August 2012 Archives

Two Alums Win American Book Awards

Whorled coverThe winners of the 33rd Annual American Book Awards, sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation, include MFA alumna Arlene Kim and BA alumnus Ed Bok Lee. Kim's debut poetry collection, What have you done to our ears to make us hear echoes?, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2011. Lee's second collection, Whorled , was published in 2011 with Coffee House Press; it also won a 2012 Minnesota Book Award for poetry. There are 11 American Book Awards this year, across memoir, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. According to the Before Columbus website, the awards "were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community." The American Book Awards will be formally presented October 7 at the University of California, Berkeley. Congratulations to Kim and Lee!

BA Alum Returns to Bestseller List

The Violinist's ThumbBA alumnus Sam Kean made the New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list for the second time the week of August 12 with his second book The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code (Little Brown). His debut book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements was a 2010 bestseller. Michael Schaub, on National Public Radio, raved, "Kean is one of America's smartest and most charming science writers, and his new book could be perfect for summer readers who prefer some substance with their fun." Kean was a double major in English and Physics. We interviewed him last summer.

Professor Hampl Edits Nonfiction Ploughshares

The fall 2012 issue of the literary magazine Ploughshares was guest edited by Regents Professor and memoirist Patricia Hampl. The all-nonfiction issue features a rare nonfiction piece by novelist and Edelstein-Keller Professor Charles Baxter entitled "What Happens in Hell." Other writers represented include Phillip Lopate and Mary Gordon. The issue is available now.

New Book by Professor Rabinowitz

Cover of Exchanging Clothes.jpegProfessor Paula Rabinowitz is the co-editor with Cristina Giorcelli of Exchanging Clothes: Habits of Being II (University of Minnesota Press), the second volume of a four-part series charting the social, cultural, and political expression of clothing, dress and accessories to decipher how materials offer meanings. This particular volume focuses on the "global exchange of material commodities across time and space but also of the ideas, images, colors, and textures related to fashion." Professor Rabinowitz recently blogged about a clothing exchange in the early '70s that still haunts her: the purchase of a couture Molyneux for $25.

MFA Alum Writes NYT "Modern Love"

MFA alumna Elizabeth Foy Larsen published an essay in the New York Times' Modern Love column on Sunday, August 5. "Untying a Birth Mother's Hands" explores the experience of meeting the birth mother of Larsen's adopted daughter in Guatemala. The decision to search for the birth mother was a fraught one, Larsen writes: "Most important, what if our daughter one day resented that we made such a colossal decision when she was too young to decide if an open adoption was right for her?" Larsen is working on a book about international adoption. In October, she publishes Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun (Bloomsbury) with Joshua Glenn, with whom she writes a column at Slate.

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