Creative works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing, Norbert Krapf ’66M.A., ’71Ph.D. (In Extenso Press). “For fifty years, I did not want to write these poems,” says the survivor of clerical sexual abuse. Eventually, he says, “the time had come to testify, to help other victim-survivors.” Through 130 poems, the former Indiana poet laureate and Long Island University emeritus professor of English conveys his boyhood turmoil and feelings of betrayal by God and Church, his later years of silence and, finally, his experience of healing and renewal of spirit.

Contrition, Maura Weiler ’91 (Infinite Words). When tabloid journalist and adoptee Dorie learns she has an artistic twin sister who inherited their biological father’s world-class painting skills, Dorie embarks on a mission to introduce her twin’s talent to the world. But her sister, the cloistered nun Sister Catherine, views her artwork only as prayer dedicated to God and won’t sell or display it. This debut novel explores issues ranging from the meaning of family and faith to the purpose of art.

The Royal We, Heather Cocks ’99, Jessica Morgan (Grand Central Publishing). “Everyone loves a royal romance,” Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king, tells American Bex Porter in this novel that imagines a life lived once one’s prince has come. While inspired by Will and Kate, the look at the pleasures, blessings, perils and burdens of a royal love match offers much more than a reimaging of that real-life pair. Narrated by Bex, the emotionally rich story lets readers feel the pinch of the glass slipper. The authors are the creators of the Go Fug Yourself fashion blog.

A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music, Robert Marovich ’85 (University of Illinois Press). Part of the Music in American Life series, this chronicle follows gospel music from early hymns in the South to its arrival in Chicago, where it became the soundtrack of black Protestant churches. The author, whose research included interviews with nearly 50 artists, ministers and historians, as well as relatives and friends of past gospel pioneers, is the founder and editor of The Journal of Gospel Music.

Prairie Man: The Struggle between Sitting Bull and Indian Agent James McLaughlin, Norman E. Matteoni ’63J.D. (TwoDot). The leader of the Sioux in the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull fought the hardest against the U.S. government’s attempts to remove the Lakota from their land. Here the author, a legal scholar and a student of the American West, explores the struggle between a tribal hero seeking to honor his people’s culture and heritage and the government agent determined to assimilate and absorb them into the new American world.

Creative works web extra

Assault and Pepper, Leslie Budewitz ’84 (Berkeley Prime Crime). The award-winning author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries — Death al Dente, Crime Rib and Butter off Dead — launches a new series here. The first in her Spice Shop mystery series follows Pepper Reece, owner of the Seattle Spice Shop, as she attempts to help one of her staffers who has been charged with the murder of a panhandler found dead on the store’s doorstep.

Catholic Theology of Marriage in the Era of HIV and AIDs: Marriage for Life, Emily Reimer-Barry ’00 (Lexington Books). Eight Chicago women share their stories of marriage, of family life, of church involvement and of living with HIV. Drawing on those stories as well as on qualitative research and scholarship in theological ethics, the author presents a life-giving theology of Christian marriage that is sensitive to the struggles of her collaborators. She also explains how parish communities can better respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in our midst.

Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America, Karsonya Wise Whitehead ’93M.A. (Apprentice House Press). For 14 years, Whitehead wrote letters, poems, notes and words of inspiration to her two sons, Kofi Elijah and Amir Elisha. The letters trace her and her husband’s journey to try and raise happy and healthy black boys in today’s society. “How can I give you the tools to survive this brutal world when I have not been able to craft these tools to save myself?” she asks.

Triumph!: An Athlete’s Guide to Winning On and Off the Field, Matt Kunz ’98 (Booktrope Editions). The author, a coach and former ND football player, says he designed this book to help athletes learn how to think on the field, understand the politics of sports and manage relationships outside of sports. Through real-life examples, he details leadership principles that apply both in sports and life Former ND football coaches Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz contributed forewords to the book.

A Church with Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millennium, edited by Richard P. Gaillardetz and Edward P. Hahnenberg (Liturgical Press). More than 40 scholars met in September 2014 to discuss the development of Catholic ecclesiology — the nature of the church — over the 50 years since Vatican II. They also honored the contributions to the field made by Thomas F. O’Meara, O.P., Notre Dame emeritus professor of theology. The nine essays cover such topics as the changing nature of culture, and power and authority in the Church.

A GI Machine Gunner: From the Seminary to Korea’s Front Line 1951-1952, James F. Walsh ’55, ’56M.A. Against his parents’ wishes, the author joined the U.S. Army after two years in a seminary. He soon found himself as a frontline soldier in Korea as truce talks started and sputtered. In this memoir, Walsh tells of the trench warfare he saw, the friends he lost and the homecoming greeting he received.

Lifting the Impenetrable Veil: From Yellow Fever to Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and SARS, Charles H. Calisher ’61M.S. (Rockpile Press). In what one reviewer calls an “ode to science,” this readable history of arbovirology — the study of certain viruses transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and some other arthropods — and the adventurous people in the field takes readers on a tour of infectious disease research. Calisher studied the viruses in his work at the Centers for Disease Control and Colorado State University.

Wehrmacht Priests: Catholicism and the Nazi War of Annihilation, Lauren Faulkner Rossi (Harvard University Press). Using personal correspondence, military reports, memoirs and interviews, the Notre Dame assistant professor of history offers a study of the more than 17,000 Catholic German priests and seminarians who served the armed forces of Nazi Germany as military chaplains, medical personnel or infantrymen. As the war began, many believed in the cause of German nationalism and saw the Soviet Union as a threat to the Catholic Church.

What Is a Madrasa?, Ebrahim Moosa (The University of North Carolina Press). As a student in India, the author attended a madrasa — the most common type of school for religious instruction in the Islamic world. He describes the school’s daily routines and how classical theological, legal and Qur’anic texts were taught. “How does one explain to doubting audiences that not all madrasas are the malignant institutions they have been led to believe they are by media caricatures?” Moosa says of the challenge he faced in writing the book. The author is a Notre Dame professor of Islamic studies.

Play Me Something, Angus, Charles W. Rath ’58 (Significance Press). The coming-of-age novel follows Angus McCrory, who dreams of becoming a professional jazz pianist. But not all dreams are meant to be, and Angus must travel the bumpy road of heartbreak and struggle, leavened by family, friends and his own inner strength. “Readers will recognize in Rath’s characters their own family, friends, nemeses, and neighbors, and be glad to go on this journey with them,” wrote one reviewer.

The Faithful One, Michele Chynoweth ’83 (Ellechor Publishing House). A contemporary retelling of the book of Job, as successful businessman Seth Jacobs loses his health, his livelihood, his family. In the midst of his despair, Seth meets a young social worker who tries to help him discover the spiritual solution he so desperately seeks. The novel was awarded a silver medal for inspirational fiction in the 2014 Readers Favorite International Book Awards.

The Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict, Justin Farrell ’14Ph.D. (Princeton University Press). The iconic national park has been the site of arguments over such issues as re-introducing wolves, allowing bison to roam free and granting snowmobile access. The author, an assistant professor of sociology at Yale’s school of forestry and environmental studies, discusses how social changes in the American West have devalued traditional beliefs in rugged individualism, and how morality and spirituality have influenced the Yellowstone conflicts.

To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil, Christian Smith (The University of Chicago Press). How do we shape good human lives and societies? The Notre Dame professor of sociology here seeks to answer three questions: “what basic motivations and interests generate and direct human action”; “what is by nature good for human beings”; and “how should we understand and explain the lack of goodness — sometimes even the definite destructiveness and evil — that are so prevalent and damaging in human life.”

Secrets of Intimacy: How to Stay on the Next Pillow, Paschal Baute ’57 (Baute Publishing). “For better or for worse” is a vow often broken. So how do couples attain and sustain a good marriage? Here the pastoral psychologist, who has conducted research on happily married couples and has for four decades advised couples in conflict, presents a step-by-step guide for couples seeking to both understand and renew their relationships.

Carmel in North America: The Early Founders and Foundations of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary 1864-1900, Father Myron M. Judy, O.Carm., ’65M.A. (Carmelite Media). A look at the triumphs and tragedies that were part of the struggle by German Carmelites to establish the Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance in post-civil war America. The author discusses such issues as 19th century immigration, the accompanying poverty of the Gilded Age and the specific Catholic concerns of the times.

The Art of the Storyboard: A Filmmaker’s Introduction, Second Edition, John Hart ’63M.A. (Focal Press). Components and principles of the storyboard, adding reality with perspective, composition and color, and illustrating action in a storyboard are among the topics covered in this updated edition of the how-to book.

The Skeleton Box: A Starvation Lake Mystery, Bryan Gruley ’79 (Touchstone). The thirdl book in the author’s series about life in a small northern Michigan community, a town with plenty of secrets, finds newspaper editor Gus Carpenter investigating a murder that hits a little too close to home. “His characters successfully convey the realities of today’s troubled economy and remind us that old secrets can be even more painful when discovered later,” said the Library Journal.

Carol Schaal is managing editor of this magazine.