by Callie Wright (Grad ’04)
This debut novel, set in Cooperstown, N.Y., illuminates secret lives within the Obermeyer family. In the week following the family matriarch's death, her widower moves in with his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren and past mistakes bring the Obermeyers to the point of implosion. Central to the plot is The Sex Cure, a notorious and real-life novel that rocked Cooperstown in the 1960s. Wright deftly switches from one character’s point of view to another, chapter by chapter, showing love and grief from all sides.
The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal
by Duncan G. Stroik (Arch ’84)
In this collection of essays, Stroik, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame, seeks to recover the sense of sacred in places of worship. Recent churches that blend in with contemporary architecture “are in danger of becoming mere … assembly halls rather than sacred places,” he argues. Stroik looks back to classical architecture, investigating the symbolism of porticos, bell towers, colonnades and vaultings, and suggests how modern churches might “create a sense of transcendence on a limited budget.”
by Mabel O. Wilson (Arch ’85)
As the 2015 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., approaches, Wilson traces the evolution of black public history from the Civil War through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Focusing on African-American participation in world’s fairs, emancipation expositions and early black grass-roots movements, the book gives voice to the people who curated many black-organized exhibitions: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, A. Philip Randolph, Horace Cayton and Margaret Burroughs.
História, História: Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands
by Eleanor Stanford (Grad ’05)
In this memoir and travelogue, Stanford describes her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. Twenty-two and newly married, Stanford navigates an unfamiliar culture and attempts to hide the eating disorder she’s developed that threatens both her marriage and her life. Stanford, also a published poet, writes lyrically about living in a foreign land, of “the strange combination of pride and dread I felt when I walked down the dirt road by the school and throngs of students called out, ‘Teacher, teacher!’”
Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them
by Betsy Prioleau (Educ ’66, Grad ’72)
Though lady-killers have earned a bad reputation as rakes, lotharios, even sociopaths, Prioleau argues in this cultural history that true seducers “love deeply, can be faithful, and treat mistresses with respect, courtesy, and erotic genius.” Ladies’ men need not be movie-star handsome; instead “they include every conceivable breed and condition of man.” The book discusses seducers across the centuries, from King Gilgamesh to Warren Beatty (even a 1970s UVA professor is mentioned along the way). Here are a few of the men featured: