book ALUMNAE/I BOOKS

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book coverSteel Ashes, Karen Rose Cercone '79, Berkley Books Prime Crime Mystery, 1997. This historical mystery, with a hint of romance and adventure, is set in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh. The book’s central mystery revolves around the turmoil that a booming economy created among new immigrants, socialist reformers and established industrial interests. Helen is a social worker committed to fighting corruption and injustice, and Milo is a newly promoted city detective who has to conceal his own immigrant background to pursue his police career. Who killed two poor socialist immigrants, and who’s behind the sinister cover-up?

book coverThe Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion, John D. Caputo, PhD '68, Indiana University Press, 1997. The author examines the religious motifs that have emerged in Derrida’s later works. Caputo’s Derrida is a man of faith who bridges Jewish and Christian traditions. The deep messianic, apocalyptic and prophetic tones in Derrida’s writings, he argues, bespeak his broken covenant with Judaism. This book ponders the implications of deconstruction for an understanding of religion and faith today.

book coverThe Horns of Elfland, Co-edited by Ellen Kushner '77, Signet/Onyx, 1997. This is an anthology of 15 original tales of music and magic. The stories, from such renowned fantasists as John Brunner, Terri Windling, Susan Palwick and Michael Kandel, bring to life the mystical power of music from Elfland to the contemporary world.

book coverGlorious American Quilts: The Quilt Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, Elizabeth V. Warren '72, Penguin Studio, 1996. The Museum of American Folk Art in New York City possesses one of the country’s largest collections of quilts. This book is the first comprehensive guide to the museum’s collection and features nearly 150 color plates and 44 black and white illustrations.

book coverPreaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit, Alyce M. McKenzie '77, Westminster John Knox Press, 1996. Proverbs, both biblical and contemporary, offer effective tools for conveying messages with impact. The author shows how to reclaim these powerful tools for today’s pulpit.

book coverEdith Wharton’s Travel Writing: The Making of a Connoisseur, Sarah Bird Wright '55, St. Martin’s Press, 1997. The author, whose essay on this subject appeared in the Winter 1996 Bulletin, reveals how Wharton enacted a new didactic of tourism by reconstituting the "aesthetic spectra" in her travel texts. She argues that it was cultural competence, or taste, on the part of Wharton that allowed her to integrate scholarly and imaginative approaches to travel. She shows how the deepest foundations of Wharton’s novels inhere in her connoisseurship, which is sharpened and made explicit in her works of travel.

book coverYour Baby's First Year: Spiritual Reflections on Infant Development, Ruth Ann Parish '73, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1997. The pediatrician and mother of two shares both her medical expertise and her spiritual insights in this collection of short meditations for the busy new parent.

book coverHystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media, Elaine Showalter '62, Columbia University Press, 1997. Showalter argues that modern claims of chronic fatigue syndrome, alien abduction, recovered memory, Gulf War syndrome, are all really manifestations of mass cultural hysteria. Epidemics of hysteria are spread through stories, which she calls "hystories." In the current cultural climate, she believes, personal troubles are blamed on everything from devil-worshipping sadists and curious extraterrestrials to conspiring governments.

book coverPainful Partings: Divorce and Its Aftermath, Lita Linzer Schwartz, PhD '64 and Florence W. Kaslow, PhD (sw) '69, Wiley, 1997. This book covers emerging alternatives to litigation in divorce -- like mediation -- and looks at sensitive legal matters such as physical and emotional abuse and child custody. It also examines timely issues like fathers’ rights, mid-life divorce, and what happens when one partner exits a marriage for a homosexual relationship.

book coverThey Make Themselves: Work and Play Among the Baining of Papua New Guinea, Jane Fajans '71, University of Chicago Press, 1997. For years the Baining were considered "unstudiable" by anthropologists because their culture seemed devoid of any cultural or social structure, lacking the complex belief systems and social practices that characterize other traditional peoples of Papua New Guinea. Fajans argues that the Baining define themselves not through intricate cosmologies or social networks but through the meanings generated by their own productive and reproductive work. Her ethnography offers a new model of social theory, one based on subjective consciousness rather than unconscious social learning.

book coverClinical Understanding, Gail Simon Reed '64, Jason Aronson, 1996. The author confronts the central question of psychoanalytic technique: How does an analyst come to understand a patient? Developing her approach around a contemporary version of classical psychoanalytic theory, she describes a methodology that enables the therapist to understand a patient’s central unconscious organization in the clinical situation. She argues that classical theory provides analysts with the most flexible, least rigid method of discovering meaning in the analytic situation.

book coverFor-Giving; A Feminist Criticism of Exchange, Genevieve Vaughan '61, Plain View Press, 1997. In this look at language and economics, the author identifies gift-giving, arising from women’s nurturing, as the basis for language and culture. She argues that a profit-motivated world economy has led to environmental destruction, war and the enormous gap between wealth and poverty; it must be replaced with a gift-based economy where needs are identified and met without strings attached.

book coverChildren from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey around the World, Maya Ajmera '89 and Anna Rhesa Versola, SHAKTI for Children, 1997. Children and young people will learn about their counterparts in other countries, through photographs, maps and geographical facts. In an A to Z format with a country for each letter of the alphabet, the book describes and pictures daily life and special customs around the world.

book coverNo Time for an Everyday Woman, Wenda Wardell Morrone '64, St. Martin's Press, 1997. Campaign consultant Lorelei Muldoon becomes the next target of assassins who killed her lover, Montana Senator Fred "Bandit" Colman. After the plane crash which kills the senator, she is taken under the wing of Claud Willetts, a gambler with mysterious connections who helps her elude vigilante lawmen, the media, Senator Coleman’s widow, and an interior decorator moonlighting as a smuggler -- all of whom want to get Lorelei. Lorelei just wants to get out of Montana in one piece.

book coverInside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement, Mary Thom '66, Henry Holt, 1997. The author, who until recently was the executive editor of Ms. and had been with the magazine since its inception in 1972, has seen Ms. in each of its incarnations and is the perfect person to relay its turbulent history. She offers a look into the history of the groundbreaking institution, from Gloria Steinem’s inspiration for the magazine, through the struggle for the ERA and backlash against feminism in the Reagan years, to the battles Ms. fought with its advertisers to make ads conform to feminist standards and finally the decision in 1991 to turn the magazine into an ad-free publication.

book coverNatural Eloquence: Women Reinscribe Science, Co-edited by Barbara Gates, PhD '72, University of Wisconsin Press, 1997. A collection of essays examining the work of both lesser-known women of science from the 19th century and prominent 20th-century figures, this volume raises questions about marginalization, popularization, and originality. Some essays show how women pioneered in describing the natural histories of Canada, Australia, and the United States. Others look at the ways British and American science writers positioned themselves to address audiences of women, children and the working class. Women also established literary traditions in science, tested the limits of established scientific writing, provided alternate visions of science, and fashioned new representations of self and nature.

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