Creative works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism, Richard R. Gaillardetz ’90M.A., ’91Ph.D. (Liturgical Press). “Change and development are inevitable in a church that is truly alive,” says the author in this look at the continuing story of Vatican II. He outlines the seven key pillars established by council bishops and the work required to incorporate them fully into today’s Church. He also considers the reception of Pope Francis to the council’s teachings and the need for all members of the Church to participate in its “ongoing reform and renewal.”

The Voiceover Artist, Dave Reidy ’99 (Curbside Splendor). After Simon Davies overcomes his stutter, he moves to Chicago to pursue his goal of becoming a voiceover artist. At the same time, his younger brother, Connor, reaches for fame as a comedian in New York. In his debut novel, the author uses a series of first-person narratives to explore the impact of family dynamics on the search for a dream. Reidy’s 2009 collection of short stories, Captive Audience, was named an Indie Next Notable Book by the American Booksellers Association.

Mechanica, Betsy Cornwell ’12MFA (Clarion Books). In this retelling of the Cinderella story, Nicolette longs to escape her life of servitude to her nasty stepsisters. On her 16th birthday, when she discovers a basement workshop filled with mechanical toys, Nicolette begins to invent her own happily-ever-after. “Fans of fairy-tale updates,” says Publishers Weekly of this young adult novel, “will find it easy to lose themselves in this bright, romantic story, whose hero shows she can not only have it all but also do it herself.”

Deceit on the Road to War: Presidents, Politics, and American Democracy, John M. Schuessler ’99 (Cornell University Press). Franklin Roosevelt and World War II, Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, George W. Bush and the Iraq War — the author pinpoints three examples of what he sees as presidential deceptions that convinced Americans war was the proper choice. But such deceit, he theorizes, is not always contrary to national interest. Schuessler is an associate professor of strategy at the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama.

Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor, James J. O’Connell, M.D., ’70 (BHCHP Press). For 30 years, Dr. O’Connell has been caring for homeless persons. In this collection, the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program offers a history of the program and portraits of some of his most memorable patients, from the woman with her stroller filled with stuffed animals who struggles to find a shelter she feels safe in to the elderly man who finally accepts medication to treat his schizophrenia.

Creative works extra

So Very Much the Best of Us: Songs in Praise of Prose, Brian Doyle ’78 (ACTA Publications). This compilation of 80 articles from the Pushcart-winning storyteller explores the promise of Catholicism in America. “I want to poke around mercy and love and tenderness and laughter and engagement with others. . . . I think those are the deep weapons of Catholicism,” he writes. Essays by the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland frequently appear in this magazine.

Are You Still A Priest?: True Stories of Tension and Trust, Gerald J. Kleba (GJK Publishing). The author’s 48-year career as a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis included a stint in the mid-1980s as director of diocesan seminarians at Moreau Seminary. While at Notre Dame, he was drawn to the work of the University’s Center for Social Concerns and befriended Erica Dahl-Bredine ’87. Their friendship is among the 15 stories he presents here of ministering to young people while living the gospel of social justice.

The Miracle of American Independence: Twenty Ways Things Could Have Turned Out Differently, Jonathan R. Dull ’64 (Potomac Books). In an alternative history, the Revolutionary War scholar looks at how the British might have averted American independence. “This book will make you think in an entirely new way about the path to American independence and will make you realize just how many different paths the war could have taken,” says one reviewer.

Points of Meditation About Our Lady from St. Josemaría, Compiled by Paul Coppola ’78 (CreateSpace). The founder of Opus Dei, who believed everyone is called to holiness, was the author of such spiritual books as The Way, Furrow and The Forge. He frequently wrote about his devotion to the Mother of God. Here Coppola looks at the “profound and moving” thoughts about Our Lady expressed by St. Josemaría in those three books.

Reflections on the Transformation of Industrial Aurora: 1945-2010, David B. Hipp ’61 (David Hipp). The author, who dedicates this book “to the many entrepreneurs who did so much to build Aurora,” chronicles 18 manufacturing companies whose corporate offices were in the Illinois city. The patterns of what happened to each company, he says, are similar to what happened to other cities with a manufacturing base.

Authenticity as Self-Transcendence: The Enduring Insights of Bernard Lonergan, Michael H. McCarthy ’63 (University of Notre Dame Press). In four new essays, the author, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Vassar College, expands on his argument from the 1989 book The Crisis of Philosophy. He contends that the writing of Canadian philosopher and theologian Lonergan shows exceptional relevance to the cultural situation of late modernity. One reviewer called these essays “a masterpiece of cultural synthesis and interpretation.”

An Unbeaten Man, Brendan Rielly ’96J.D. (Down East Books). The first in a series, this international thriller follows professor and microbiologist Michael McKeon as he is forced to use his newly created scientific breakthrough to destroy all Saudi and Russian oil when the sinister The Global Group kidnaps his wife and daughter. It’s a race against time as McKeon searches for his family and the secret to who is behind the Global Group.

A Foot in the River: Why Our Lives Change — and the Limits of Evolution, Felipe Fernández-Armesto (Oxford University Press). The William P. Reynolds Professor of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame here presents a radical answer to the question of why human culture varies so radically from place to place, and what differentiates it from the behavior of such species as gorilla and dolphins. The historian posits that culture is exempt from evolution and we can make our world in the freedom of unconstrained imagination.

Plato’s Bedroom: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love, David K. O’Connor (St. Augustine Press). The Notre Dame associate professor of philosophy draws on Greek myth, Plato, Shakespeare and a range of modern literature and movies to discuss a religious interpretation of love’s commitments and pleasures. As the publisher, says, “The author brings out some surprising and delightful connections between Plato’s pagan eroticism and the Adam and Eve story, Jesus’s teaching in the Gospels, and Catholic views about marriage.”