August 2012 Articles

Reading Room

Women Writers Get Their Due

Elaine Showalter ’62 wins prestigious award for the first comprehensive history of American women writers.

Elaine Showalter ’62, professor emerita of English at Princeton University, has won the 2012 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism for her book A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (Knopf 2009). The $30,000 award—the largest annual cash prize in English-language literary criticism—is administered for the Truman Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Hailed as “capacious, engaging, and opinionated,” in the New York Review of Books, A Jury of Her Peers examines more than 250 women writers, including the famous—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O’Connor, and Toni Morrison, among others—and the little known, from the early American best-selling novelist Catharine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell. “I’m deeply honored by this award,” says Showalter in a post by the University of Iowa announcing the award. “I think that Truman Capote, as the longtime friend of Harper Lee, would be happy to see the prize go to the first literary history of American women writers.”



Sin and Filth in Medieval Culture: The Devil in the Latrine, Martha Bayless ’80, Routledge 2011. This new contribution to the history of the body analyzes the role of filth as the material counterpart of sin in medieval thought. Bayless is an associate professor of English at the University of Oregon.



Alphabet Movers, Teresa Benzwie, M.S.S. ’94, Temple University Press 2011. Children learn best through movement and play, and this book inspires kids to create a dance with a specific letter or to jump, hop, leap, and skip from letter to letter to spell words and have fun. Benzwie is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice at the Center for Creative Change.



Integrating Psychodrama and Systemic Constellation Work, Karen Carnabucci, M.S.S. ’94, and Ronald Anderson, Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012. This book explores the history, principles, and methodology of Systemic Constellation Work, a new alternative healing process. Carnabucci is a licensed social worker and board-certified trainer, educator, and practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy.



A Life Interrupted: The Long Night of Marjorie Day, Ruth Levy Guyer ’67, 2012. This true story chronicles the life of Marjorie Day, a brilliant and charismatic woman who lapsed into a coma and was gravely ill for 17 years, then suddenly recovered and went on to lead a remarkable and unique life. Guyer is a writer and commentator whose interests include medical ethics, environmental ethics, social justice, infectious diseases, narrative medicine, and public health.


Fingerprints, Marcia Leonard ’52, Passionate Writer Publishing 2012. This suspense novel hinges on the mysterious murder of a doctor. Leonard published her first novel in 2000 and currently lives in Maine.




The Origin of Sin, Martha A. Malamud ’78, Cornell University Press 2011. This book presents the first new English translation of Prudentius’ Hamartigenia in more than 40 years, as well as an interpretive essay by Malamud. Malamud is an associate professor of classics at the University at Buffalo.



Wise Irish Women, Patricia Connorton Kagerer and Laura Prendergast Gordon ’80, The Small Press 2012. This book collects the stories of 36 successful and inspiring Irish women such as Mary Higgins Clark and Marianne McDonald. Gordon is presently serving as a deputy city attorney for the city of El Paso, Texas.



Today I Am a Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah Around the World, Barbara Vinick ‘65 and Shulamit Reinharz, Indiana University Press 2011. This book shares stories that reveal how Judaism defines the bat mitzvah in widely disparate settings around the world. Vinick is affiliated with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University.





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