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The Potato Masher Murder

| Filed under: Forthcoming, True Crime, True Crime History
The Potato Masher Murder by Gary Sosniecki. Kent State University Press.

Albin Ludwig was furious. He had caught his wife, Cecilia, with other men before; now, after secretly following Cecilia one evening in 1906, Albin was overcome with suspicion. Albin and Cecilia quarreled that night and again the next day. Prosecutors later claimed that the final quarrel ended when Albin knocked Cecilia unconscious with a wooden potato masher, doused her with a flammable liquid, lit her on fire, and left her to burn to death.

 


So Much More Than a Headache

| Filed under: Forthcoming, Literature & Medicine, Medicine
So Much More than a Headache by Kathleen O'Shea. Kent State University Press.

Editor Kathleen O’Shea has managed to gather a wide selection of helpful excerpts, chapters, poetry, and even a short play in this anthology—all with a view toward increasing our understanding and ending the stigma attached to migraines and migraine sufferers. Unlike clinical materials, this anthology addresses the feelings and symptoms that the writers have experienced, sometimes daily. These pieces speak freely about the loneliness and helplessness one feels when a migraine comes on. The sufferer faces nausea, pain, sensitivity to light, and having the veracity of all these symptoms doubted by others. O’Shea, a professor of literature and a migraine sufferer herself, also includes an original essay of her own reflections.

 


Catholic Confederates

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Forthcoming, The Civil War Era in the South, U.S. History
Catholic Confederates by Gracjan Kraszewski. Kent State University Press

For the majority of Southern Catholics, religion and politics were not a point of tension. Devout Catholics were also devoted Confederates, including nuns who served as nurses; their deep involvement in the Confederate cause as medics confirms the all-encompassing nature of Catholic involvement in the Confederacy, a fact greatly underplayed by scholars of Civil War religion and American Catholicism. Kraszewski argues against an “Americanization” of Catholics in the South and instead coins the term “Confederatization” to describe the process by which Catholics made themselves virtually indistinguishable from their Protestant neighbors.

 


The Beauty Defense

| Filed under: Forthcoming, True Crime, True Crime History
The Beauty Defense by Laura James. Kent State University Press

Justice is blind, they say, but perhaps not to beauty. In supposedly dispassionate courts of law, attractive women have long avoided punish­ment, based largely on their looks, for cold-blooded crimes. The Beauty Defense: Femmes Fatales on Trial gathers the true stories of some of the most infamous femmes fatales in criminal history, collected by attorney and true crime historian Laura James. With cases from 1850 to 1997, these 32 examples span more than a century and cross cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status. But all were so beautiful, as James demonstrates, that they got away with murder.

 


The Health Humanities and Camus’s The Plague

| Filed under: Literature & Medicine, Recent Releases
The Health and Humanities and Camus's Plague edited by Woods Nash. Kent State University Press.

Camus’s The Plague, first published in 1947, is widely regarded as a classic of 20th-century fiction and as an interesting point of reference for the field of health humanities. Woods Nash’s edited collection of essays by diverse hands explores how The Plague illuminates important themes, ideas, dilemmas, and roles in modern healthcare, helping readers—and particularly medical students and professionals—understand issues related to their training and practice in a dramatic and stimulating context.

 


Hemingway’s Short Stories

| Filed under: Hemingway Studies, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Teaching Hemingway
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Sometimes characterized as the most significant author since Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway was an acknowledged master of the short story, with his groundbreaking style and its apparent simplicity and honesty changing the nature of English prose fiction. While in the early 1920s some mainstream editors seemed baffled by their subtlety, today his stories are mainstays in the classroom, taught at all levels from secondary school through university graduate courses.

 


Archetypal Figures in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”

| Filed under: Hemingway Studies, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Hemingway’s short story, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” has secured a place among the greatest works in that genre—the story is widely considered Hemingway’s greatest. To explore the richness of this work, David L. Anderson returns to a somewhat unusual approach, that of archetypal criticism, which allows us to examine the story in more universal, rather than strictly historical, ways.

 


Bigamy and Bloodshed

| Filed under: Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
Bigamy and Bloodshed by Larry E. Wood. Kent State University Press.

In the summer of 1885, ex-convict George Graham bigamously married Cora Lee, foster daughter of nationally known temperance revivalist Emma Molloy, and the three took up residence together on the Molloy farm near Springfield, Missouri. When the body of Graham’s first wife, Sarah, was found at the bottom of an abandoned well on the farm early the next year, Graham was charged with murder, and Cora and Emma were implicated as accessories. As Larry E. Wood notes, this sensational story made headlines across the country and threatened Mrs. Molloy’s career as a prominent evangelist and temperance revivalist.

 


Hemingway in the Digital Age

| Filed under: Hemingway Studies, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Teaching Hemingway
Hemingway in the Digital Age. Edited by Laura Godfrey

How can we convince readers, and especially students, to slow down to the crawl that is often necessary to see the real power in the compressed language Hemingway uses to tell a story? Are there qualities of digital age life that make students, somehow, more connected to Hemingway’s life and his writing? How can we compare the 21st-century “transhumanist” interest in making ourselves into “something more than merely human” with Hemingway’s characters like Nick Adams, Jake Barnes, Frederic Henry, Catherine Barkley, Pilar, Robert Jordan, or Santiago, all of whom similarly wrestle within the bounds of their own mortality? Laura Godfrey has assembled a group of scholars who speak eloquently to these questions.

 


A Woman Condemned

| Filed under: Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
A Woman Condemned by James M. Greiner. Kent State University Press

At first glance, the 1932 Easter morning murder of Salvatore “Sam” Antonio had all the trademarks of a gang-related murder. Shot five times, stabbed a dozen more, Antonio was left for dead. His body was rolled into a culvert south of Albany, New York. It was only by chance that the mortally wounded Antonio was discovered and brought to the hospital. He died in the emergency room without ever naming his assailant.

 


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