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“The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Recent Releases, U.S. History
Taylor Cover

In “The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known,” Paul Taylor examines the Union League movement. Often portrayed as a mere footnote to the Civil War, the Union League’s influence on the Northern home front was far more important and consequential than previously considered. The Union League and its various offshoots spread rapidly across the North, and in this first comprehensive examination of the leagues, Taylor discusses what made them so effective, including their recruitment strategies, their use of ostracism as a way of stifling dissent, and their distribution of political propaganda in quantities unlike anything previously imagined. By the end of 1863, readers learn, it seemed as if every hamlet from Maine to California had formed its own league chapter, collectively overwhelming their Democratic foe in the 1864 presidential election.

 


The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights

| Filed under: History, Recent Releases, Regional Interest, True Crime, True Crime History
Tabac Cover

They have no witnesses. They have no case. With this blunt observation, Mariann Colby—an attractive, church-going Shaker Heights, Ohio, mother and housewife—bet a defense psychiatrist that she would not be convicted of murder. A lack of witnesses was not the only problem that would confront the State of Ohio in 1966, which would seek to prosecute her for shooting to death Cremer Young Jr., her son’s nine-year-old playmate: Colby had deftly cleaned up after herself by hiding the child’s body miles from her home and concealing the weapon.

 


Cadence

| Filed under: Poetry, Recent Releases, Wick Chapbook
Cadence Cover

Having children fundamentally disrupts and remakes us, in terms of body, identity, perspective, and voice. The world shrinks and exponentially expands. Our already-fraught human experience of time is shredded and magnified.

Cadence captures the poet’s point of view as a new mother, reveling in a position of heightened vulnerability and ferocity. The poems in this chapbook are breathless, hyper­attentive to others’ needs, and equally in love with earthliness and repulsed by the monstrousness we enact/bear witness to.

 


Fugue Figure

| Filed under: Forthcoming, Wick First Book
Fugue Figure by Michael McKee Green. KSU Press

The book states plainly that both its speaker and the speaker’s mother have suffered near-deadly head injuries (“when I woke up in the hospital thirty years after you did,” “my head: / rotting pear”), resulting in loss of memory. However, rather than let a taxonomy like “family curse” sit unquestioned, Green writes toward the fugues (i.e., the condition of having one’s identity questioned) by making a kind of fugue (i.e., interweaving song). Johnathan Culler writes that “the fundamental characteristic of the lyric . . . is not the description and interpretation of a past event, but the iterative and utterable performance of an event in the lyric present, in the special ‘now’ of lyric articulation.” The lyric in Fugue Figure allows the unspeakable past to be uttered in the lyric present, and the form of diptychs and triptychs through the book place disparate lyric utterances together on the same page. While lyric addresses allow the reader to reach toward the speaker’s unknowns, the triptychs and diptychs allow the reader to reach toward the unnamable place between left and right signifiers, both adding to the vital enigma of the poems.

 


Learning to Heal

, and | Filed under: Forthcoming, Literature & Literary Criticism, Literature & Medicine, Medicine
Cover image not yet available

What is it like to be a student nurse? What are the joys, the stresses, the transcendent moments, the fall-off-your-bed-laughing moments, and the terrors that have to be faced and stared down? And how might nurses, looking back, relate these experiences in ways that bring these memories to life again and provide historical context for how nursing education has changed and yet remained the same?

In brave, revealing, and often humorous poetry and prose, Learning to Heal explores these questions with contributions by nurses from a variety of social, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds. Readers meet a black nursing student who is surrounded by white teachers and patients in 1940, a mother who rises every morning at 5 a.m. to help her family ready for their day before she herself heads to anatomy class, and an itinerant Jewish teenager who is asked, “What will you become?” These individuals, and many other women and men, share personal stories of finding their way to nursing school, where they begin a long, often wonderful, and sometimes daunting, journey.

 


Reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

, and | Filed under: Forthcoming, Hemingway Studies, Reading Hemingway
Reading Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea Cover

The Old Man and the Sea is a deceptively simple work. An old man goes fishing. He catches a giant marlin after much struggle. Sharks attack and destroy the fish. The old man is left with the bare bones of the fish—a Monday morning “fish story.” But much lies beneath the surface. The action is condensed and presented in carefully crafted images, in words and details selected because of their multivalent meanings, and in several external narrative strands, present primarily as allusions and echoes.

 


Teaching Hemingway and Race

| Filed under: Forthcoming, Hemingway Studies, Teaching Hemingway
Teaching Hemingway and Race/Gary Edward Holcomb

Teaching Hemingway and Race provides a practicable means for teaching the subject of race in Hemingway’s writing and related texts—from how to approach ethnic, nonwhite international, and tribal characters to how to teach difficult questions of racial representation. Rather than suggesting that Hemingway’s portrayals of cultural otherness are incidental to teaching and reading the texts, the volume brings them to the fore.

 


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