decimation, Harris reveals how the world we know grew out of the colonial world Twain encountered. Her essays explore issues of identity that still trouble us today: respecting race and gender, preserving nature, honoring indigenous peoples, and respecting religious differences.


front cover of Me and Mine
Me and Mine
The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa
Louise Udall
University of Arizona Press, 1969
An energetic Hopi woman emerges from a traditional family background to embrace the more conventional way of life in American today. Enchanting and enlightening—a rare piece of primary source anthropology.

front cover of Me and My House
Me and My House
James Baldwin's Last Decade in France
Magdalena J. Zaborowska
Duke University Press, 2018
The last sixteen years of James Baldwin's life (1971–87) unfolded in a village in the South of France, in a sprawling house nicknamed “Chez Baldwin.” In Me and My House Magdalena J. Zaborowska employs Baldwin’s home space as a lens through which to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity in his complex and underappreciated later works. Zaborowska shows how the themes of dwelling and black queer male sexuality in The Welcome Table, Just above My Head, and If Beale Street Could Talk directly stem from Chez Baldwin's influence on the writer. The house was partially torn down in 2014. Accessible, heavily illustrated, and drawing on interviews with Baldwin's friends and lovers, unpublished letters, and manuscripts, Me and My House offers new insights into Baldwin's life, writing, and relationships, making it essential reading for all students, scholars, and fans of Baldwin.

front cover of Me, Governor?
Me, Governor?
My Life in the Rough-and-Tumble World of New Jersey Politics
Richard J. Codey
Rutgers University Press, 2011
And so, a new chapter in the life of Richard J. Codey, an undertaker's son born and bred in the Garden State, began on the night of August 12, 2004--he knew from that point his life would never be the same . . . and it hasn't been. His memoir is a breezy, humorous, perceptive, and candid chronicle of local and state government from a man who lived among political movers and shakers for more than three decades. Codey became governor of New Jersey, succeeding James McGreevey, who resigned following a homosexual affair--a shattering scandal and set of circumstances that were bizarre, even for the home state of the Sopranos. At once a political autobiography, filled with lively, incisive anecdotes that record how Codey restored respectability and set a record for good politics and good government in a state so often tarnished, this is also the story about a man and his family.

front cover of Me the People
Me the People
How Populism Transforms Democracy
Nadia Urbinati
Harvard University Press, 2019

A timely and incisive assessment of what the success of populism means for democracy.

Populist movements have recently appeared in nearly every democracy around the world. Yet our grasp of this disruptive political phenomenon remains woefully inadequate. Politicians of all stripes appeal to the interests of the people, and every opposition party campaigns against the current establishment. What, then, distinguishes populism from run-of-the-mill democratic politics? And why should we be concerned by its rise?

In Me the People, Nadia Urbinati argues that populism should be regarded as a new form of representative government, one based on a direct relationship between the leader and those the leader defines as the “good” or “right” people. Populist leaders claim to speak to and for the people without the need for intermediaries—in particular, political parties and independent media—whom they blame for betraying the interests of the ordinary many. Urbinati shows that, while populist governments remain importantly distinct from dictatorial or fascist regimes, their dependence on the will of the leader, along with their willingness to exclude the interests of those deemed outside the bounds of the “good” or “right” people, stretches constitutional democracy to its limits and opens a pathway to authoritarianism.

Weaving together theoretical analysis, the history of political thought, and current affairs, Me the People presents an original and illuminating account of populism and its relation to democracy.


front cover of Melt with Me
Melt with Me
Coming of Age and Other ’80s Perils
Paul Crenshaw
The Ohio State University Press, 2023
At the intersection of 1980s pop culture, the Cold War, and the trials of coming of age sits Melt with Me. Paul Crenshaw takes up a range of topics from Star Wars to video games, Choose Your Own Adventure books to the Satanic Panic. Blending the personal with the historical, levity with gravity, Crenshaw shows how pop culture shaped those who grew up in 1980s America: how Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative drove fears of nuclear war, how professional wrestling taught us everyone was either a good guy or a bad guy, how Bugs Bunny cartoons reflected the absurdity of war and mutually assured destruction, and how video games taught young boys, in particular, that no matter how hard they tried to save it, the world would end itself. Reflecting on the decade and its dark influence on fear-based notions of nation and manhood, Crenshaw writes, “All this reminds me I’m still afraid of the same things I was afraid of as a child. Some days I think the movies are real and we’re watching the last hour of humanity. You’ll have to decide if there’s any hope.”

front cover of Not Far from Me
Not Far from Me
Stories of Opioids and Ohio
Daniel Skinner and Berkeley Franz
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
More and more Americans find themselves in some way touched by the opioid epidemic. But while many have observed the effects of the crisis, Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio is the first book on this public health emergency composed entirely of first-person accounts. The collection unfolds across fifty gripping accounts by Ohioans at the center of the national epidemic. Shared through personal stories, poetry, interviews, and photos, these perspectives transcend typical one-dimensional portrayals of the crisis to offer a mosaic of how politics, religion, sports, economics, culture, race, and sexual orientation intersect in and around the epidemic.
Themes of pain and healing, despair and hope are woven throughout accounts of families who have lost loved ones to addiction, stories of survival, and experiences of working on the front lines in communities. In an attempt to give every voice the chance to be heard, Not Far from Me features contributors from across the state as they engage with the pain of opioid abuse and overdose, as well as the hope that personal- and community-level transformation brings. Ultimately, Not Far from Me humanizes the battle against addiction, challenges the stigma surrounding drug users, and unflinchingly faces the reality of the American opioid epidemic.

front cover of Now Don't Try to Reason with Me
Now Don't Try to Reason with Me
Essays and Ironies for a Credulous Age
Wayne C. Booth
University of Chicago Press, 1970
In this entertaining collection of essays, Wayne Booth looks for the much-maligned “middle ground” for reason—a rhetoric that can unite truths of the heart with truths of the head and allow us all to discover shared convictions in mutual inquiry. First delivered as lectures in the 1960s, when Booth was a professor at Earlham College and the University of Chicago, Now Don’t Try to Reason with Me still resounds with anyone struggling for consensus in a world of us versus them. 

“Professor Booth’s earnestness is graced by wit, irony, and generous humor.”—Louis Coxe, New Republic


front cover of The Pancreas and Me
The Pancreas and Me
My Life as a Biomedical Scientist
John A. Williams
Michigan Publishing Services, 2023

This is a personal story that weaves together the personal and professional aspects of a rewarding life in biomedical research. The book describes the education and career of John A. Williams, a leading biomedical scientist whose research focused on the exocrine pancreas and its function. It is arranged chronologically and covers Dr. Williams’ education, how he developed his interest in the pancreas, and how research on the pancreas developed over his 50 year career. It also provides insight into the state of American biomedical education, medical schools, and how research is funded and published. 

As a professor, his research was on the exocrine pancreas, its secretion of digestive enzymes, and regulation by gastrointestinal hormones. He published over 400 papers and trained over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Dr Williams served as President of two scientific societies, the American Pancreatic Association and the American Physiological Society, and as Editor of four journals. He also founded the Pancreapedia, an open access knowledgbase about the exocrine pancreas. In addition, he taught medical and graduate students with a focus on gastrointestinal function.

While a medical student, John married his life partner, Christa Smith, and they have been together 57 years raising two children and helping with four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. John has a lifetime interest in outdoor activities, nature, and conservation. For the last decade he has been an advocate for reducing the use of fossil fuels. He is also active in the Ann Arbor Friends meeting.


logo for University of Alabama Press
Secrets I Won't Take with Me
Home, War, and the Struggle for Peace in Israel
Yossi Beilin
University of Alabama Press, 2025
The story of the birth and evolution of modern Israel, especially concerning the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace, from the view of a journalist, politician and diplomat  who wrote with his own hands several important chapters in that history.

front cover of Shine on Me
Shine on Me
A Novel
A. G. Mojtabai
Northwestern University Press, 2016

The rules are simple enough: “Here’s the deal: Whoever keeps his hands longest on one of the dealer’s brand new pickup trucks owns it and gets to drive it away.” An actual contest hosted by an auto dealership in Texas is the prompt for this fictional exploration, which seeks to probe the depths and shallows of the American soul.

To the players vying for this shiny new prize, competition revs up as the hours wear on, positions harden, sightlines narrow, and sleep-deprivation intensifies. At the center is the reporter Trew Reade, struggling to make sense of the event and his own role in it. Early on, he muses that “surface and substance were rarely the same; transparency could be the most cunning of masks.” So, too, is the author’s transparent prose. Reviewers have sometimes found Mojtabai’s vision akin to that of Marilynne Robinson and Flannery O’Connor, but the characterization from Books & Culture—“not like anyone else”—is perhaps best, inviting readers to discover this provocative writer for themselves.


front cover of Sing Them Over Again to Me
Sing Them Over Again to Me
Hymns and Hymnbooks in America
Edited by Mark A. Noll and Edith L. Blumhofer
University of Alabama Press, 2006

Hymns and hymnbooks as American historical and cultural icons.

This work is a study of the importance of Protestant hymns in defining America and American religion. It explores the underappreciated influence of hymns in shaping many spheres of personal and corporate life as well as the value of hymns for studying religious life. Distinguishing features of this volume are studies of the most popular hymns (“Amazing Grace,” “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”), with attention to the ability of such hymns to reveal, as they are altered and adapted, shifts in American popular religion. The book also focuses attention on the role hymns play in changing attitudes about race, class, gender, economic life, politics, and society.


front cover of Something Speaks to Me
Something Speaks to Me
Where Criticism Begins
Michel Chaouli
University of Chicago Press, 2024
An account of criticism as an urgent response to what moves us.

Criticism begins when we put down a book to tell someone about it. It is what we do when we face a work or event that bowls us over and makes us scramble for a response. As Michel Chaouli argues, criticism involves three moments: Something speaks to me. I must tell you about it. But I don’t know how. The heart of criticism, no matter its form, lies in these surges of thoughts and feelings. Criticism arises from the fundamental need to share what overwhelms us.

We tend to associate criticism with scholarship and journalism. But Chaouli is not describing professional criticism, but what he calls “poetic criticism”—a staging ground for surprise, dread, delight, comprehension, and incomprehension. Written in the mode of a philosophical essay, Something Speaks to Me draws on a wide range of writers, artists, and thinkers, from Kant and Schlegel to Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, Barthes, and Cavell. Reflecting on these dimensions of poetic experience, Something Speaks to Me is less concerned with joining academic debates than communicating the urgency of criticism.

front cover of Songs My Mother Sang to Me
Songs My Mother Sang to Me
An Oral History of Mexican American Women
Patricia Preciado Martin
University of Arizona Press, 1992
Motivated by a love of her Mexican American heritage, Patricia Preciado Martin set out to document the lives and memories of the women of her mother's and grandmother's eras; for while the role of women in Southwest has begun to be chronicled, that of Hispanic women largely remains obscure. In Songs My Mother Sang to Me, she has preserved the oral histories of many of these women before they have been lost or forgotten.

Martin's quest took her to ranches, mining towns, and cities throughout southern Arizona, for she sought to document as varied an experience of the contributions of Mexican American women as possible. The interviews covered family history and genealogy, childhood memories, secular and religious traditions, education, work and leisure, environment and living conditions, rites of passage, and personal values. Each of the ten oral histories reflects not only the spontaneity of the interview and personality of each individual, but also the friendship that grew between Martin and her subjects.

Songs My Mother Sang to Me collects voices not often heard and brings to print accounts of social change never previously recorded. These women document more than the details of their own lives; in relating the histories of their ancestors and communities, they add to our knowledge of the culture and contributions of Mexican American people in the Southwest.

front cover of Speak to Me!
Speak to Me!
Marcia Forecki
Gallaudet University Press, 1985

Marcia Calhoun Forecki has written an engrossing, personal account of her life with Charlie, an adorable, active, deaf seven-year-old. Speak to Me! is the story of an ordinary hearing person confronted with an overwhelming reality—the fact that her son is deaf. Forecki’s struggle as a single parent to care for her child, to find the “right” schools, and to establish communication with her son will strike a familiar chord in all hearing parents of deaf children. All readers, parents or not, will be touched by the mixture of pathos and humor in this well-written account.


front cover of Talk to Me in Cantonese
Talk to Me in Cantonese
Betty Hung
Hong Kong University Press, 2019
Talk to Me in Cantonese is a comprehensive and self-paced textbook tailor-made for English-speaking learners with a basic knowledge of Cantonese. It consists of 10 lessons, each covering a real-life situation using dialogues and stories. Through systematic explanations of the grammar and sentence patterns introduced in the text, readers are able to acquire crucial grammatical structures needed to express themselves fluently and precisely. Each lesson reinforces grammar usage with a review and a wide variety of exercises. The Cantonese pronunciation practice in Appendix 1 serves a dual purpose: it exposes the reader to the richness of the Cantonese language by using slang and colloquial expressions to practise every element of Cantonese pronunciation. This book is a sequel to A Cantonese Book, a popular textbook designed for beginning-level learners. Since there are very few books that help teach anything beyond survival Cantonese, Talk to Me in Cantonese is suitable for anyone who wants to continue their study, no matter what text they used to start with. The book is enhanced by downloadable audio files by native speakers for all dialogues, stories, vocabulary items, and grammatical practices in the text.

front cover of They Can't Take That Away from Me
They Can't Take That Away from Me
Gail Mazur
University of Chicago Press, 2001
In this series of new poems Gail Mazur takes stock-of the complexity of relationships between parents and children, the desires of the body as well as its frailties, the distinctions between memory and history, and the hope of art to capture these seemingly inscrutable realities. By turns mordant and passionate, narrative and meditative, Mazur's poems imply that life, with all of its losses, triumphs, and abrasive intimacies, is far richer and more elaborately metaphorical than poetry can aspire to be-and yet her poems do affectingly recreate this reality. These illuminating poems are the work of an acclaimed poet at the top of her form.

front cover of Think of Me and I'll Know
Think of Me and I'll Know
Anthony Varallo
Northwestern University Press, 2013
The characters in Think of Me and I’ll Know, Anthony Varallo’s probing new collection of stories, face moments in which insight comes too late, or proves insufficient, often to humorous effect. The characters approach the edge of learning something about themselves or about their relationships with other people, only to be left with knowledge that is not particularly useful.Varallo ably captures the often confused and heartrending perspective of adolescents discovering the world, such as in "No One at All," in which an eleven-year-old boy comes to see that another boy, two years older, is something less than a reliable friend. The author also captures the complications of family dynamics, such as the three generations of women in the related stories "Lucky Us" and "Tragic Little Me." The stories in Think of Me and I’ll Know show that we are perhaps not much more comprehensible to ourselves than others are to us.

front cover of What Is Africa to Me?
What Is Africa to Me?
Fragments of a True-to-Life Autobiography
Maryse Condé
Seagull Books, 2016
Maryse Condé is one of the best-known and most beloved French Caribbean literary voices. The author of more than twenty novels, she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2015 and has long been recognized as a giant of black feminist literature. While Condé has previously published an autobiography of her childhood, What Is Africa to Me? tells for the first time the story of her early adult years in Africa—years formative not only for her, but also for African colonies appealing for their own independence.

What Is Africa to Me? traces the late 1950s to 1968, chronicling Condé’s life in Sékou Touré’s Guinea to her time in Kwame N’Krumah’s Ghana, where she rubbed shoulders with Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Julius Nyerere, and Maya Angelou. Accusations of subversive activity resulted in Condé’s deportation from Ghana. Settling down in Sénégal, Condé ended her African years with close friends in Dakar, including filmmakers, activists, and Haitian exiles, before putting down more permanent roots in Paris.

Condé’s story is more than one of political upheaval, however; it is also the story of a mother raising four children as she battles steep obstacles, of a Guadeloupean seeking her identity in Africa, and of a young woman searching for her freedom and vocation as a writer. What Is Africa to Me? is a searing portrait of a literary genius—it should not be missed.

front cover of You, Me, and the Violence
You, Me, and the Violence
Catherine Taylor
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
“Things puppets can do to us: charm, deceive, captivate, fool, trick, remind, amuse, distract, bore, repulse, annoy, puzzle, transport, provoke, fascinate, stand in for, kill.” In YouMe, and the Violence, Catherine Taylor ponders the nature of personal and political autonomy, focusing on the surprising juxtaposition of puppetry and military drones. In a book at once politically significant and narratively engaging, Taylor blends genres to question the roles of individuals within society and expose the gritty and emotional underpinnings of the seemingly mechanical process of a remote soldier.
From conversations with her own brother about his military experiences to Punch and Judy, from the original tale of Pinocchio to the radio chatter of soldiers in active drone operation, Taylor writes about family, power, and the “theater” of war in a voice both sly and sobering, heartbreaking and hopeful.

front cover of Your History with Me
Your History with Me
The Films of Penny Siopis
Sarah Nuttall, editor
Duke University Press, 2024
Penny Siopis is internationally acclaimed for her pathbreaking paintings and installations. Your History with Me is a comprehensive study of her short films, which have put her at the front ranks of contemporary artist-filmmakers. Siopis uses found footage to create short video essays that function as densely encrypted accounts of historical time and memory that touch on the cryptic and visceral elements of gender and power. The critics, scholars, curators, artists, and filmmakers in this volume examine her films in relation to subjects ranging from the history of Greeks in South Africa, trauma and cultural memory, and her relationship with the French New Wave to her feminist-inflected articulations of form and content and how her films comment on apartheid. They also highlight her global South perspective to articulate a mode of filmmaking highly responsive to histories of violence, displacement, and migration as well as pleasure, joy, and renewal. The essays, which are paired with vivid stills from Siopis’s films throughout, collectively widen the understanding of Siopis’s oeuvre. Opening new vocabularies of thought for engaging with her films, this volume outlines how her work remakes the possibilities of film as a mode of experimentation and intervention.

Contributors. John Akomfrah, Sinazo Chiya, Mark Gevisser, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Katerina Gregos, Brenda Hollweg, William Kentridge, Achille Mbembe, Sarah Nuttall, Griselda Pollock, Laura Rascaroli, Zineb Sedira, Penny Siopis, Hedley Twidle, Zoé Whitley

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter