November 2013 Articles

Reading Room


Wild Children-Domesticated Dreams, Layla AbdelRahim ’93, Fernwood Publishing 2013. This book focuses on modern-day academic and educational systems and provides an anthropological study of the fundamental grounds on which these systems are constructed and their consequential impact on impressionable minds. AbdelRahim is an anthropologist with a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Montreal.


ShamansShamans, Spirituality, and Cultural Revitalization: Explorations in Siberia and Beyond (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion), Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, M.A. ’75, Ph.D. ’79, Palgrave Macmillan 2012. This book explores the debate surrounding shamanic cures, spirituality, and the significance of both in this day and age. Balzer talks about the resurgence of interest in shamanism and its link to religious repression. She is a research professor at Georgetown University.


SustainabilitySustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy, Asoka Bandarage ’73, Palgrave Macmillan 2013. Bandarage explores the challenge of balancing environmental sustainability with human well-being. Providing analyses grounded in the social sciences, she outlines a path toward a more balanced relationship between humankind and the environment. Bandarage’s other books include Colonialism in Sri Lanka: The Political Economy of the Kandyan Highlands, 1833–1886 and Women, Population and Global Crisis: A Political-Economic Analysis. She has taught at has taught at Brandeis, Mount Holyoke, Georgetown, and other universities across the U.S.

KeepersKeepers, Kathy Brennan ’89 and Caroline Campion, Rodale 2013. Home cooks Brennan and Campion share their recipes and secrets for meeting the weeknight dinner challenge. In advance praise for the book, celebrity chef Daniel Boulud said, “I encourage everyone—whether a novice or a seasoned cook—to explore their kaleidoscopic collection of casual recipes that are sure to satisfy any group of friends or hungry family.” Brennan is a freelance editor and writer who has won Bert Greene and James Beard Journalism Awards. She was a longtime editor at Saveur.

PlayingPlaying Tyler, T.L. Costa ’98, Strange Chemistry 2013. This young-adult novel tells the story of Tyler MacCandless, a teen with a troubled home life who gets involved in a mystery surrounding a dangerous video game. This is Costa’s first book, and it received five stars from the San Francisco City Book Review, and an honorable mention in the Great Midwest Book Festival. It recently won the 2013 U.S.A. Best Book Award for Young-Adult Fiction.


FreezeFreeze, Heather Matesich Cousins ’01, Codhill Press 2013. In awarding Freeze the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award for 2012, judge Pauline Uchmanowicz said that Cousin’s work is “as sparse and elegant as winter branches, illuminates how time is both fixed and divisible, the human paradox both archetypal and mutable.” Cousins is the author of Something in the Potato Room, winner of the 2009 Kore Press First Book Award, and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee.


PoeticsPoetics of Wonder: Testimonies of the New Christian Miracles in the Late Antique Latin World, Giselle de Nie ’58, Brepols Publishers 2012. This book examines the return of Christian miracles to the public psyche during the late antique Latin west after centuries of absence. De Nie taught medieval history at the University of Utrecht from 1962 until 2001.



HotFlashHot Flash Sonnets, Moira Egan ’84, Passager Books 2013. When Egan turned 50, she turned her poetry to the joys and indignities of becoming a woman of a “certain age.” Egan is the author of four poetry collections, an anthology, and nearly a dozen books in translation in Italian. She lives in Rome with her husband, Damiano Abeni.


KidsAre the Kids All Right? B.J. Epstein ’01, HammerOn Press 2013. In this survey of English-language children’s literature that features lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer characters, Epstein explores how LGBTQ characters are portrayed and what this says about contemporary society. Epstein is a lecturer in literature and public engagement at the University of East Anglia.



HinduismOn Hinduism, Irina Gajjar, M.A. ’56, Axios Press 2013. This comprehensive look at Hinduism explores the religion’s history, tenets, philosophy, culture, rituals, mythology, and influence. Gajjar’s other books include Ancient Indian Art and the West, New New York: 3,000 Years Later, and The Gita: A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture.



MidManhattanMid-Manhattan, Alice Harrison ’81, CreateSpace 2013. This novel tells the story of a young couple, Jerry and Amanda; their fateful first meeting at a Central Park concert; and how their romance unfolds against the backdrop of everyday life in Manhattan. Harrison has worked with the United Nations since 1981 and has spent most of her life in New York.



PurimThe Purim Superhero, Elisabeth Kushner ’88, Kar-Ben Publishing 2013. Kushner’s first children’s book tells the story of Nate, a small boy fascinated with aliens and who wants to dress up as one for Purim. But he fears being a misfit in a group of friends dressing as superheroes. He learns from his two fathers the true import of being one’s own self through the example of the Queen Esther, for whom Purim is celebrated. Kushner was the librarian at the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, and this book won Keshet’s national book-writing contest.


HabitatsHabitats: Private Lives in the Big City, Constance Rosenblum ’65, NYU Press 2013. This book reveals how 40 different New Yorkers really live in their brownstones, apartments, mansions, and lofts, and she paints a multitextured portrait of what it means to make a home in the one of the world’s most diverse cities. Rosenblum has written for The New York Times “Habitats” column and has served as editor of the “City” section of the “Arts and Leisure” pages. She is the author of Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.



KateKate and the Kid, Anne Rothman-Hicks ’71 and Kenneth Hicks, Wings ePress 2013. Set in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this novel follows the bond that develops between Kate, who is dealing with the stressors of unemployment, and Jenny, a small child she ends up taking under her wing. Rothman-Hicks and her husband and co-author, Kenneth Hicks, have published two other novels.



UnlikelyUnlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy Dilemma, Barbara Will ’87, Columbia University Press, 2013 (paperback). Will explores the inspiration behind Jewish American writer Gertrude Stein’s English translation of 32 speeches of Marshal Philippe Pétain, the head of state of the Vichy government from 1941 until 1943. She is a specialist on the work of Gertrude Stein and is a professor of English at Duke University.

Leave a Comment