Cafe choice

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A. and Jordan Gamble '11

like a man gone mad: Poems in a New Century, Samuel Hazo ’49 (Syracuse University Press).The poet takes up the theme of time — vitality and longevity, legacy and oblivion — in this new collection of poems that offers both lamentation and celebration, wry humor and spare imagery. “I trust you to say everything I know but never know I know until I write it,” he says in “To the Next Poem.” Hazo is the former State Poet of Pennsylvania and a National Book Award finalist.

Good Knights: Eight Stories, Ralph McInerny (St. Augustine’s Press). Among the many novels written by McInerny, the beloved Notre Dame professor of medieval studies and philosophy who died in 2010, were mysteries featuring the Knight brothers — Roger, a ND professor of Catholic studies, and Phil, a semiretired private detective. In 1997, the duo appeared in On This Rockne, the first of his 13 ND-centered mysteries, but before that novel McInerny published a series of Knight brothers short stories in Crisis magazine. Those prequels are collected here.

The Open Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008, edited by Orlando Ricardo Menes (Notre Dame Press). The anthology celebrates the work of 24 poets associated with the University then, including graduates Beth Ann Fennelly ’93, Francisco Aragon ’03MFA and Anthony Walton ’82, and faculty members Jacque Vaught Brogan, Seamus Deane and John Wilkinson. A follow-up to The Space Between: Poets from Notre Dame, 1950-1990, this updated collection takes its name from a poem by former ND English professor Cornelius Eady.

The Ringer, Jenny Shank ’98 (The Permanent Press). This debut novel follows two families through the tense aftermath of the fatal shooting of a Mexican immigrant by a Denver police officer. When the sons of the police officer later end up in the same baseball league as the son of the slain man, both families must struggle anew to deal with their pain and anger as they search for healing. The book was a semifinalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award.

The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, Bill Carter ’71 (Viking). A media reporter for The New York Times, the author followed the sometimes tense, often hilarious and occasionally bitter behind-the-scenes action at NBC, when Jay Leno was moved to prime time and Conan O’Brien took over as host of The Tonight Show during the 2009/10 season. His previous book was The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night.

Notre Dame and the Civil War: Marching Onward to Victory, James M. Schmidt (The History Press). South Bend, Indiana, was far from the fighting, but the Civil War’s impact was ever-present on the ND campus. The author, who counts himself among the ND “subway alumni,” traces the University’s participation in the war, from the Holy Cross priests who went to the camps and battlefields as chaplains and the sisters who volunteered as nurses to the on-campus events, including providing a home for the family of Major General William T. Sherman. A number of archival photos are included.

Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia, Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom (InterVarsity Press). Offering biographical narratives of 17 significant non-Western Christian leaders from the 1880s to the 1980s, the authors say this effort will “help Western believers learn about and learn from the new regions of world Christianity.” Noll is a Notre Dame professor of history.

Ronald Knox and Sherlock Holmes: The Origins of Sherlockian Studies, edited by Michael J. Crowe ’58 (Gasogene Books). In the early 1900s, Monsignor Knox began what is now known as the “Grand Game,” in which readers treat the fictional Holmes and Dr. John Watson as historical figures worthy of careful research. This volume offers five literary pieces by Knox on Holmes and an introduction by the editor, a Notre Dame professor emeritus, who says the scholarly game “brought the great detective back from the non-living.”

How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson ’02 (Clearcut Productions). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best U.S. Documentary at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the film follows those with a terminal illness who might wish to end their lives by lethal overdose. The movie looks at the complex issues surrounding Oregon’s 1994 legalization of physician-assisted death and, as reviewers have said, is “deeply rewarding” and “far more life-affirming than we’d expect.” The movie is scheduled to premiere on HBO on May 26.

Dream of the Echoes: The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, Brandon Crouch ’96, Frank Corrigan ’97, illustrated by Nicolette Capuano (Limerick Publishing). Written for children ages 2 to 7, the colorful book using rhyming prose follows Theo and his dog, Eddie J, on their magical trip to the past where they witness the game that made the ND backfield of Jim Crowley, Elmer Layden, Harry Stuhldreher and Don Miller famous as the Four Horsemen. Available through the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore, or 574-631-5757. Also, the authors will be doing book signings on April 16: Hammes ND Bookstore, 9-11 a.m.; Hammes Bookstore & Cafe (Eddy Street), 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cafe choices in brief

Revered Commander, Maligned General: The Life of Clarence Ransom Edwards, 1859-1931, Michael E. Shay ’67 (University of Missouri Press). Though he had a 40-year career in the U.S. Army, Clarence Edwards is most famous for being relieved of command just days before the end of World War I. Shay chronicles Edwards’ life in this first full-length biography, putting a context around the general’s command of the 26th (“Yankee”) Division of the Army and the charge that Shay allowed his troops to fraternize with the enemy. The author uses a wealth of primary sources and photographs to tell the story of a divisive figure in American military history.

Hal Hartley, Mark L. Berrettini ’94 (University of Illinois Press). Berrettini’s critical overview of seven of Hal Hartley’s feature films, including Trust and Henry Fool, dissects the director’s absurdist-comedic takes on serious themes such as impossible love, extreme isolation and the restrictions of gender norms, while also placing them in the context of other American independent cinema in the late 20th century.

Love and Redemption: The Double Cloning of Stanley B. Littlefield, Edward Vasta ’52 (OakTara). A genetic scientist clones himself and attempts to raise the child as his own beloved offspring in this science fiction novel. Vasta taught in Notre Dame’s English department for 40 years, publishing his share of scholarly books and articles, but this is his first novel, growing out of an initial draft that won him a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Religion and the Critical Mind: A Journey for Seekers, Doubters and the Curious, Anton K. Jacobs ‘85Ph.D. (Lexington Books). This book offers a review of the criticism of religion in Western history, from the satire of Voltaire to the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud. Jacobs, a retired clergyman in the United Church of Christ, places these critiques in their historical context and examines the arguments, even agreeing with some of them, before making a case for religious participation.

Generation UN: In the Zone, R.D. James (Outskirts Press). There are the Baby Boomers and the Gen-Xers, but Ron Darin ’78, writing under a pseudonym, talks about another “generation,” defined not by age demographics but by respect for the past and uneasiness with the present, in this motivational book that also draws inspiration from classic rock songs.

Intimacy and Isolation, John G. McGraw ’56 (Rodopi). For this interdisciplinary study, McGraw, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal, argues that loneliness is essentially an outgrowth of an egocentric attitude toward the world. With this premise in mind, he goes on to examine the different subsets of loneliness and to propose that isolation can lead to various personality abnormalities.

Carnie, Les Bodnar (St. Augustine’s Press). In the twilight just before the Great Depression, carnivals roamed the Midwest with Ferris wheels, freak shows and plenty of fixed games to fleece the masses. Bodnar, who previously was a physician for the Notre Dame football team, recounts both the treasures and disenchantments of growing up in his family’s own traveling carnival.