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New Books in Literary Studies Podcast by Marshall Poe

New Books in Literary Studies Podcast

by Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Scholars of Literature about their New Books.


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William Kolbrener, “The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition” (Indiana UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 24, 2017


In The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition (Indiana University Press, 2016), William Kolbrener, professor of English at Bar Ilan University in Israel, explores the life and thought of Joseph Soloveitchik, the scion of the Brisk rabbinic dynasty,…

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Allison E. Fagan, “From the Edge: Chicana/Chicano Border Literature and the Politics of Print” (Rutgers UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 24, 2017


What is a book? The answer, at first glance, may seem apparent: printed material consisting of a certain amount of pages. However, when a printed item goes under the scrutiny of readers, writers, editors, scholars, etc., the discussion gets complicated.…

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Rebecca Gould, “Writers and Rebels: Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus” (Yale UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Apr 22, 2017


Rebecca Gould‘s Writers and Rebels: Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press, 2016) is the first existing comparative study of Chechen, Dagestani and Georgian literatures and a major contribution to the study of the cultures of the…

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Benjamin Fondane, “Existential Monday” (NYRB Classics, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


Benjamin Fondane, a Franco-Romanian writer and contributor to the development of existential philosophy in the 1930s and 40s, is in the process of being rediscovered. His work has gained a new relevance in the contemporary period due in part to…

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Audrey Truschke, “Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court” (Columbia UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 03, 2017


Contemporary scholarship on the Mughal empire has generally ignored the role Sanskrit played in imperial political and literary projects. However, in Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016), Audrey Truschke, Assistant Professor of South…

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Steve Aldous, “The World of Shaft: A Complete Guide to the Novels, Comic Strip, Films and Television Series” (McFarland, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Mar 29, 2017


Who’s the black private dick That’s a sex machine to all the chicks? (Shaft) Ya damn right Who is the man that would risk his neck For his brother man? (Shaft) Can you dig it? Who’s the cat that won’t…

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Carrie J. Preston, “Learning to Kneel: Noh, Modernism, and Journeys in Teaching” (Columbia UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Mar 29, 2017


Carrie J. Preston‘s new book tells the story of the global circulation of noh-inspired performances, paying careful attention to the ways these performances inspired twentieth-century drama, poetry, modern dance, film, and popular entertainment. Inspired by noh’s practice of retelling…

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Joseph Lumbard, “The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary” (HarperOne, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 24, 2017


The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (HarperOne, 2015) represents years of effort from a team of dedicated translators and editors (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Joseph Lumbard, Maria Dakake, Caner Dagli, and Mohammad Rustom).…

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Stephen H. Grant, “Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Mar 21, 2017


Henry and Emily Folger were linked together not just by their love for one another, but their shared passion for the works of William Shakespeare. In Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014),…

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Laurence A. Rickels, “The Psycho Records” (Wallflower Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Mar 21, 2017


Reading Laurence RickelsThe Psycho Records (Wallflower Press, 2016) gave me the urge to ask random strangers questions like: Are you haunted by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene? How do you feel about Norman Bates and other cinematic killers…

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Sarah Hammerschlag, “Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida, and the Literary Afterlife of Religion” (Columbia UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 20, 2017


In Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida, and the Literary Afterlife of Religion (Columbia University Press, 2016), Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature at the University of Chicago Divinity School, explores the admiring and at times oppositional philosophical kinship…

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Christopher Pizzino, “Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature” (U of Texas Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Mar 19, 2017


There’s a common myth about the history of comic books and strips. It’s the idea that the medium languished for decades as a sort of time-wasting hobby for children, but now has redeemed itself and can be appreciated even by…

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Gleb Tsipursky, “Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970” (U. Pittsburgh Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Mar 14, 2017


Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016) offers a compelling investigation of Soviet leisure culture. Gleb Tsipursky undertakes an unexpected approach to illuminate some aspects of the USSR history,…

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Meredith K. Ray, “Margherita Sarrocchi’s Letters to Galileo: Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in 17th-Century Italy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 13, 2017


Meredith K. Ray’s new book contextualizes and translates a range of seventeenth-century letters, mostly between Margherita Sarrocchi (1560-1617) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), that collectively offer a fascinating window into the correspondence of two brilliant early modern writers and intellectuals. Margherita

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Glyne Griffith, “The BBC and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean Literature, 1943-1958” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Mar 07, 2017


The BBC radio program “Caribbean Voices” aired for fifteen years and introduced writers like George Lamming, Louise Bennett, Sam Selvon and others to listeners on both sides of the Atlantic. Glyne Griffith’s The BBC and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean

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Andre Carrington, “Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction” (U. Minnesota Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 03, 2017


Have you ever watched a futuristic movie and wondered if there will actually be any black people in the future? Have you ever been surprised, disappointed, or concerned with the lack of diversity demonstrated in many science fiction stories? In…

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Benjamin Schreier, “The Impossible Jew: Identity and the Reconstruction of Jewish American Literary History” (NYU Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Feb 27, 2017


What is Jewish about Jewish American literature? While the imaginative possibilities are numerous many scholars approach literary products with an established notion of a Jewish identity before they reach their subjects. This is one of the central concerns for Benjamin

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Maria G. Rewakowicz, “Literature, Exile, Alterity: The New York Group of Ukrainian Poets” (Academic Studies Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Feb 23, 2017


In Literature, Exile, Alterity: The New York Group of Ukrainian Poets (Academic Studies Press, 2014), Maria G. Rewakowicz explores a unique collaboration of the poets residing in the United States and writing poetry in the Ukrainian language. This research offers…

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David Rosen and Aaron Santesso, “The Watchman in Pieces: Surveillance, Literature, and Liberal Personhood” (Yale UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Feb 09, 2017


“Surveillance and literature, as kindred practices, have light to shed on each other.” When David Rosen and Aaron Santesso considered the discipline of surveillance studies in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001, they saw contributions from political…

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Randy Olson, “Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story” (U. Chicago Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Feb 04, 2017


Randy Olson, author of Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story (University of Chicago Press, 2015), has an unusual background. He is a Harvard-trained biologist and former tenured professor who resigned from his academic post to earn…

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Stephen Brockmann, “The Writers’ State: Constructing East German Literature, 1945-1959” (Camden House, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


Stephen Brockmann’s The Writers’ State: Constructing East German Literature, 1945-1959 (Camden House, 2015) introduces readers to a specific atmosphere–political, cultural, and historical–that accompanied the emergence of East German literature from 1945-1959. Covering almost fifteen years, the research presents insightful observations…

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Richard Jean So, “Transpacific Community: America, China, and the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Network” (Columbia University Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jan 23, 2017


Richard Jean So’s new book studies a group of American and Chinese writers in the three decades after WWI to propose a conceptual framework for understanding intellectual and cultural relations between China and America in the twentieth century and beyond.…

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David Willgren, “The Formation of the ‘Book’ of Psalms” (Mohr Siebeck, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


How was the ‘Book’ of Psalms formed, and why? The first question relates to the diachronic growth of the collection, while the second relates to issues of purpose–to what end are psalms being juxtaposed in a collection? On this show,…

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Sara L. Crosby, “Poisonous Muse: The Female Poisoner and the Framing of Popular Authorship in Jacksonian America” (U. Iowa Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


In this episode of the H-Law Legal History Podcast I talk with Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University at Marion, Sara L. Crosby about her new book, Poisonous Muse: The Female Poisoner and the Framing of

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Melissa Sweet, “Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


Readers of all ages know E. B. White’s work. Charlotte’s Web is the first book many children are read aloud. Elements of Style remains an essential reference book. Almost everyone has a favorite writing by White: his legendary essays; his…

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David Shafer, “Antonin Artaud” (Reaktion/U Chicago Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


“Artaud lived with his neck placed firmly in the noose.” -Bauhaus* David Shafer’s new biography, Antonin Artaud (Reaktion Books and the University of Chicago Press, 2016), situates the life of this enigmatic and fascinating figure in historical context. From his…

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Violeta Davoliute, “The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War” (Routledge, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


In The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War, published by Routledge, Violeta Davoliute calls Lithuania an improbably successful and paradoxically representative case study of 20th century modernization and nation-building? As she…

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Eva Mroczek, “The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity” (Oxford UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed a world of early Jewish writing larger than the Bible, from multiple versions of biblical texts to revealed books not found in our canon. Despite this diversity, the way we read Second…

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David B. Goldstein and Amy L. Tigner, eds. “Culinary Shakespeare: Staging Food and Drink in Early Modern England” (Duquesne UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Dec 19, 2016


Culinary Shakespeare: Staging Food and Drink in Early Modern England (Duquesne University Press, 2016) is a collection of essays that offers new dimensions for reading and understanding Shakespeare’s plays. Responding to a rich scholarship on Shakespeare, the authors shift the…

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Gail Ashton, ed. “Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015/2017)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 14, 2016


Dilapidated thirteenth-century walls as a playscape for today’s children, medieval relics made as fetish objects for twenty-first century enthusiasts, tourism at “the birthplace of King Arthur,” Harry Potter’s pageantry, Game of Thrones‘ swordplay, the Renaissance Faire, York’s mystery plays,…

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Scott Bruce, ed., “The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters” (Penguin, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 28, 2016


Like so many Americans, I’m a big fan of the undead. I look forward to a night of nail-biting when a new episode of The Walking Dead airs and I get excited when Hollywood gears up for the next big-budget…

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Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, “The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World” (Thames and Hudson, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 28, 2016


On today’s program, I talk with Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle about their new book, The Art of the Bible Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World, published by Thames and Hudson (and distributed in the United States by W.…

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Christian Lange, “Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions” (Cambridge UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 21, 2016


Christian Lange’s Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which was recently awarded the British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society’s Book Prize, presents a rich, challenging, and meticulous account of how Muslims have conceptualized the spiritual world across the centuries.…

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Jonathan Brooks Platt, “Greetings, Pushkin! Stalinist Cultural Politics and the Russian National Bard” (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Nov 19, 2016


Greetings, Pushkin! Stalinist Cultural Politics and the Russian National Bard (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016) by Jonathan Brooks Platt explores the national celebrations around the centennial anniversary of Pushkin’s death in 1937. Platt structures his book around the dichotomy of…

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Matthew Pauly, “Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-1934” (U. of Toronto Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 15, 2016


Matthew Pauly’s Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-1934 (University of Toronto Press, 2014) offers a detailed investigation of the language policy–officially termed Ukrainization–that was introduced in Ukraine during the formative years of the Soviet Union.…

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Mary Chapman, “Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing of Edith Maude Eaton” (McGill-Queens UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Nov 12, 2016


Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing of Edith Maude Eaton (McGill-Queens University Press, 2016) is a collection of works–previously published and newly discovered–produced by Edith Eaton, the writer whose literary status seems to escape the limitations…

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Kathryn Kleppinger, “Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and Media in France, 1983-2013” (Liverpool UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Nov 12, 2016


Kathryn Kleppinger’s Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and the Media in France, 1983-2013 (Liverpool University Press, 2015) examines the “paradox of ethnic minority writing” in the work of multiple authors of North African descent over a thirty-year period. Organized…

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Scott Donaldson, “The Impossible Craft” Literary Biography” (Penn State UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 08, 2016


Admiring books that appeal to our hearts and souls, rather often we want to know more about the writers who create them. If a book is a dialogical and communal entity–as readers we also participate in interpreting what we read,…

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Jennifer Glaser, “Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination” (Rutgers UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 07, 2016


In Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2016), Jennifer Glaser, Associate Professor of English and comparative literature and an affiliate faculty member in Judaic studies and womens, gender, and sexuality studies…

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Daniel Moran,”Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers” (U. of Georgia Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 01, 2016


Daniel Moran’s Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers (University of Georgia Press, 2016) provides a compelling investigation of how O’Connor’s initial reputation of a Southern female writer over the years evolved into her status of great American…

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Kate Partridge, “Intended American Dictionary” (Miel Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Oct 31, 2016


We commonly think of Walt Whitman as the great American poet, the gray-bearded bard who captures the democratic music of our country with, as he called it, his “barbaric yawp.” And, sure enough, Whitman thought of himself this way. “I…

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Kristen Case, “Abdication: Emily Dickinson’s Failures of Self” (Essay Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Oct 08, 2016


Emily Dickinson is no ordinary poet. Her intelligent and profound work inspires a fierce attachment in those who love it. I know this first-hand. My wife began reading Dickinson soon after we first met and took to the poems so…

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Kristin Stapleton, “Fact in Fiction: 1920s China and Ba Jin’s Family” (Stanford UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


Kristin Stapleton’s new book opens onto a political crisis in China, and into a spirit of reform touched off by student demonstrations on May 4, 1919. Ba Jin was a teenager from a well-off family in Chengdu during this period.…

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Alisa Solomon, “Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof” (Metropolitan, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Oct 03, 2016


In Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof (Metropolitan, 2013), Alisa Solomon, Director of the Arts and Culture concentration in the MA program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, traces how and why the…

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Mark R. Andryczyk, “The Intellectual as Hero in 1990s Ukrainian History” (U. of Toronto Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Sep 29, 2016


In The Intellectual as Hero in 1990s Ukrainian Fiction (University of Toronto Press, 2012), Mark R. Andryczyk takes his readers to an intriguing territory of dense narratives, arising from a complex network of literary, political, and philosophical connections that were…

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Jan Schwarz, “Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust” (Wayne State UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Sep 26, 2016


In Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust (Wayne State University Press, 2015), Jan Schwarz, Associate Professor of Yiddish studies at Lund University, Sweden, reveals that in the two and a half decades after the Holocaust, Yiddish writers…

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Ellen Widmer, “Fiction’s Family: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Business of Women in Late-Qing China” (Harvard UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Sep 21, 2016


Ellen Widmer’s new book tells a story of the life and work of a literary family in China, in order to open out into a fascinating discussion of the ramifications of that story for how we understand and produce relationships…

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E.R. Truitt, “Medieval Robots: Mechanism, Magic, Nature, and Art” (U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Sep 21, 2016


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Clarke’s third law, coined in 1973, expresses the difficulty that people of any era have in reconciling the bounds of current knowledge with our experiences in a world full of marvels. In…

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Isabelle Hesse, “The Politics of Jewishness in Contemporary World Literature: The Holocaust, Zionism and Colonialism” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Sep 12, 2016


In The Politics of Jewishness in Contemporary World Literature: The Holocaust, Zionism and Colonialism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Isabelle Hesse, Lecturer in English at the University of Sydney, reads a wide range of novels from post-war Germany to Israeli, Palestinian…

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Robert K. Elder, et. al. “Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park” (Kent State UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Aug 29, 2016


Before the war, before the novels, before the four marriages and the safaris, the plane crashes and the bullfighting fascination, Ernest Hemingway was simply a young boy growing up in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Author Robert K.

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Robert O’Kell, “Disraeli: The Romance of Politics” (U. of Toronto Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Aug 11, 2016


Benjamin Disraeli was unique among British prime ministers in the 19th century in many ways, but perhaps none more so than for his career as a novelist. Whereas many scholars have treated Disraeli’s literary endeavors as an aberration born of…

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Mark R. E. Meulenbeld, “Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel” (U. of Hawaii Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jul 25, 2016


Mark R. E. Meulenbeld’s new book looks closely at the relationship between vernacular novels and vernacular rituals in Ming China. Focusing on a particular novel called Canonization of the Gods (Fengshen yanyi), and on a particular set of…

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Josh Lambert, “Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture” (NYU Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jul 18, 2016


In Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture (New York University Press, 2014), Josh Lambert, Academic Director of the Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at UMass Amherst, explores the role of Jews in the history…

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Aisha Geissinger, “Gender and the Construction of Exegetical Authority: A Rereading of the Classical Genre of Qur’an Commentary (Brill, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jul 12, 2016


Aisha Geissinger’s monograph, Gender and the Construction of Exegetical Authority: A Rereading of the Classical Genre of Qur’an Commentary (Brill, 2015), contributes to the growing field of intersections between gender studies and Qur’anic studies. Unlike some recent studies that have…

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Jessa Crispin, “The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries” (U. of Chicago Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


Biography is a genre of largely unexamined power: a literary field that preserves stories of lived lives and, through them, perpetuates notions that there are certain ways lives can be lived. This is particularly true of the lives of women,…

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Sarah Wald, “The Nature of California: Race, Citizenship, and Farming since the Dust Bowl” (U. of Washington Press, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jun 28, 2016


The California farmlands have long served as a popular symbol of America’s natural abundance and endless opportunity. Yet, from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart to Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet

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Susan Kavaler-Adler, “The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers” (ORI Academic, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jun 27, 2016


Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in private practice and founder of The Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis where she is a training analyst, is a prolific writer and thinker celebrated for integrationist approach to Object…

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Ana Foteva, “Do the Balkans Begin in Vienna? The Geopolitical and Imaginary Borders Between the Balkans and Europe” (Peter Lang, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Jun 19, 2016


Starting with Metternich’s declaration that the Balkans begin at Rennweg (a street in the Third District of Vienna), Ana Foteva draws on novels, plays, librettos and travelogues from the 19th through the 21st century to explore the various forms the…

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Pi-Ching Hsu, “Feng Menglong’s ‘Treasury of Laughs’: A Seventeenth-Century Anthology of Traditional Chinese Humour” (Brill, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jun 08, 2016


The Treasury of Laughs was compiled by Feng Menglong in the 1610s. It includes more than 700 humorous skits and jokes from elite and popular sources, rewriting some of them to give the volume a kind of aesthetic and stylistic…

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Mingwei Song, “Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


What does it mean to be young? Mingwei Song‘s new book explores this question in the context of a careful study of the nature and significance of the discourse of youth in modern China. Young China: National Rejuvenation and

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Roy Fox, “Facing the Sky: Composing Through Trauma in Word and Image” (Parlor, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, May 17, 2016


All of us experience trauma at various points throughout our lives. On one end of the spectrum, we have negative experiences from which we tend to think we can recover quickly. This might include a fight with a friend or…

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Dana Sajdi, “The Barber of Damascus: Nouveau Literacy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Levant” (Stanford UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 16, 2016


In her stunning new book The Barber of Damascus: Nouveau Literacy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Levant (Stanford University Press, 2012), Dana Sajdi, Associate Professor of History at Boston College, presents a riveting narrative of the intersection of literature, religion,…

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Maria C. Fumagalli, “On the Edge: Writing the Border Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic” (Liverpool UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, May 12, 2016


The border that divides the island of Hispaniola has been the site of commercial and cultural exchanges, labor migrations, environmental change, and violence. Maria Cristina Fumagalli‘s wonderful, wide-ranging On the Edge: Writing the Border Between Haiti and the Dominican

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Ayesha Ramachandran, “Worldmakers: Global Imagining in Early Modern Europe” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, May 11, 2016


At what point does the world end? More importantly, how did this idea of a whole, unified world emerge to begin with? In Worldmakers: Global Imagining in Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2015) Ayesha Ramachandran illustrates the anticipated…

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Emily Troscianko, “Kafka’s Cognitive Realism” (Routledge, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 02, 2016


In her first monograph, Kafka’s Cognitive Realism (Routledge, 2014), Emily Troscianko set out to answer a brief, cogent question: “Why is Kafka so brilliant? Why do I still want to read his work after all this time? It’s a good…

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Seth Jacobowitz, “Writing Technology in Meiji Japan” (Harvard UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Apr 26, 2016


Seth Jacobowitzs new book opens with a balloon ride and closes with a record-scratching cat, and in between it offers a fascinating history of Meiji media focused on technologies of writing and script. Inspired, in part, by the work of…

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Stern, et al., “The Monk’s Haggadah: A Fifteenth-Century Illuminated Codex from the Monastery of Tegernsee” (Penn State UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Apr 20, 2016


The Monk’s Haggadah: A Fifteenth-Century Illuminated Codex from the Monastery of Tegernsee (Penn State UP, 2015) is unique. The book, edited by David Stern, Christoph Markschies, and Sarit Shalev-Eyni, combines a gorgeous facsimile of a late 15th-century…

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Kate Bolick, “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own” (Crown, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Apr 19, 2016


“There still exists little organized sense of what a woman’s biography or autobiography should look like,” Carolyn G. Heilbrun wrote in her 1988 classic, Writing A Woman’s Life, noting, “Even less has been told of the life of the…

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Marlene Daut, “Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865” (Liverpool UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 18, 2016


Marlene Daut tackles the complicated intersection of history and literary legacy in her book Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 (Liverpool University Press, 2015). She not only describes the…

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Sarah Phillips Casteel, “Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination” (Columbia UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 18, 2016


In Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia University Press, 2016), Sarah Phillips Casteel, associate professor of English at Carleton University, explores the representation of Jewishness in Caribbean literature. She investigates the meaning of two episodes of…

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Minsoo Kang, trans. “The Story of Hong Gildong” (Penguin Classics, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Apr 01, 2016


Minsoo Kang‘s new translation of The Story of Hong Gildong (Penguin Classics, 2016) is a wonderful rendering of a text that is arguably the “single most important work of classic????Ź?Šprose fiction of Korea.” Though Hong Gildong is a popular…

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Sulak and Kolosov, eds., “Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres” (Rose Metal Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Mar 30, 2016


When Marcela Sulak was planning classes in the MFA program she directs at Bar Ilan University, it became clear that the traditional prose/poetry binary was not going to work. In both her own and her students’ writing, there was a…

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Tahneer Oksman, “How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?” (Columbia UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Mar 24, 2016


In? “How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?”: Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs (Columbia University Press, 2016),? Tahneer Oksman? explores the graphic memoirs of seven female cartoonists, whose works grapple with issues of Jewish identity…

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Eubanks, Abel and Chen, eds., “Verge: Studies in Global Asias 1.2: Collecting Asias” (U of Minnesota Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


Verge: Studies in Global Asias is an inspiring and path-breaking new journal that explores innovative forms for individual and collaborative scholarly work. I had the privilege of talking with Charlotte Eubanks, Jonathan E. Abel, and Tina Chen about…

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Jean-Michel Rabate, “The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and Psychoanalysis” (Cambridge UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


Calling into question common assumptions regarding the supposedly antagonist relationship between literary criticism and psychoanalytic reading, Jean-Michel Rabatepaints a picture of reconciliation rather than rift. Drawing from a vast store of cultural incident–from Sophie Calle’s modern art to the…

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Hillary Chute, “Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form” (Harvard UP, 2016)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


In her new book Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form (Harvard UP, 2016), Hillary Chute analyses the documentary power in the comics-form sometimes known as “graphic novels.” Chute is particularly interested in Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Keiji Nakazawa’s…

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Friederike Kind-Kovacs, “Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain” (Central European UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 07, 2016


Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (Central European University Press, 2014) is a richly detailed description of the social practices, debates and discourses that were part of a transnational literary community created by tamizdat –…

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James Davis, “Eric Walrond: A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean” (Columbia University Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


This terrific book follows the itinerary of Eric Walrond’s peripatetic life. Born in Guyana in 1898, Walrond lived in Barbados, Panama, New York, Paris, London. As a writer and sharp observer of those around him, he produced trenchant critiques of…

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Maris Kreisman, “Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture” (Flatiron Books, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Jan 28, 2016


The concept sounds simple: Maris Kreizman‘s Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture (Flatiron Books, 2015), based on her popular Tumblr, pairs up classic celebrity and television images with relevant quotes from literature. But the blend of high…

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Leigh Claire La Berge, “Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s” (Oxford UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 27, 2016


What stories do we tell about finance? How does financial print culture shape our lives? Our guest today explores the narratives we have been told, and tell, about finance. A literary scholar, Leigh Claire La Berge writes about the representations…

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George Cotkin, “Feast of Excess: A Cultural History of the New Sensibility” (Oxford UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 22, 2016


George Cotkin is an emeritus professor of history at California Polytechnic State University. In his book Feast of Excess: A Cultural History of the New Sensibility (Oxford University Press, 2015) he has given us cultural criticism through a set of…

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Jodi Eichler-Levine, “Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children’s Literature” (NYU Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Dec 14, 2015


In Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children’s Literature (New York University Press, 2013), Jodi Eichler-Levine, associate professor of Religion Studies and Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization at Lehigh University, analyses a…

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Nanxiu Qian, “Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China: Xue Shaohui and the Era of Reform” (Stanford UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Dec 11, 2015


Nanxiu Qian, professor at Rice University, discusses her new book Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China: Xue Shaohui and the Era of Reform (Stanford University Press, 2015). Qian argues that the role women played in the late…

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Ranen Omer-Sherman, “Imagining the Kibbutz: Visions of Utopia in Literature and Film” (Penn State UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Dec 08, 2015


In Imagining the Kibbutz: Visions of Utopia in Literature and Film (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015), Ranen Omer-Sherman, a professor at the University of Louisville, looks at literary and cinematic representations of the kibbutz, what he calls the…

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Leah Garrett, “Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel” (Northwestern UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Dec 03, 2015


Finalist, 2015 National Jewish Book Award In her new book Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel (Northwestern University Press, 2015), Leah Garrett, the Loti Smorgon (Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life and Culture at Monash University…

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Kimberly Fain, “Colson Whitehead: The Postracial Voice of Contemporary Literature” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 30, 2015


Colson Whitehead’s fiction has drawn varied criticism. On the one hand, there’s the scholarship of the African diaspora, a tradition that takes the long view of Whitehead–extrapolating him from their existing canon (of Du Bois, Hurston, Ellison, etc.); on the…

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Megan Marshall, “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” (Mariner Books, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Nov 08, 2015


Megan Marshall is the Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor in writing, literature and publishing. Her book Margaret Fuller: A New American Life (Mariner Books, 2013) won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in biography. Marshall has written a beautiful and detailed portrait…

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Tom Sperlinger, “Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching Under Occupation” (Zero Books, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Nov 08, 2015


Tom Sperlinger, Reader in English Literature and Community Engagement at the University of Bristol, joins New Books in Education to discuss Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching Under Occupation (Zero Books, 2015). The book is an account of Tom’s…

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Ilan Stavans and Jorge J. E. Garcia, “Thirteen Ways of Looking At Latino Art” (Duke UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Sep 30, 2015


As demographic trends continue to mark the so-called “Latinization” of the U.S., pundits across various media outlets struggle to understand the economic, cultural, and political implications of this reality. In popular discourse, Latinoas/os are often referred to as a monolithic…

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David Snowdon, “Writing the Prizefight: Pierce Egan’s Boxiana World” (Peter Lang, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Sep 04, 2015


When ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passed away from cancer this past January, he was widely hailed for his innovative style, which mixed heavy does of African American slang and pop culture references. His signature phrases are now commonly used terms…

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Anna M. Shields, “One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China” (Harvard UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Sep 04, 2015


Anna M. Shields has written a marvelous book on friendship, literature, and history in medieval China. One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China (Harvard University Press, 2015) is the first book-length study of friendship in the…

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Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, “Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation” (Grand Concourse Press, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


Poetry is far more than crafting verse. Poetry is a way of thought and a way of being. It seeps into every aspect of a poet’s life only to reveal that it is the life that seeped into poetry. In…

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Mrinalini Chakravorty, “In Stereotype: South Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary” (Columbia UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Aug 02, 2015


In Stereotype: South Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a masterful account of the importance of the stereotype in English language South Asian literature. Mrinalini Chakravorty explores such tropes as the crowd in Salman Rushdie’s…

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Alexander Etkind, “Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied” (Stanford UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Jul 26, 2015


Theoretical and historical accounts of postcatastrophic societies often discuss melancholia and trauma at length but leave processes of mourning underexplored. In Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied (Stanford UP, 2013), Alexander Etkind shows why…

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Derek Sayer, “Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History” (Princeton UP 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jul 24, 2015


Prague, according to Derek Sayer, is the place “in which modernist dreams have time and again unraveled.” In this sweeping history of surrealism centered on Prague as both a physical location and the “magic capital” in the imagination of…

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Carlos Rojas, “Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation in Modern China” (Harvard UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jul 08, 2015


Carlos Rojas‘s new book is a wonderfully transdisciplinary exploration of discourses of sickness and disease in Chinese literature and cinema in the long twentieth century. As its title indicates, Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation in Modern China (Harvard…

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Nick Sousanis, “Unflattening” (Harvard UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 12, 2015


Nick Sousanis‘s new book is a must-read for anyone interested in thinking or teaching about the relationships between text, image, visuality, and knowledge. Unflattening (Harvard University Press, 2015) uses the medium of comics to explore “flatness of sight” and…

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Greg Barnhisel, “Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy” (Columbia UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jun 02, 2015


Greg Barnhisel‘s new book, Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, and American Cultural Diplomacy (Columbia UP, 2015) examines how modernism was defanged, re-packaged, and resold during the Cold War. Barnhisel, an Associate Professor at Duquesne University, reveals that–from its incendiary…

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Magda Romanska, “The Post-Traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor” (Anthem Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jun 02, 2015


Jerzy Grotowsky and Tadeusz Kantor were influential in avant-garde theater in the West in the 1960s and 1970s, receiving high critical regard despite the fact that audiences could not understand the Polish language of the performances. In The Post-Traumatic Theatre

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Paul K. Saint-Amour, “Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form” (Oxford UP, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, May 06, 2015


Paul K. Saint-Amour, Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is a ruminative thinker and meticulous writer. These traits pay dividends in the surprising insights of his new book, Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form (Oxford…

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Eva Illouz, “Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best-Sellers, and Society” (U of Chicago Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 27, 2015


Eva Illouz is professor of sociology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and president of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her book Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best Sellers, and Society (University of Chicago Press, 2014), provides…

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Andrew Cayton, “Love in the Time of Revolution” (UNC Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Apr 21, 2015


Andrew Cayton is a distinguished professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In his book Love in the Time of Revolution: Transatlantic Literary Radicalism and Historical Change (University of North Carolina Press, 2013) he has given us a…

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Lital Levy, “Poetic Trespass: Writing Between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine” (Princeton UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 06, 2015


Since the beginning of the 20th century, Jewish settlement in Palestine and the revival of Hebrew as a national language have profoundly impacted the relationship between Arabic and Hebrew. In a highly contentious political environment, the two languages have been…

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Paula T. Connolly, “Slavery in American Children’s Literature, 1790-2010” (U of Iowa Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Mar 26, 2015


The “peculiar institution” upon which the US nation was founded is still rich for examination.Perhaps this is why it is a subject to which 21st century authors continue to return. In this exploration of slavery, Paula T. Connolly, author…

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Wen Jin, “Pluralist Universalism: An Asian Americanist Critique of U.S. and Chinese Multiculturalisms” (Ohio State University Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 20, 2015


Wen Jin’s book, Pluralist Universalism: An Asian Americanist Critique of U.S. and Chinese Multiculturalisms (Ohio State Press, 2012), compares histories and modes of multiculturalism in China and the United States. Whereas many see few correlations between China’s ethnic policies and…

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Helena Gurfinkel, “Outlaw Fathers in Victorian and Modern British Literature” (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 16, 2015


What is a father? In Outlaw Fathers in Victorian and Modern British Literature: Queering Patriarchy (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2014), Helena Gurfinkel offers an insightful new vision of fatherhood through an engagement with English literature, Freudian psychoanalysisand queer theory. The book…

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Mark Dennis and Darren Middleton, eds., “Approaching Silence: New Perspectives on Shusaku Endo’s Classic Novel” (Bloomsbury, 2015)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Mar 15, 2015


What does it mean to be a martyr? What does it mean to be an apostate? How should we understand people who choose one or the other? These are the questions asked by Shusaku Endo in his novel Silence,…

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Robert P. Burns, “Kafka’s Law: ‘The Trial’ and American Criminal Justice” (U of Chicago Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 13, 2015


Professor Robert P. Burns of Northwestern University School of Law offers an insightful critique of the modern American criminal justice system in his new work Kafka’s Law: ‘The Trial’ and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press 2014). This…

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Justin Martin, “Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians” (Da Capo Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Mar 10, 2015


Biography is, both etymologically and in its conventional forms, the writing of a life. But what is the role of place within that? And how do the stories of lives- some of them well known, others less so- realign when…

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Sarah M. Allen, “Shifting Stories: History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 09, 2015


Sarah M. Allen‘s new book looks at the literature of tales in eighth- and ninth-century China. Shifting Stories: History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014) situates Tang tales in the context…

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Wilt Idema, “The Resurrected Skeleton: From Zhuangzi to Lu Xun” (Columbia University Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Mar 04, 2015


Wilt Idema‘s new book traces a story and its transformations through hundreds of years of Chinese literature. The Resurrected Skeleton: From Zhuangzi to Lu Xun (Columbia University Press, 2014) collects and translates variations of the tale of Master Zhuang…

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Tamara T. Chin, “Savage Exchange” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 30, 2015


Tamara Chin‘s new book is a tour de force and a must-read for anyone interested in early China, the history of economy, or inter-disciplinarity in the humanities. Focusing on the reign of Han Emperor Wu (r. 141-87 BCE), Savage

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Susan Byrne, “Law and History in Cervantes’ Don Quixote” (University of Toronto Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Jan 29, 2015


Please listen to the fascinating conversation I had with Susan Byrne, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spanish at Yale University, about her new work, Law and History in Cervantes’ Don Quixote (University of Toronto…

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R. Keller Kimbrough, “Wondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater” (Columbia UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 23, 2015


In his recent book, Wondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater (Columbia University Press, 2013), R. Keller Kimbrough provides us with eight beautifully translated sekky???? and ko-j????ruri.…

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Jenny Kaminer, “Women with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture” (Northwestern UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jan 20, 2015


Jenny Kaminer‘s new book,Women with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2014)analyzes Russian myths of motherhood over time and in particular, the evolving myths of the figure of the “bad…

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Paola Iovene, “Tales of Futures Past: Anticipation and the Ends of Literature in Contemporary China” (Stanford UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jan 19, 2015


Paola Iovene‘s new book is a beautiful exploration of visions of the future as they have shaped a range of texts, genres, and editorial practices in Chinese literature from the middle of the twentieth century through the beginning of…

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Steven Shaviro, “The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism” (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 16, 2015


Steven Shaviro‘s new book is a wonderfully engaging study of speculative realism, new materialism, and the ways in which those fields can speak to and be informed by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While The Universe of Things:

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Steven Fielding, “A State of Play” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Dec 12, 2014


To understand contemporary politics we must understand how it is represented in fiction. This is the main argument in A State of Play: British Politics on Screen, Stage and Page, from Anthony Trollope to The Thick of It (Bloomsbury Academic,…

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Joshua S. Mostow, “Courtly Visions: The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation” (Brill, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 10, 2014


In pre-modern Japan, Ise monogatari (also known as the Ise Stories or Tales of Ise) was considered to be one of the three most important works of literature in the Japanese language. Joshua S. Mostow‘s new book focuses…

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Beth Driscoll, “The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty-First Century” (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 03, 2014


It is a cliche to suggest we are what we read, but it is also an important insight. In The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty First Century (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014), Beth Driscoll, from University of Melbourne,…

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Melek Ortabasi, “The Undiscovered Country” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 03, 2014


Melek Ortabasi‘s new book explores the work of Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), a writer, folk scholar, “eccentric, dominating crackpot,” “brilliant, versatile iconoclast” and much more. The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio (Harvard University…

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Wai-yee Li, “Women and National Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature” (Harvard Asia Center, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 24, 2014


Wai-yee Li‘s new book explores writing around the Ming-Qing transition in seventeenth-century China, paying careful attention to the relationships of history and literature in writing by women, about women, and/or in a feminine voice. In a series of chapters…

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Harleen Singh, “The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India” (Cambridge UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 18, 2014


The Rani of Jhansi was and is many things to many people. In her beautifully written book The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Harleen Singh explores four representations of the famous warrior…

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Bridget Conor, “Screenwriting: Creative labor and professional practice” (Routledge, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 18, 2014


Bridget Conor’s new book, Screenwriting: Creative Labor and Professional Practice (Routledge, 2014), looks closely at the creative practice and profession of screenwriting for film and television in the US and UK.?  Situated within the critical media production studies paradigm, Screenwriting

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Lawrence Lipking, “What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution” (Cornell UP, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Nov 05, 2014


Lawrence Lipking‘s new book, What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2014) examines the role of imagination and creativity in the seventeenth century developments that have come to be known as the Scientific Revolution. Whereas some…

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Shengqing Wu, “Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900-1937” (Harvard Asia Center, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Sep 25, 2014


Shengqing Wu’s gorgeous new book begins by exploring the image of the treasure pagoda to introduce readers to an aesthetics of ornamental lyricism in Chinese poetry at the turn of the twentieth-century. Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the

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Nabil Matar, “Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall and Progress of Mahometanism” (Columbia UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Sep 18, 2014


In Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall and Progress of Mahometanism (Columbia University Press, 2014), Nabil Matar masterfully edits an important piece of scholarship from seventeenth-century England by scholar and physician, Henry Stubbe (1632-76). Matar also gives…

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William Chittick, “Divine Love: Islamic Literature and the Path to God” (Yale UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Sep 02, 2014


Where does love come from and where will it lead us? Throughout the years various answers have been given to these questions. In Divine Love: Islamic Literature and the Path to God (Yale University Press, 2013), William Chittick, professor…

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Mark Rifkin, “Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance” (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Aug 21, 2014


In? Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance? ? (University of Minnesota Press, 2014),? Mark Rifkin, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and incoming president of the? Native American and Indigenous Studies Association,…

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Martin Joseph Ponce, “Beyond the Nation: Diasporic Filipino Literature and Queer Reading” (NYU Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jul 22, 2014


Martin Joseph Ponce‘s recently published book, Beyond the Nation: Diasporic Filipino Literature and Queer Reading (NYU Press, 2012),? traces the roots of Filipino literature to examine how it was shaped by forces of colonialism, imperialism, and migration. Rather than…

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Christina Laffin, “Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jul 15, 2014


Known primarily as a travel writer thanks to the frequent assignment of her Diary in high school history and literature classes, Nun Abutsu was a thirteenth-century poet, scholar, and teacher, and also a prolific writer. Christina Laffin‘s new book…

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Eric LeMay, “In Praise of Nothing: Essays, Memoir, and Experiments” (Emergency Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 13, 2014


Some people describe a lonesome highway or the middle of a desert town–even a state like Ohio–as “the middle of nowhere.”?  But for others, like Eric LeMay, no such place exists. There is always a “there there.”?  It’s the…

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Lori Emerson, “Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound” (University of Minnesota, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Jun 12, 2014


How much do we really think about the technology that we spend so much time using? More specifically, have you really ever considered the possible effects that the use of technology like your laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc. has on your…

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Xiaojue Wang, “Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature across the 1949 Divide” (Harvard UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, May 15, 2014


1949 was a crucial year for modern China, marking the beginning of Communist rule on the mainland and the retreat of the Nationalist government to Taiwan. While many scholars of Chinese literature have written 1949 as a radical break, Xiaojue

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Michael Saler, “As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality” (Oxford UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 12, 2014


In As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality (Oxford, 2012), historian Michael Saler explores the precursors of the current proliferation of digital virtual worlds. Saler challenges Max Weber’s analysis of modernity as the disenchanting of the…

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett, “Gabriele d’Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War” (Knopf, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Apr 27, 2014


Winner of the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, Lucy Hughes-Hallett‘s biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio is a book with a big mission: to write inventively about the life of someone with whom most everyone outside of Italy is entirely unfamiliar whilst…

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Robert Mitchell, “Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Apr 16, 2014


Robert Mitchell‘s new book is wonderfully situated across several intersections: of history and literature, of the Romantic and contemporary worlds, of Keats’ urn and a laboratory cylinder full of dry ice. In Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and

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Christopher P. Hanscom, “The Real Modern: Literary Modernism and the Crisis of Representation in Colonial Korea” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Mar 16, 2014


In The Real Modern: Literary Modernism and the Crisis of Representation in Colonial Korea (Harvard University Asia Center, 2013), Christopher P. Hanscom explores literary modernism in the work of three writers who were central to literary production in 1930s Korea.…

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Colette Colligan, “A Publisher’s Paradise: Expatriate Literary Culture in Paris 1890-1960” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Mar 10, 2014


From the end of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth, Paris was a center for the publication of numerous English-language books, including many of a sexually explicit, pornographic nature. Colette Colligan‘s new book, A Publisher’s Paradise:

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Adam Henig, “Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey” (2014)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Feb 05, 2014


Alex Haley’s 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family still stands as a memorable epic journey into the history of African Americans during the enslavement period and after. The 1977 televised miniseries was a must-watch event of the…

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Robert Darnton, “On the Future of Libraries”

Author: Marshall Poe
Sat, Jan 25, 2014


Robert Darnton, author of books, articles, and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard. Darnton joins host Jonathan Judaken to discuss the future of libraries, the printed press, and his project – the…

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Scott Cook, “The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation” (Cornell East Asia Program, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 15, 2014


It’s always a joy when I have the opportunity to talk with the author of a book that is clearly a game-changer for its field. In The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation (Cornell University East Asia…

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Erin Khue Ninh, “Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature” (NYU Press, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jan 06, 2014


Erin Khue Ninh is the author of Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature (New York University Press, 2011), which in 2013, won the Literary Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. Ingratitude investigates the figure…

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Sandrine Sanos, “The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism and Gender in 1930s France” (Stanford University Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Jan 05, 2014


Sandrine Sanos‘s new book, The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism and Gender in 1930s France (Stanford University Press, 2013), examines the central roles that gender, sexuality, and race played in the far-right ideologies of the 1930s. Re-reading the…

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Jill Talbot, “Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction” (University of Iowa Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Dec 20, 2013


We all know the commonplace that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. After reading Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction (University of Iowa Press, 2012), I’m inclined to extend this wisdom to titles. Though accurate, Metawritings doesn’t capture…

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Julia H. Lee, “Interracial Encounters: Reciprocal Representations in African and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937” (NYU Press, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 18, 2013


Julia H. Lee is the author of Interracial Encounters: Reciprocal Representations in African and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937 (New York University Press, 2011). Dr. Lee isan Assistant Professor in the department of Asian American Studies at the University of…

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David Tod Roy, “The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P’ing Mei” (Princeton UP, 1993-2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Dec 16, 2013


By any measure, David Tod Roy‘s translation The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P’ing Mei, Vol. 1-5 (Princeton University Press, 1993-2013) is a landmark achievement for East Asian Studies, translation studies, and world literature. Comprising 100…

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Jeremy Dauber, “The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem” (Schocken, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Nov 08, 2013


The first comprehensive biography of? famed Yiddish novelist, story writer and playwright Sholem Aleichem, Jeremy Dauber‘s welcome new book? The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem: The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye (Schocken, 2013) offers readers…

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Jonathan D. Wells, “Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South” (Cambridge UP, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Oct 23, 2013


It’s getting harder and harder to trailblaze in the field of American Studies. More and more, writers have to follow paths created by others, imposing new interpretations on old ones in never-ending cycles of revision. But Jonathan Daniel Wells did…

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Elizabeth Winder, “Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953” (Harper, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Oct 18, 2013


It is a struggle sometimes in biography to find new ways to write about subjects about whom many biographies have been written. This is particularly pronounced in the case of iconic figures of the 20th century (think: Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline…

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Henrietta Harrison, “The Missionary’s Curse and Other Tales from a Chinese Catholic Village” (University of California Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Oct 10, 2013


Henrietta Harrison‘s new book is the work of a gifted storyteller. In its pages, the reader will find Boxers getting drunk on communion wine, wolf apparitions, people waking up from the dead, ballads about seasickness, and flying bicycles. You…

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The NBS Fall Seminar: Sports Memoirs

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Oct 07, 2013


One of the most crowded sections of the sports library is the one devoted to autobiographies and memoirs. The shelves here are constantly adding new titles, by both legends and bit players. For instance, the past week has brought the…

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Annette Kolodny, “In Search of First Contact” (Duke University Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Oct 01, 2013


We all know the song. “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” And now, thankfully, we all know the controversy; celebrating a perpetrator of genocide might say a few unpleasant things about the country doing the celebrating. But there…

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Sarah Churchwell, “Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby” (Virago, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Sep 19, 2013


One phenomenon of movies made of classic novels is that the movie often says a lot more about the time of its making than about the time of the novel. And so Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is more a…

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Carmen Kynard, “Vernacular Insurrections: Race, Black Protest, and the New Century in Composition-Literacies Studies” (SUNY Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Jul 18, 2013


You know you are not going to get the same old story about progressive literacies and education from Carmen Kynard, who ends the introduction to her book with a saying from her grandmother: “Whenever someone did something that seemed…

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Stacy Alaimo, “Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self” (Indiana UP, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Jul 08, 2013


In her book, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (Indiana University Press, 2010), Stacy Alaimo approaches the concepts of “science, environment, and self” in an extremely novel and inventive way. The central concept in Alaimo’s work is that…

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Keith Clark, “The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry” (Louisiana State UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Sun, Jun 23, 2013


What do you do if you accompany a friend on her research trip to Boston University’s Gotlieb Archival Research Center and end up finding a treasure trove of letters, news articles, hand written notes, and original drafts of nonfiction by…

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Patrick James and Abigail Ruane, “The International Relations of Middle-Earth: Learning from the Lord of the Rings” (University of Michigan Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Jun 06, 2013


Patrick James is the Dornsife Dean’s Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. A self-described intellectual “fox,” James works on a wide variety of subjects in the study of world politics. But one of his latest books,…

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The NBS Summer Seminar: Sports Books for Children

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jun 04, 2013


What did you read as a young sports fan? Maybe the sports pages in the local newspaper, or a glossy illustrated magazine? Did your school’s library carry biographies of famous athletes written for children, or did you go straight to…

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Ron Kaplan, “501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die” (University of Nebraska Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, May 17, 2013


WorldCat is the largest online catalog in the world, accessing the collections of more than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories. Using the catalog, a subject search of particular sports turns up the following tally of book titles in…

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Beth H. Piatote, “Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature” (Yale University Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 13, 2013


The suspension of the so-called “Indian Wars” did not signal colonialism’s end, only a different battlefield. “The calvary man was supplanted–or, rather, supplemented–by the field matron, the Hotchkiss by the transit, and the prison by the school,” writes Beth H.

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Andre Williams, “Dividing Lines: Social Class Anxiety and Postbellum Black Fiction” (University of Michigan, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, May 08, 2013


Andrei Williams‘ provocative new book on African American class divisions in Post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow America is sure to spark spirited debate among those interested in how the interplay of economic status and racial identity influence what has been…

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Ian Condry, “The Soul of Anime” (Duke UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Apr 30, 2013


You may come for the Astro Boy or Afro Samurai, but you’ll stay for the innovative ways that Ian Condry‘s new book brings together analyses of transmedia practice, collaboration, and materialities of democracy. The Soul of Anime: Collaborative

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Eric Hayot, “On Literary Worlds” (Oxford UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Apr 19, 2013


Eric Hayot‘s new book is a bold, ambitious, and inspiring call for revising the way we think about, practice, and teach literary history. Pt. I of On Literary Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2012) offers a critical evaluation of the…

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Bruce Rusk, “Critics and Commentators: The ‘Book of Poems’ as Classic and Literature” (Harvard UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Feb 12, 2013


What makes something a poem? What defines “poetry,” and how has that changed over space and time? Critics and Commentators: The ‘Book of Poems’ as Classic and Literature (Harvard University Press, 2012) considers such questions as they chart a path…

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Richard W. Leeman and Bernard Duffy, “The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 30, 2013


The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) is a compendium of 22 orations delivered by African Americans over a span of over 265 years. Co-edited by frequent collaborators…

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Michael Gibbs Hill, “Lin Shu, Inc.: Translation and the Making of Modern Chinese Culture” (Oxford UP, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 23, 2013


What do “Rip van Winkle,” Oliver Twist, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Aesop’s Fables have in common? All of them were translated into Chinese by Lin Shu (Lin Qinnan, 1852-1924), a major force in the literary culture of late…

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Amir Eshel, “Futurity: Contemporary Literature and the Quest for the Past” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jan 22, 2013


In his very recent work, Futurity: Contemporary Literature and the Quest for the Past(University of Chicago Press, 2013), Amir Eshel presents us with a very interesting examination of what he refers to as “futurity” or literature’s ability to provide…

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Katy Price, “Loving Faster Than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein’s Universe” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jan 09, 2013


You were amused to find you too could fear “The eternal silence of the infinite spaces.” The astronomy love poems of William Empson, from which the preceding quote was taken, were just some of the many media through which people…

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Michael Gordin, “The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Dec 19, 2012


When I agreed to host New Books and Science Fiction and Fantasy there were a number of authors I hoped to interview, including Michael Gordin. This might come as a surprise to listeners, because Michael is neither a science-fiction…

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Cosima Bruno, “Between the Lines: Yang Lian’s Poetry through Translation” (Brill, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Nov 26, 2012


Cosima Bruno‘s new book asks us to consider a deceptively simple question: what is the relationship between a poem and its translation? In the course of Between the Lines: Yang Lian’s Poetry through Translation (Brill, 2012), Bruno helps us…

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Christopher Bush, “Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media” (Oxford UP, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Nov 13, 2012


Orientalism, the ideograph, and media theory grew up together. In Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media (Oxford University Press, 2010), Christopher Bush offers a wonderfully trans-disciplinary account of modernism through the figure of the ideograph, or Chinese writing as imagined in…

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Anthony Bale, “The Book of Marvels and Travels” (Oxford UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Nov 02, 2012


Anthony Bale‘s new translation of Sir John Mandeville’s classic account is an exciting and engaging text that’s accessible to a wide range of readers. The Book of Marvels and Travels (Oxford University Press, 2012) recounts a fourteenth-century journey across…

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Ulrich Plass, “Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature” (Routledge, 2007)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Sep 25, 2012


In Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature (Routledge, 2007), Ulrich Plass makes the case for the importance and relevance of Adorno’s often forgotten and derided attempts at literary criticism. Plass specifically draws our attention to five…

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Cory MacLauchlin, “Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces” (Da Capo, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Sep 04, 2012


If you’ve spent any time in New Orleans, you can appreciate the challenge of putting the city’s joie de vivre into words.However, as a New Orleans native, John Kennedy Toole was steeped in the traditions and flavor…

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J. Hillis Miller, “The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Thu, Aug 23, 2012


In his recent book, The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz (University of Chicago Press, 2011), J. Hillis Miller sets outs to address Theodor Adorno’s famous proclamation that to write poetry after Auschwitz is impossible and barbaric. One…

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Koritha Mitchell, “Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930” (University of Illinois Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 29, 2012


Koritha Mitchell‘s Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930 (University of Illinois Press, 2012) is, as described on the publisher’s webpage, “the first full-length critical study of lynching plays in American culture.” Drawing from a…

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Nancy Hargrove, “T.S. Eliot’s Parisian Year” (University of Florida Press, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 15, 2012


When it comes to writers and artists, biography plays a provocative role–yielding insight into both artistic influences and origins. This is especially true with the modernists, in particular T.S. Eliot. After graduating from Harvard University in 1910, the young Eliot…

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John Cheng, “Astounding Wounder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 01, 2012


John Cheng‘s new book Astounding Wonder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) uncovers the material and social circumstances that created the social phenomenon of American science fiction. To a population already enamored…

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Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley, Jr., “Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind” (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, May 15, 2012


Much ink has been spilled in telling the story of the making of Gone With the Wind– be it the book, the movie, or the subsequent musicals and merchandise. So it’s not only refreshing but downright commendable that in…

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Robert Lipsyte, “An Accidental Sportswriter: A Memoir” (Ecco, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 07, 2012


In the summer of 1957, Robert Lipsyte answered a classified ad. He was an English major who needed some cash, and The New York Times was looking for an editorial assistant. He went to work on the night shift…

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Elizabeth West, “African Spirituality in Black Women’s Fiction: Threaded Visions of Memory, Community, Nature, and Being” (Lexington Books, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Apr 09, 2012


Elizabeth West has written an insightful study about the presence of African spirituality in the autobiographies, poetry, speeches and novels of African American women, ranging from Phylis Wheatley to Harriet Wilson to Zora Neale Hurston. West’s book is titled African

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Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, “Dorothy West’s Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color” (Rutgers UP, 2012)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Mar 09, 2012


One lesson that the ever-present trickster figure in African American folklore teaches is how to use signifying to protect one’s intimate self. A challenge of writing Dorothy West’s life is getting beyond the masks she presents before the ever-prying gaze.…

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Cynthia Wachtell, “War No More: The Antiwar Impulse in American Literature, 1861-1914” (LSU Press, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Feb 03, 2012


My favorite book as a teenager (and in fact the only book I ever read as a teenager) was All Quiet on the Western Front. I liked it mostly for the vivid scenes of trench warfare. Teenage boys love…

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Charles J. Shields, “And So It Goes. Kurt Vonnegut, A Life” (Henry Holt, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Nov 09, 2011


The public image of Kurt Vonnegut is that of a crusty, irascible old man. Someone with whom one would want to drink, but never ever fall in love. The Vonnegut we meet in Charles J. Shields’s insightful new biography, And

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Rosamund Bartlett, “Tolstoy: A Russia Life” (Houghton Mifflin, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Nov 04, 2011


I vividly recall a time in my life–especially my late teens and early twenties–when I thought I could be anyone but had no idea which anyone to be. For this I blame (or credit) my liberal arts education, which convinced…

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Gregory Nagy on Homer’s “Iliad”

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Oct 25, 2011


Gregory Nagy In this installment of Faculty Insight, produced in partnership with Harvard University Extension School, ThoughtCast speaks with the esteemed Harvard classicist Gregory Nagy about one of the earliest and greatest legends of all time: Homer’s epic story of…

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Tom Perrotta on Flannery O’Connor

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Sep 23, 2011


Tom Perrotta [Re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s? ThoughtCast] Tom Perrotta, the esteemed author of? Little Children,? Election,? The Abstinence Teacher? and the recently published novel? The Leftovers? (St. Martin’s Press, September 2011)? speaks…

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Alan Jacobs, “The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction” (Oxford UP, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, Sep 12, 2011


In his new book, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Oxford University Press, 2011), Alan Jacobs, Clyde S. Kilby Chair Professor of English at Wheaton College, discusses the state of reading in the United States. Where…

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Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, “Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life” (Paul Dry Books, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Aug 09, 2011


Last spring’s Cricket World Cup was a major global event. Estimates of the television audience for the final matches ranged from 400 million to one billion, while the website ESPNcricinfo.com had an average audience, throughout the entire 43-day tournament, of…

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Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Wed, Jul 13, 2011


Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on…

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Lee Ambrozy, “Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009” (MIT Press, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, Jun 21, 2011


Anyone who has been following the news this year has likely heard of Ai Weiwei. This provocative and gifted Chinese artist-activist has made 2011 headlines for his controversial work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads and for his recent arrest by Chinese…

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Alan Nadel, “August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle” (University of Iowa Press, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Mon, May 30, 2011


Many scholars consider August Wilson to be the premier American playwright of the 20th Century. Alan Nadel is surely one of their number. In the early 1990s, he focused our attention on Wilson’s plays in the outstanding collection of essays…

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J. E. Lendon, “Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins” (Basic, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Feb 18, 2011


Reading J. E. Lendon’s writerly Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins (Basic Books, 2010) took me back to the eventful days of my youth at Price Elementary School, or rather to the large yardon which we had recess.…

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Joyce Salisbury, “The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages” (Routledge, 2011)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jan 21, 2011


I have three cats. They have names (Fatty, Mini, and Koshka). They live in my house. I feed them, take them to the vet, and love them. When they die, I’ll be really sad. After having read Joyce Salisbury’s eye-opening…

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Joanna Levin, “Bohemia in America, 1858-1920” (Stanford UP, 2010)

Author: Marshall Poe
Fri, Jun 11, 2010


You’ve probably heard of hipsters. Heck, you may even be a hipster. If you don’t know what a hipster is, you might spend some time on this sometimes entertaining website. Where do hipsters come from? Let’s work backwards.…

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Jeffrey Reznick, “John Galsworthy and the Disabled Soldiers of the Great War” (Manchester UP, 2009)

Author: Marshall Poe
Tue, May 18, 2010


You may not know who John Galsworthy is, but you probably know his work. Who hasn’t seen some production of The Forsyte Saga? Galsworthy was one of the most popular and famous British writers of the early 20th century…

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