D. Allen (MFA 2017)
A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe [poetry]
The Operating System, 2019
From the publisher: "A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, poems, dictionary erasures, and images that emerged out of the poet’s diagnosis, in their mid-twenties, with a connective tissue disorder. Slipping in and out of intimate interiors, open fields, city sidewalks, flowering gardens, construction sites, doctors' offices, and fluctuating shorelines, the speaker gathers answers to the question: What holds us together when the body falls apart? Imperfect solutions arrive in the form of queer intimacy and kinship, long-term relationships with landscapes, collections of strange and familiar objects, and language itself. A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe is constantly breaking and and putting itself together in a messy cycle of adaptation and resistance."
M.E. Bakos (BA 1985)
Deadly Flip [fiction]
Cozy Cat Press, 2018
From the publisher: "Flipping houses can be deadly! Katelyn takes on a home renovation in Hiptown, Minnesota, that 'has history . . . a murder' at BFF Myra's urging. A young woman had been killed by the home's prior owner, and the girl didn't get the justice she deserved. Katelyn finds a hidden diary, foils an intruder, and discovers more secrets while delays and expenses escalate as she renovates the house. Could the victim's restless spirit be haunting the house, making it the rehab from hell? Can she find peace and justice for the dead woman? To get the renovation back on track, Katelyn, Myra, ex-hubby Eddy (it's complicated), and handyman Wayne hold a séance and bring in paranormal investigators. Will this finally rid the house of bad karma? To top it off, Eddy is acting just plain weird, and hunky Sheriff Don Williams is a puzzle. Nosy neighbor, Mrs. Gilman, and Boots, the rescue cat, add to the fun in the second Home Renovator Mystery."
Mary Anderson Dupont (BA 1989)
Mrs. Ambassador: The Life and Politics of Eugenie Anderson
MNHS Press, 2019
From the publisher: "Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Diplomat. Eugenie Anderson of Red Wing, Minnesota, played many roles in a life that virtually spanned the twentieth century. She cherished her family but purposely sought a larger stage, one on which she could affect world events and contribute to a brighter future. Anderson brought energy and eloquence to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, becoming a friend and lifelong advisor to Hubert Humphrey. Anderson achieved historic diplomatic status when President Harry Truman appointed her the first woman ambassador for the United States with a post to Denmark in 1949. She went on to serve in Communist Bulgaria and at the United Nations. Tirelessly advocating for human rights, Anderson pushed against expectations set by society and the media and in the process demonstrated that diplomacy's requisite skills—intelligence, poise, determination—are held by women and men alike." From Walter Mondale: "Eugenie Anderson was one of the giants of the DFL Party—a gifted, scholarly, kindly, totally aware person. This smart look at her political and personal life explores the motivations and inspirations that equipped her to do battle on behalf of democracy, at home and around the world."
Julie Eckerle (PhD 2002), co-editor with Naomi McAreave
Women's Life Writing & Early Modern Ireland
University of Nebraska Press, 2019
From the publisher: "First critical collection to focus on seventeenth-century women's life writing in a specifically Irish context. By shifting the focus away from England—even though many of these writers would have identified themselves as English—and making Ireland and Irishness the focus of their essays, the contributors resituate women's narratives in a powerful and revealing landscape. This volume addresses a range of genres, from letters to book marginalia, and a number of different women, from now-canonical life writers such as Mary Rich and Ann Fanshawe to far less familiar figures such as Eliza Blennerhassett and the correspondents and supplicants of William King, archbishop of Dublin. The writings of the Boyle sisters and the Duchess of Ormonde—women from the two most important families in seventeenth-century Ireland—also receive a thorough analysis. These innovative and nuanced scholarly considerations of the powerful influence of Ireland on these writers' construction of self, provide fresh, illuminating insights into both their writing and their broader cultural context."
Amanda Fields (MFA 2005) and Rachel Moritz (MFA 2006), co-editors
My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After
The Experiment, 2019
From femmeliterate: "There is such an established, vocal, and persistently expressed adulation for vaginal birth that women who don't get to participate are left feeling left out of the club. And you're not supposed to talk about it. . . . This silence around the C-section is what led editors Amanda Fields and Rachel Moritz to design and develop the powerful, urgently beautiful collection My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After, out now from The Experiment. In it, women writers—in loud, gorgeous voices and full technicolor detail—break the barriers of silence and shame. They tell their birth stories in their vivid and individual specificity, each unique and each so powerfully similar. They tell us, in a musical and poetic and painful and compelling chorus, to see and acknowledge the C-section experience, its particular dangers, its attendant losses and fears. They challenge us to understand why a woman might choose this means of extraction, or why her choice might be taken away. They demand that we listen, that we understand, and that we change the conversation about childbirth."
Kathleen Glasgow (MFA 2002)
How to Make Friends with the Dark [young adult fiction]
From Bustle: "In Girl In Pieces author Kathleen Glasgow's new novel, How to Make Friends with the Dark, a teenage girl reckons with the a tremendous grief after the death of her mother—but more importantly, she learns to embrace a new reality where love can be found in unexpected places. How to Make Friends with the Dark follows 16-year-old Tiger Tolliver, a high schooler who would probably be described (and describe herself) as deeply uncool. Her over-protective mother barely makes enough money for them to get by, and Tiger is desperately uncomfortable in her ill-fitting, thrifted clothes. Despite it all, they're each other's only family—which makes it all the more brutal when Tiger's mother dies unexpectedly. While this is a novel about grief and moving forward after an unimaginable loss, it is also a a novel about what makes a family. As Tiger charts a new path forward, she realizes the necessity of her 'chosen family'—her best friend Cake, her grief support group, a recently discovered half-sister, and her child services case worker. Maybe she isn't quite as alone as she feels."
Sam Kean (BA 2002)
Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb
Little, Brown, 2019
From Kirkus Reviews: "The core mission of the quasi-military group called 'Alsos,' part of the Manhattan Project, was to determine the extent of Nazi efforts to produce an atomic bomb and to thwart it by any means possible. The Reich, after all, had world-class physicists like Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg. The Allies, too, had considerable talent, most notably Enrico Fermi. Science writer Kean (Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us, 2017, etc.) enlists several supporting players who had largely incidental, though dramatic, parts in the effort to deny the Germans’ attempts to create an atomic bomb. There was Moe Berg, a spy and professional baseball catcher, who had the chance to capture or kill Heisenberg—but he was uncertain. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. perished in a nutty scheme to destroy what was thought to be a delivery system for nuclear weapons. The cast of characters, all well delineated by the author, include Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot, Robert Oppenheimer, Wernher von Braun, and Gen. Leslie Groves. Throughout, Kean eschews erudite fastidiousness for consistent action and brio. Beginning with the title, the narrative is an engrossing cinematic drama, not an academic text. (Spoiler: Hitler, who was never much interested in science, lost.)"
Assistant Professor Douglas Kearney
That Loud-Assed Colored Silence: Turntablism [poetry chapbook]
A Container Press, 2018
Printed as a limited edition View-Master Reel. From the publisher: "Whether attempting to stem boredom during a long trip or experiencing the excitement of exploring historical time periods or far-away places, the pre-digital toy View-Master served as a transport to another place. Like writing, it was a way of seeing. Along the way, it provided delight and entertainment. That Loud-Assed Colored Silence: Turntablism is a bonus track to the TLACS series, published in the award-winning collection, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016). Through the View-Master interface, this new work encourages the reader to consider a blend of book and turntable, sight and sound, reading and scratching."
Alex Lemon (MFA 2004)
Another Last Day [poetry]
From the publisher: "Populated by visions and ghosts, Another Last Day follows its speaker on a search through a natural landscape turned on its edge, the landscape of today's America. In these poems, the moments of an ordinary day are rendered in raw, nearly hallucinatory detail: Ants drunk on cherry-red hummingbird nectar. An ambulance rushing into the distance. Endless rain. And, stranger: A dog carrying a hand in its mouth. An emergency room filled with moans. A place where reality and dreams merge, where 'the dead refuse to be left / underground.' When Lemon's speaker invites us 'behind my closed eyes,' it is into the vision of a speaker so plugged into the livingness of this world that he is tossed to the edge of living itself. And yet, in his poems, this openness is never just painful. 'the world is a terrible place,' he writes, 'but I want to last forever // clinging to its teeth.'"
Carrie Lorig (MFA 2014)
The Blood Barn [poetry chapbook]
Inside the Castle, 2019
From writer Liz Bowen: "The Blood Barn insists on the possibility of refusing both survival and disappearance, those bludgeons women are offered for giving shape to what's happened to them / to us / to ____. This is a book that writhes against the definitive singular or plural or possessive pronoun, against the lie that history can be owned, and with the bodies that swell and scab under that lie. Yes, this is a book about a hurt and an illness that happened to a person in the past, but it is not about cure or convalescence. It is about the capacity to take care where none existed before, the forgiving space of correspondence / being beside oneself and others, the body as a gem stuck to a pulsing mountain. That is: the risk, the horror, the possibility of healing without end. There's been much talk lately about the problems of narrative when it comes to trauma, the violence of past-present-future, but The Blood Barn asks whether and why poetry gets to be the solution. The problem here is grammar, not genre: 'It is hard to write after it' because after is always half a lie, because 'There are no words in America's wealth / for what the physical body is capable of experiencing.' A body approaches a novel and a poem and a series of letters and asks them all where the blood is. And so, Lorig writes, 'I will never write poems that look like poems.' What a labor. What a relief. What a blessing."
Assistant Professor Christopher Pexa
Translated Nation: Rewriting the Dakhóta Oyáte
University of Minnesota Press, 2019
From the publisher: "Christopher Pexa argues that the assimilation era of federal US law and policy was far from an idle one for the Dakhóta people, but rather involved remaking the Oyáte (the People of the Seven Council Fires) through the encrypting of Dakhóta political and relational norms in plain view of settler audiences. From Nicholas Black Elk to Charles Alexander Eastman to Ella Cara Deloria, Pexa analyzes well-known writers from a tribally centered perspective that highlights their contributions to Dakhóta/Lakhóta philosophy and politics. He explores how these authors, as well as oral histories from the Spirit Lake Dakhóta Nation, invoke thióšpaye (extended family or kinship) ethics to critique US legal translations of Dakhóta relations and politics into liberal molds of heteronormativity, individualism, property, and citizenship. Translated Nation expands our sense of literary archives and political agency and demonstrates how Dakhóta peoplehood not only emerges over time but in everyday places, activities, and stories. It provides a distinctive view of the hidden vibrancy of a historical period that is often tied only to Indigenous survival."
Jane St. Anthony (BA 1982)
Whatever Normal Is [young adult fiction]
University of Minnesota Press, 2019
From the publisher: "In the fourth volume of a series set in Minneapolis in the 1960s, three friends navigate relationships and new questions about love and identity. 'Normal' might not be all it's cracked up to be. As three old friends, with adulthood looming, navigate the newly confusing territory of love and sexuality and identity, everything they thought they knew is suddenly, frighteningly thrown into question—and they discover that between the dream of stardom and the certainty of housekeeping there’s a vast unsuspected world of peril and possibility."