Send news of your recently published book or recording, along with a review copy, if possible, to "Issued," Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Bosworth 101, 50 W. Lorain St., Oberlin, OH 44074-1089. We'll present your review copy to the Oberlin College Library as a gift from you once your news has been published.
An Explanation for Chaos
By Julie Schumacher '81
Soho Press, Inc., 1997
"I never wanted journalism with its pretense of objective reality; I wanted lies which, when molded carefully, painstakingly, opened up the truth like a perfect secret," says the author. Schumacher has continued her search for the perfect lie in her first collection of short stories, many previously published in Atlantic Monthly and California Quarterly, among others. Commended for her thoughtful and imaginative style, Schumacher frequently confronts the theme of finding meaning in contemporary family life, often through the eyes of preteen girls or young women. The collection includes "Reunion," written as an assignment for an Oberlin class. A professor at the University of Minnesota, the author was a PEN/Hemingway finalist for her first novel, The Body is Water.
Strangers at Home
Edited By Carolyn Doggett Smith '65
Aletheia Publications, 1996
Collected for global nomads and individuals raising families abroad, Strangers at Home offers a multiplicity of perspectives on the effects of living overseas and coming home to a country that seems more foreign than the one left behind. Including essays written by individuals who have conducted social-scientific studies of families living between cultures or who have themselves raised children overseas, it is particularly useful for parents want-ing to help children--especially teenagers--adjust and fit in when returning to a foreign "home." Smith, a freelance editor/writer and book publisher in New York City, also edited The Absentee American: Repatriates' Perspectives on America.
Walter Benjamin and the Bible
By Brian Britt '86
Continuum Publishing Company, 1997
There are two polarized concepts of sacred texts: the internalist view, which argues that a text is sacred due to its inherent features, and the externalist view, which claims a text is sacred due to the historical and social activity it spawns. The Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin melded these views, arguing that the two notions are not mutually exclusive. Also a student of semantics, Benjamin found that sacred texts link the "pure language" of the past, which strictly denoted the object described, and the language of the present, which is a degraded condition. Britt both provides a lucid introduction to Benjamin's work and a new vision of his theology and examines his concept of the importance of pure language. Britt, assistant professor of religion at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, has written for The Journal of Religion, Literature and Theology, and The Nation.
Westmoreland Glass: Identification and Value Guide
By Charles West Wilson '59
Collector Books, 1996
This volume is the definitive work on Westmoreland glass, written by a man who has a personal connection to the subject--the grandson of Charles Howard West. Grandfather West spent 50 years as owner and president of the Westmoreland Glass Co., although Wilson rarely heard any mention of the business while he was growing up. Perhaps this is why his curiosity was piqued sufficiently to begin the research which took several years to complete. "Wilson does his forebearer proud," says Antique Collector magazine in a recent review. "The book is crammed with historical information, documentary photographs and color illustrations, as well as analyses of individual pieces." The 336-page reference is profusely illustrated with more than 600 original photographs, from the first cut-and-decorated pieces to the milk glass later mass-produced in the 1940s and 1950s. The book begins with an extensive history of the glass company and its founders, then groups the glass by type: cut crystal or black glass, followed by complexity within the groupings. The examples of opaque glass are familiar to most of us--the "baker's dozen" plates, the animal-covered dishes, various mustard containers, the Rookwood steins, and others. Wilson provides 24 distinctive ways for collectors to identify Westmoreland glass and hopes the volume will reach a wide range of glass enthusiasts. His quest for the history of the family's business having been satisfied, Wilson hopes the book will be as useful in 2050 as it is today, because, he says, "This is the first and the last book I ever plan to write."
Prejudice and Racism
By James M. Jones '63
McGraw Hill, 1997
After 25 years the second edition of this lauded textbook has been released, with numerous additions and refinements by the author. Written from an academic viewpoint, but in an engaging and personal manner, this edition is designed for undergraduate or high-school classes which discuss race relations and the progression of social structure in the United States. Jones attempts to provide evidence that the problems we face are real, and reviews promising pathways toward change. Jones is entering his 15th year as professor of social psychology at the University of Delaware and is working on a new book, Cultural Psychology of African Americans.
Facts About the Congress
By Stephen G. Christianson '84
H.W. Wilson, 1996
The first comprehensive history of the United States Congress from its inception in 1789 to the present, Christianson's book is a 700-page reference guide to the structure and personalities of the central power of our nation, including its leadership, significant issues, key votes, and impeachments. Christianson, an attorney and legal researcher, lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
Romanticism and the Anglican Newman
By David Goslee '62
The Press at Scott Quadrangle, 1996
Although deemed insignificant by most scholars, Cardinal John Henry Newman's Anglican writings reinterpreted Romantic transcendence and serve as a link between secular and sacred Victorian culture, argues the author. Goslee first describes Newman's early renunciation of modern thought, then reflects on the dialogic Romanticism in Newman's work, and finishes by examining how Newman's dialogue with God collapses under the burden of its own success. Goslee is the author of Tennyson's Characters: "Strange Faces, Other Minds," and numerous literary articles.
Land of Rivers
Edited By Peter Mancall '81
Cornell University Press, 1996
Gushing forth from the premise that "America has always been a land of rivers," the book leads the reader on a journey through the history and culture of America's rivers. Their beauty and diversity are reflected in the collection of photographs and illustrations, while songs, historical descriptions, and excerpts from the writings of prominent Americans past and present accentuate this meditation on American rivers. Mancall, the author of Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America and Valley of Opportunity: Economic Culture along the Upper Susquehanna, teaches history at the University of Kansas.
Lesbianism Made Easy
By Helen Eisenbach '79
Crown Publishers, Inc., 1996
In this farcical look at the world of lesbianism, Eisenbach has created an all-encompassing tongue-in-cheek guide to life as a lesbian. Claiming to help smooth the potentially difficult situations of would-be daughters of Sappho, the author pulls no punches in both satirizing and applauding lesbian sexuality and lifestyles. Eisenbach recently directed her play Lesbian Bathhouse off-Broadway and is author of an earlier novel, Loonglow.
The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness: A Physical Basis for Immaterialism
By Samuel Avery '71
Writing for the layperson as well as the professional, the author argues that while science is the great power of western civilization, "further progress of science depends upon a transcendence of the material world." Avery states that physics is simply a manifestation of life, and believes that there is a scientific basis for immaterialism. By melding theoretical physics and everyday experience, he supports the claim that science can explain the realities of special relativity only by taking great exception to the external, material world we live in. Avery lives with his family on a farm in Hart County, Kentucky.
By Robert Devereaux '69
Dell Publishing, 1996
Although marketed as horror, Walking Wounded is more accurately described as psychological suspense. In this, his second novel, Devereaux introduces Katt, a mother and wife who develops magical healing powers that conversely awaken an ability to harm at will. In the supernatural world she inhabits, Katt is drawn into a tangled web of choices that lead her toward a deadly end. Devereaux, a Colorado writer and software engineer, has been applauded for accurately portraying a twisted woman's psyche in both Walking Wounded and Deadweight, his first novel.
New York Criminal Law
Edited by Richard A. Greenberg '66
West Publishing Co., 1996
A recent addition to West's New York Practice Series and intended for the practicing lawyer, this single volume reference edition fully analyzes every article of the New York Penal Law, including its legislative history and interpretive case law. Richard A. Greenberg is a partner in Newman & Schwartz, New York City, and has specialized in criminal law for 25 years.
Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by Young People
Compiled by Sanford Lyne '68
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996
Having made a career as a visiting poet-in-the-schools at all levels of primary education, Lyne has gathered 130 of his favourite poems by children ages 8 to 18 in this warm and emotional look at the formation of individual minds. Exploring school, family, challenges, the soul, love, and death, the poems expose the simplicity and beauty of youthful exuberance and pensiveness. All of the poems were written as in-class work with Lyne or as short homework assignments. Lyne lives in Maryland with his wife, Patricia, and writes and teaches poetry as a facilitator of the John F. Kennedy Center's Arts-in-Education workshops.
First Impressions: Frank Lloyd Wright
By Susan Goldman Rubin '59
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994
Selected as one of the "Books for the Teen Age 1996" by the New York Public Librarians, this volume, describing Wright's controversial and brilliant life, is one in a series on famous artists. Shown in his roles as teacher, husband, art critic and, of course, architect, Wright comes alive through the text and accompanying photographs. Rubin traces his life from a determined childhood and dominating mother to his final great design, the never-built Mile High skyscraper. Rubin, a writer and illustrator in Los Angeles, has numerous children's books soon to be released, including a sequel to her novel for middle-grade readers Emily Good as Gold.
Flowers on the Wall
Written and Illustrated by Miriam Nerlove '79
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1996
Giving a new perspective to the rise of anti-Semitism in the late 1930s, this children's book touchingly portrays the shattered lives of Warsaw Jews through the eyes of a young girl. Provided with paints and brushes, young Rachel transforms a bleak basement apartment into a comforting place of hope, only to leave it behind when the family is moved to the Warsaw ghetto, and finally to Treblinka. Nerlove has written and illustrated over a dozen children's books, including I Made A Mistake and Just One Tooth.