It’s Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television
by Gayle Wald (Col ’87)

Wald, a professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University, tells the story of Soul!, a 1968 –1973 public television show that explored black identity and culture. One of the earliest black-produced programs on TV, Soul! featured music, politics, dance and poetry, from Toni Morrison reading from The Bluest Eye to Stevie Wonder singing “Superstition.”

Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise With Corporations
by Brandon L. Garrett (faculty)

Following the 2002 conviction and collapse of accounting firm Arthur Andersen, prosecutors began offering corporations a new type of leniency. UVA law professor Brandon Garrett argues that these compromises are problematic, and keep employees from being prosecuted for  bribery, tax shelters and fraud, even in the wake of the financial crisis.

The Annotated Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde, edited by Nicholas Frankel (Grad ’94)

Frankel, a professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, provides running commentary on Wilde’s witty play in this facing-page edition. As protagonist Algernon says in act 1, “the truth is rarely pure and simple.” Frankel reveals the subtexts and double entendres that held a mirror up to Victorian society as well as to Wilde’s personal life.

Driving the King
by Ravi Howard (Grad ’01)

This novel is told from the point of view of Nat Weary, an old friend of Nat King Cole’s who moves from Montgomery to Los Angeles to work as the singer’s chauffeur in the 1950s. While the City of Angels is more progressive than the Deep South, Weary discovers that there, too, black men—even those as talented and popular as Nat King Cole—are not wholly welcome. A daring look at race and class in pre-civil rights America.

Sweet Husk
by Corrie Williamson (Col ’08)

The poems in Sweet Husk move between the living and the dead, seeking connection to the past, often through the acts of digging and excavation. “Remains,” the book’s first poem, was written for Morgan Harrington. “Anatomists and archaeologists call them/ disarticulated bones,” Williamson writes, “as if the scattering// of our bodies made us voiceless. As if/ dead but whole we might still speak.”

Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig
by Mark Essig (Col ’92)

Pork has long been a staple of the human diet, yet the animals themselves are generally maligned as filthy and lazy. Tracing the interplay of pig biology and human culture from Neolithic villages to industrial farms, Essig blends culinary and natural history to show the importance of the pig and the tragedy of its modern treatment by humans.