Books and Writers

Brecht at the Opera (2008, University of California Press) by Joy Calico, associate professor of musicology. Calico’s book analyzes the German playwright’s lifelong ambivalent engagement with opera, arguing that Brecht’s simultaneous work on opera and Lehrstück (or “learning play”) in the 1920s generated the new concept of audience experience that would come to define epic theater.
  A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America (2008, Viking) by Dudley Clendinen, BA’68. Former reporter Clendinen spent 400 days and nights living with his octogenarian mother in Canterbury Towers, an apartment building in Tampa Bay, Fla., for the over-65 set, to write this beautiful, hilarious and frequently moving look at old age in the new millennium.
The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters (2008, Grand Central Publishing) by Lorraine López, assistant professor of English. In this magical novel about four sisters living with a mysterious family secret, the Gabaldóns—each named for a different 1940s-era movie star—find strength as a family and in the individual gifts left to them that echo different aspects of each sister’s personality.
  Raising Freedom’s Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future After Slavery (2008, New York University Press) by Mary Niall Mitchell, BA’91. Analyzing how black children were portrayed in novels, newspapers, photos, letters and court cases from 1850 to the official end of Reconstruction in 1877, Mitchell demonstrates how Americans by turns challenged and reinforced the racial inequality fostered under slavery.
A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture—Since 1929 (2008, University Press of Kentucky) by Paul K. Conkin, MA’53, PhD’57, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus. Historian Conkin examines the agricultural and social changes that have radically remade family farms since the Depression while providing detailed analysis of current trends and the historical factors that shape them.

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