Creative works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The Making of a Peace Corps Volunteer: From Maine to Thailand, Roger O. Parent ’66M.A. (ZRS Books). From his early Acadian-French speaking days in Northern Maine, when he fought against learning English, to his time in Thailand as a pioneering Peace Corps volunteer, the author’s early life was filled with challenges. This memoir offers an insight into the creation of a man who desired “the adventure of helping people in a poor country far away,” where he learned to appreciate and respect a different culture.

Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun: Behind the Face of the Fighting Irish, Daniel Colt Collins ’10, ’13J.D. (Corby Books). A friend’s grandfather once told the small-of-stature Daniel that he was destined to be either a jockey or the ND Leprechaun. His first tryout went nowhere. As a junior he became the Blue Leprechaun for women’s sports. His senior year, he held the treasured Gold Leprechaun position. Here he presents an insider’s look at the hard work and colorful adventures that are part of the mascot lore.

Echoes from the End Zone: The Men We Became, Lisa Kelly ’93 (Dog Ear Publishing). With stadium cheers only a memory, 25 former Notre Dame football players — including Pat Dolan ’58, Mike McCoy ’70, Vagas Ferguson ’80, Rick Mirer ’93, Oscar McBride ’94 and Joey Getherall ’01 — share memories of their student-athlete days and their lives since. Each chapter ends with lessons from the former players: “Make sure you get your education,” says Tim Brown ’87. “It is the most important thing that you will always have in your back pocket.”

Playing St. Barbara, Marian Szczepanski ’79 (High Hill Press). In this historical novel, the secrets, struggles and self-redemption of a Depression-era coal miner’s wife and three daughters play out against a turbulent backdrop of Ku Klux Klan intimidation and the Pennsylvania Mine War of 1933. Their intertwined lives eerily mirror the legend of St. Barbara, patroness of miners, re-enacted annually in the town pageant. Tested by scandal, heartbreak and tragedy, each woman will write her own courageous ending to St. Barbara’s story.

The Hunted Whale, James McGuane ’64 (W.W. Norton & Company). With essays, excerpts from a naturalist’s 1912 journal, explanatory notes and more than 250 photographs, this exploration of American whaling lore in the age of the sail offers a compelling snapshot of the crews, ships, tools and the dangerous whale hunt itself. “Readers looking for a simple but rich overview of whaling will find it in this appealing and informative volume,” says Booklist.

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When Parents Divorce or Separate: I Can Get Through This (A Catholic Guide for Kids), Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski ’85 (Pauline Books). A guide through parental divorce of separation for children ages 8 to 12, this resource blends faith with interactive elements. It draws on teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and offers prayers, practical applications, and pages for journaling and drawing. The author works as a school counselor and has conducted family, individual and group therapy with children, teens and adults.

Conversations with Natasha Trethewey, edited by Joan Wylie Hall ’70M.A., ’76Ph.D. (University Press of Mississippi). In this Literary Conversation Series, 18 interviews with the U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, provide both artistic and biographical insight into her work. Trethewey, the daughter of a black mother and white father, frequently focuses on biracial people of the Americas, particularly in her book Beyond Katrina. She cites Anne Frank, Seamus Heaney and Rita Dove as among those whose work has influenced her.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival, Jennifer Chiaverini ’91 (Dutton). In her third work of historical fiction, which follows Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and The Spymistress, the author looks at the social and political rivalry between First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Kate Chase Sprague. Sprague, the daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of the treasury, and a renowned Washington, D.C., hostess, hopes her father will someday be a presidential candidate.

Words of Life: Celebrating 50 Years of the Hesburgh Library’s Message, Mural, and Meaning, Bill Schmitt (University of Notre Dame Press). With text and photographs, the book tells the story of a building and an iconic mural that are central to Notre Dame’s history. Dedicated in 1964, the Hesburgh Library is still evolving, and the author offers insights into how changing technology and student and faculty needs are addressed.

How They Spend Their Sundays, Courtney McDermott ’11MFA (Whitepoint Press). The former Peace Corps volunteer presents a debut collection of short stories set in Lesotho and South Africa. From magical realism to graphic violence, the author limns the lives of those circumscribed by poverty. “McDermott’s rare talent for conveying a crisp image of a scene shines in this collection of fresh, tightly woven stories,” says ForeWord Reviews.

Remembering Notre Dame, Part II: Living and Learning, Michael D. Ciletti ’64, ’65M.A., ’68Ph.D. (Corby Books). In the first volume of this photographic series, Ciletti focused on the central core of campus. This volume highlights three elements of campus life: residence halls, instructional and research facilities, and the Hesburgh Library. Bas-relief and other details of the buildings are accentuated. The series is designed, the author says, “to awaken in you fond memories of familiar places at Notre Dame.”

Breaking New Ground: A Personal History, Lester R. Brown (W.W. Norton & Company). The environmentalist was awarded an honorary doctorate by Notre Dame in 1991. Here he records his journey from a small farm in New Jersey, where he turned a school farm project into a successful tomato-growing business, through his years analyzing the world’s food situation. “Lester continues to inspire us with his brilliant thoughts and ideas,” writes Ted Turner, “and in this memoir he isn’t afraid to also show us his heart.”

Do Not Go Gentle, James W. Jorgensen ’79 (Eternal Press). After Jamie Griffin, an Irish-Catholic Boston detective, is stricken with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), he struggles both to find the answer to the illness that has cost him his job and to solve a series of murders involving a supernatural cult which claimed the life of his partner and may endanger his own family. The author says the book draws on his own experience with CFS, a disease that affects an estimated one million Americans.

The Double: Male Eros, Friendships, and Mentoring — From Gilgamesh to Kerouac, Edward C. Sellner ’81Ph.D. (Lethe Press). Combining theology, Jungian psychology, literature and the history of Christian spirituality, Sellner discusses how the inner figure of the double — a soul-mate or soul-friend — can help men in their journey toward spiritual meaning and wholeness. The author is a professor at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Coaching the Streets, Richard “Digger” Phelps with Jack Colwell (Corby Books). The man who coached Notre Dame basketball for 20 seasons presents his game plan for saving today’s youth from the culture of gangs and drugs. “In this book I seek to present a smorgasbord — a lot of choices for dealing with the problem,” writes Phelps. “There is no one sure cure.” His advice includes mentoring, after-school programs, neighborhood watches and alternative schools.

“Then Russell Said to Bird . . .”: The Greatest Celtics Stories Ever Told, Donald Hubbard ’94J.D. (Triumph Books). This history of the Boston Celtics, from 1946 to the present, is filled with long-buried stories that, the author says, “just need to be unearthed.” After a look at the early days, he focuses on a dominant personality, from Bill Russell and Dave Cowens to Larry Bird and Kevin Garnett, as the team compiled 17 NBA championships, including eight in a row — more than any other team in NBA history.

Hear Me, See Me: Incarcerated Women Write, edited by Marybeth Christie Redmond ’85 and Sarah W. Bartlett (Orbis Books). Sixty women in Vermont’s Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, who have participated in the “writing inside VT” program and who range in age from 19 to 70, share their prose, poetry and illustrations here. The book is divided into three sections: experience, reflection and collective insight. Incarcerated women’s writings are also shared on the blog

A Pocket Guide to North American Ghosts, Joe Kapitan ’87 (Eastern Point Press). This story collection won the publisher’s inaugural prose chapbook contest. Called flash fiction, because of their short length, the stories share the thread of loss: ghosts of lost love, ghosts of children, ghosts of lost limbs. The author, writes reviewer Amber Sparks, “fills these short pieces with myth, architecture, fairy tale, hope, love, loss and the spaces in between these states of longing.”

Running the Numbers: A Practical Guide to Regional Economic and Social Analysis, John Quinterno ’98 (M.E. Sharpe). How do you define a region? How do you balance growth and development? What precisely is a business? Using practical examples, this book demystifies data concepts, sources and methods for those looking to understand economic and social issues at the regional level. It also shows how analytical tools can illuminate the social and economic workings of actual American regions.

Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy, John Dearie ’86, Courtney Geduldig (Wiley). The authors, who conducted roundtable sessions with entrepreneurs in 12 cities across the nation, present here a policy agenda for job creation. Their 30 proposals are based on what the nation’s job creators — those entrepreneurs who have launched new businesses — said they need. Modernizing immigration laws, reducing regulatory burden and accelerating scientific and commercial innovation are among the recommendations.

In the Shoes of an Investigator: The True Life Adventures of a Private Eye, Eldon O’Brien ’48 (Wasteland Press). Cheating husbands, greedy gamblers, vigilantes and killers were among the miscreants this insurance adjuster turned personal injury investigator faced. O’Brien shares his some of his most memorable adventures here, as his work took him from Chicago to San Francisco and even London and Pago Pago, Samoa.

Paint, Grace Tiffany ’89Ph.D. (Bagwyn Books). Renaissance scholar Tiffany is also known for her fictional exploration of the women in Shakespeare’s life. Here she turns her attention to the 17th century poet Emilia Bassano, perhaps the Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets. When the withdrawn teenager enters the Elizabethan Court, she comes up with a strategy to preserve her solitude, only to attract the attention of a rather strange poet.

Psychological Consultation and Collaboration in School and Community Settings, A. Michael Dougherty ’68, ’71M.A. (Cengage Learning). The sixth edition of this textbook is structured to help students develop their own personal consultation model. It includes new case studies and material on cultural diversity, advocacy, social justice, prevention and ecological variables as they affect consultation and collaboration in counseling.

The Global Vatican: An Inside Look at the Catholic Church, World Politics, and the Extraordinary Relationship between the United States and the Holy See, Ambassador Francis Rooney (Rowman & Littlefield). Along with his first-person account of serving as ambassador to the Holy See from 2005-2008, when Benedict was pope, the author presents the Catholic Church’s role in world history. “This is a fascinating study of how political and religious powers relate, clash and, when healthy, work to help change the world for the better,” says Publishers Weekly. Rooney received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2006.

Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative, Michael Novak (Image). A witness to and commentator on more than 50 years of governmental and cultural changes in America, the social philosopher and Catholic intellectual here traces the events and people that inspired him to change his political views. The author was the Welch Chair of American studies at Notre Dame in autumn 1987 and ’88.

A Notre Dame Man: The Mike DeCicco Story, Jeremy D. Bonfiglio (Corby Books). In 1964, Notre Dame asked engineering professor and soccer coach DeCicco to create an academic-advising program for student-athletes. That program has since led to a 98 percent graduation rate for its participants. This story of an immigrant’s son who became Notre Dame’s all-time winningest coach includes an appendix that features appreciative letters from student-athletes who had been helped by DeCiccio.

Loving Lord Ash, Sally MacKenzie ’76 (Zebra Books). The final book in the writer’s “Duchess of Love” Regency romance trilogy continues to follow a matchmaking duchess and her three sons. Here Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, decides on the day of his wedding that his new wife is not to be trusted. Jess, however, knows she has done nothing wrong and is prepared to fight dirty to win back her man.

When God Cheers: The story of a father, a daughter and the stranger who changed their lives during a magical season, John Shaughnessy ’77 (Corby Books). His nickname is “God.” He’s a former basketball referee, a teller of inspirational stories, a dispenser of sage advice. When the author and “God” become friends, his short notes and pointed remarks help the author mend his relationship with his basketball-playing daughter, help the author see that sports shouldn’t always be about winning and losing. “A real treat for dads and daughters who have found common ground in athletics,” says Kathy Malone Sparks, volunteer chaplain of the WNBA Indiana Fever.

The Marsco Dissident, Jim A. Zarzana ’85Ph.D. ( Amazon). Book one of the planned Marsco Saga, this sci-fi adventure is set in a dystopian world ruled by a single multinational company. When two fanatical groups — anti-tech Luddites and the defeated officers who lost the Continental Wars — unite to rebel against Marsco, a father, daughter and her former love must question their loyalties as they try to survive the cruel world they have inherited.

Carol Schaal is managing editor of this magazine.