book BOOKS

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New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of '58, Sherry B. Ortner '62, Duke University Press, 2003. Pioneering anthropologist and MacArthur Fellow Sherry B. Ortner is renowned for her work on the sherpas of Nepal. Now she turns her attention homeward to examine how social class is lived in the United States and within her own peer group. In New Jersey Dreaming she returns to her Newark roots to present an in-depth look at Weequahic High School's class of 1958, of which she was a member. She explores her classmates' recollected experiences of the neighborhood and the high school, also featured in the novels of Philip Roth, Weequahic's most famous alumnus. She provides a chronicle of the journey of her classmates from the 1950s through the 1990s, following the movement of a striking number of them from modest working and middle class backgrounds into upper-middle or professional/managerial class. Tracking down nearly all of her 304 classmates, she interviewed about 100 in person and spoke with most of the rest by phone, recording their vivid memories of time, place and identity. Most of her classmates were Jewish; a few were African American. Ortner shows how social class affected their lives in many hidden and unexamined ways, demonstrating that her class's extreme upward mobility must be understood in relation to the campaigns against anti-Semitism, the Civil Rights movement, and feminism. New Jersey Dreaming integrates the developments at the vanguard of contemporary anthropology.

Welcome Home! An International and Nontraditional Adoption Reader, Lita Linzer Schwartz, Ph.D. '64, & Florence W. Kaslow, Ph.D. '69 (sw), Eds., The Haworth Press, 2003. In 2001, Americans adopted more than 20,000 children from other countries-a number that may reflect humanitarian motives and/or frustration with the domestic adoption system. Welcome Home! is a practical resource for anyone thinking of establishing a family or adding to his or her existing one. The book provides insight into the adoption process, open adoption, biracial adoption, adopting a special needs child, cultural attitudes, and how to handle an adopted child's questions in later years. It also addresses specific adoption issues, including how to verify an agency's credentials, how an agency negotiates with the birth mother, state and country laws and practices, tax benefits, and expenses such as legal and medical costs. See page 36 for detailed information on the authors and the book.

Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left, Susan Braudy '63, Knopf, 2003. Braudy introduces us to the family of Kathy Boudin '65, a revolutionary who was imprisoned for her 1981 involvement in a botched robbery that resulted in three deaths. Boudin's father was a left-wing labor and civil liberties lawyer, and her mother was an intellectual and poet. We follow Kathy Boudin at Bryn Mawr, organizing the College's maids to demand fair wages; graduating magna cum laude in the top five of her class; failing to get into Yale Law School; helping to plan the riots at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago and the Days of Rage that followed; breaking Black Panther Assata Shakur out of jail; bombing the headquarters of the Manhattan police department and the Capitol building; her trial with her father as her lawyer; her years in Bedford Hills prison as a model prisoner, teacher, and AIDS activist; and finally her release after 22 years. Boudin declined to participate in Braudy's research for the book. Braudy is the author of four other books.

Postcolonial Literature from Three Continents, Judith L. Tabron '90, Peter Lang Publishing, 2003. Judith Tabron '90 has written the first book to treat American literature as postcolonial alongside African and Australian works more traditionally thought of as such. Postcolonial Literature from Three Continents is an interdisciplinary approach to critical theory, providing a springboard for understanding postcolonialism as a study of power dynamics that informs all 20th-century literature in English. Tabron uses the metaphor of fractal geometry to help us think about the complexity of the cultural situation of a text or an author, namely Nigerian Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Hilda Doolittle '09's Helen in Egypt, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Australian Patrick White's Voss. The four primary themes of technology, memory, language, and geography illuminate both the colonized and colonizing positions of these works. Tabron, an instructor at Slippery Rock University (PA), has taught writing and literature and spent seven years in the field of academic computing. Her current research regards the connections between capitalism and imperialism as expressed in the American literature and popular culture of the early 20th century, and postcolonial responses to it in anglophone literature around the world.

Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens, Rebecca Bushnell, M.A. '78, Cornell University Press, 2003. English gardening books tell a fascinating tale of the human love for plants and our will to make them do as we wish. These books show gardeners who, like poets, imagine not just what is but what should be. Like early modern books of secrets, early gardening manuals promise the reader power to alter the essential properties of plants. Green Desire describes the innovative design of the old manuals, examining how writers and printers marketed them as fiction as well as practical advice for aspiring gardeners, inspiring dreams of power and self-improvement, fantasies of beauty achieved without work, and hopes for order in an unpredictable world-not so different from the dreams of gardeners today.

Social Work with Groups, Helen Northen, Ph.D. '53 (sw), and Roselle Kurland, Columbia University Press, 2003. When should someone not be admitted to a group? How can a reluctant child be persuaded to participate in a group? What is the best way to deal with issues of low self-esteem? With step-by-step guidance, Social Work with Groups addresses such questions, as well as the ethical challenges that working with groups entails. Helen Northen, a professor emerita in the School of Social Work of Southern California, is the coeditor of this textbook, which opens with an instructive survey of the roots and development of social work, from the first YMCA to the establishment of the NASW. She and Kurland contribute to the integration of theory and research that forms the basis of group social work practice, setting forth a generic framework for practice with diverse groups.

Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader, Ann Cooper Albright '81 & David Gere, Eds., Wesleyan University Press, 2003. This collection of 21 essays by dancers, scholars, and historians is the first comprehensive overview of improvisation in dance. Until now, discussion of improvisation in dance has focused mainly on the postmodern form known as contact improv. Taken by Surprise reflects the development of improvisation as a compositional and performance mode in a wide variety of dance contexts, including dance traditions from around the globe, such as Yoruban masked dance, Indian Bharatanatyam, and flamenco. The book also considers computer-aided choreography and recent innovations in tap dancing, and prescribes improvisation for the ills of modernity, arguing that amidst rapid change, adjustment comes easier if we allow ourselves to be "taken by surprise" any time, anywhere. Albright is associate professor of dance at Oberlin College, where she teaches dance, performance and women's studies.

The Living Art of Greek Tragedy, Marianne McDonald '58, Indiana University Press, 2003. McDonald offers a panoramic view of Greek tragedy, linking the ancient world to our modern one by defining the permanent relevance of the work of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. She analyses the original dramas, then discusses modern productions, trans-lations and adaptations. McDonald is professor of classics and theater at the University of California in San Diego.

Lesbian Rule: Culture and Criticism and the Value of Desire, Amy Villarejo '85, Duke University Press, 2003. Investigating what allows viewers to perceive an image or narrative as "lesbian," Villarejo presents a theoretical exploration of lesbian visibility. Integrating cinema studies, queer and feminist theory, and cultural studies, Villarejo illuminates the contexts within which the lesbian is rendered visible. Toward that end, she analyzes key portrayals of lesbians in public culture, particularly in documentary film. She considers a range of films, from documentaries about Cuba and lesbian pulp fiction to "Exile Shanghai" and "The Brandon Teena Story." In doing so she brings to light a nuanced economy of value and desire, arguing that lesbian visibility operates simultaneously as an achievement and a ruse, a possibility for building a new visual politics and a way of rendering static and contained what lesbian might mean. Villarejo received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburg and is associate professor in the department of theater, film and dance at Cornell University. She is the author of Queen Christina.

The Making of a Christian Aristocracy: Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire, Michele Renee Salzman, Ph.D. '81, Harvard University Press, 2003. What did it take to cause the Roman aristocracy to turn to Christianity, changing cen-turies-old beliefs and religious traditions? Salzman takes a fresh approach to this much-debated question. Focusing on a sampling of individual aristocratic men and women as well as on writings and archeological evidence, she brings new understanding to the process by which pagan aristocrats became Christian, and Christianity became aristocratic. Roman aristocrats would seem to be unlikely candidates for conversion to Christianity. Pagan and civic traditions were deeply entrenched among the educated and politically well-connected. Men who held state offices often were also esteemed priests in the pagan state cults. Yet somehow in the course of the fourth and early fifth centuries, Christianity and the Roman aristocracy merged. Examining the world of the ruling class-its institutions and resources, its values and style of life-Salzman's study yields new insight into the religious revolution that transformed the late Roman Empire.

Informed Consent: Information Production and Ideology, Lisa R. Schiff '87, Scarecrow Press, 2003. Census takers in all walks of life exercise great care in determining what information is to be collected, how it is to be recorded, and how the findings are ultimately to be presented. But who decides which evaluation frameworks and indicators are to be used? Do all concernedócensus takers and respondentsóview those indicators in the same manner? Informed Consent analyzes the interplay between ideology and information. Through extensive research on how information about the homeless is generated and interpreted, Schiff offers both hard evidence and a convincing argument for questioning "how service providers create forms and clients complete them, how advocates administer surveys and public agencies compile counts." At the same time, she explores the day-to-day implications of her findings by demonstrating how competing understandings affect prevailing ideologies, which in turn affect our attempts at social change. Schiff is an information engineer at Interwoven, Inc. She received her Ph.D. in library and information studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

El Doble de Amigos/ Twice as Many Friends, Sol y Canto, Rounder Kids, 2003. Sol y Canto, which translates as "sun and song," is an internationally ac-claimed band known for high-energy, multi-instru-mental music. Band leaders Rosi Amador '81 and her spouse, Brian, present a stew of folk and dance rhythms celebrating the African and European roots of Latin American music. For their first family album, "El Doble de Amigos," the Amadors included their twin daughters and a children's chorus. Education activity ideas are included in the CD, and an in-depth guide for kids, parents and teachers is available at solycanto.com.

Full House, Wendy Fairey '64, Southern Methodist University Press, 2003. Fairey's first work of fiction centers around Jenny, a professor of literature, whose wry voice informs the 11 linked stories that make up the collection. An ardent bicyclist, mother of two, and avid poker player, Jenny's bisexuality is expressed in a series of mid-life adventures. Set in contemporary Manhattan and East Hampton, Long Island, with flashbacks to her childhood in Southern California, most of the stories involve an on-going women's poker game; all of them ruminate on the pleasures and poignancies of love, family, and friendship. One reviewer calls Fairey "a wickedly candid storyteller." Fairey teaches literature and creative writing at Brooklyn College. She is the author of One of the Family, a memoir of growing up in Hollywood as the daughter of gossip columnist Sheila Graham and discovering the identity of her true father, Britist philosopher A.J. Ayer.

Year of No Rain, Alice Mead '73, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2003. In 1999, 11-year-old Stephen Majok watches as his friend Wol joins a circle of dancers. Wol, 14, is engaged to Stephen's sister. Wol wants to marry because he might join the guerrillas in southern Sudan and fight the northern government soldiers. He wants a wife to remember him. Stephen thinks Wol is crazy. Children should study. But because of the civil war, there has been no school in their village for more than a year. All Stephen has left from his student days is his books and one precious pencil, and the hunger for knowledge. Then, suddenly-but not unexpectedly-exploding bombs are heard in the tiny village. Stephen's mother tells him to hurry, pack his bag, and hide beyond the forest with Wol and their friend Deng. Stephen grabs his geography book, his pencil, and little else. He does not want to leave his mother, sister, and the life he loves. Mead emphasizes the attachment all humans have to the small place on earth we call home and our resistance to being displaced, even when our very lives are threatened. Mead is the author of many highly acclaimed novels, including Junebug and Girl of Kosovo, both NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies. A former art teacher, she lives in Maine and founded two schools for mainstreaming disabled preschoolers. See www.alicemead.com for more information.

Calpurnia, Anne Scott (Anne Scott Beller '52), Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. In her first novel, Scott tells the story of Elizabeth Oliver, who oversees the disposal of a grand Philadelphia mansion, Calpurnia. While managing the sale of the 100-year-old house, Elizabeth finds herself piecing together the mysterious life of Maribel Archibald Davies and her heirs, each of whom make a visit to Calpurnia. Elizabeth is drawn further into the family's intrigues and closer to a revelation of Calpurnia's secrets. The Library Journal called Calpurnia "droll and perceptive" and "a classic whodunit with ample twists." Scott has a master's degree in medical anthropology and has worked for the New York City Transit Police, the New York City Board of Education, and the New York City Partnership.



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