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Literature & Literary Criticism

Learning to Heal

, and | Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Literature & Medicine, Medicine
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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.

 


Sudden Heaven

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism
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Ruth Pitter (1897–1992) may not be widely known, but her credentials as a poet are extensive; in England from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s she maintained a loyal readership. In total she produced 17 volumes of new and collected verse. Her A Trophy of Arms (1936) won the Hawthornden Prize for Poetry in 1937, and in 1954 she was awarded the William E. Heinemann Award for The Ermine (1953). Most notably, perhaps, she became the first woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1955; this unprecedented event merited a personal audience with the queen.

 


The Faun’s Bookshelf

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism
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While visiting with Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy Pevensie notices a bookshelf filled with such titles as Nymphs and Their Ways and Is Man a Myth? Beginning with these imaginary texts, Charlie W. Starr offers a comprehensive study of C. S. Lewis’s theory of myth, including his views on Greek and Norse mythology, the origins of myth, and the implications of myth on thought, art, gender, theology, and literary and linguistic theory. For Lewis, myth represents an ancient mode of thought focused in the imagination—a mode that became the key that ultimately brought Lewis to his belief in Jesus Christ as the myth become fact.

 


The Lion in the Waste Land

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism
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As bombs fell on London almost nightly from the autumn of 1940 through the summer of 1941, the lives of ordinary people were altered beyond recognition. A reclusive Oxford lecturer found himself speaking, not about Renaissance literature to a roomful of students but about Christian doctrine into a BBC microphone. A writer of popular fiction found herself exploring not the intricacies of the whodunit but the mysteries of suffering and grace. An erudite poet and literary critic found himself patrolling the dark streets and piecing together images of fire and redemption. C. S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and T. S. Eliot became something they had not been before the war: bearers of a terrible, yet triumphant, message that people could not expect to be spared from pain and suffering, but they would be redeemed through pain and suffering.

 


Her Voice Will Be on the Side of Right

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Women's Studies
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Decades before the Civil War, the free American public was gripped by increasingly acrimonious debates about the nation’s “peculiar institution” of slavery. Ministers considered the morality of slavery from their pulpits, legislators debated it in the halls of government, professors discussed it in their classrooms, and citizens argued about it in their communities. Antislavery women wrote novels and stories designed to convince free Americans about slavery’s evils, to discuss the future of abolitionism, and to debate the proper roles of free and enslaved women in the antislavery struggle. Many antebellum writers and editors believed fiction was an especially genderappropriate medium for women to express their ideas publicly and a decidedly effective medium for reaching female readers. Believing that women were naturally more empathetic and imaginative than men, writers and editors hoped that powerfully told stories about enslaved people’s sufferings would be invaluable in converting free female readers to abolitionism.

 


“There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale”

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Devoted to Tolkien, the teller of tales and cocreator of the myths they brush against, these essays focus on his lifelong interest in and engagement with fairy stories, the special world that he called faërie, a world they both create and inhabit, and with the elements that make that world the special place it is. They cover a range of subjects, from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings and their place within the legendarium he called the Silmarillion to shorter works like “The Story of Kullervo” and “Smith of Wootton Major.”

 


The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Though it highlights just one year of writing, this third volume of The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury represents a crucial moment at the midpoint of his first full decade as a professional writer. The original versions of the 1940s stories recovered for The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, presented in the order in which they were written and first sent off to find life in the magazine market, suggest that Bradbury’s masks didn’t always appeal to his editors. The Volume 3 stories were all written between March 1944 and March 1945, and the surviving letters of this period reveal the private conflict raging between Bradbury’s efforts to define a distinct style and creative vision at home in Los Angeles and the tyranny of genre requirements imposed by the distant pulp publishing world in New York.

 


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