Quint: A Novel, Dionne Irving Bremyer (7.13 Books). This debut novel is based on the true story of the famous Dionne quintuplets, the first quints known to have survived infancy. The identical girls were born to a poor farm family in Ontario during the Great Depression, taken from their parents and turned into a tourist attraction. Irving Bremyer, an associate professor of English, imagines the girls’ lives from various points of view, including those of their parents, the doctor who helped bring them into the world and a sibling who died at birth.
The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning, Meghan Sullivan and Paul Blaschko ’19Ph.D. (Penguin Press). Life’s big questions take center stage in this helpful guide by Sullivan, the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy, and Blaschko, an assistant teaching professor of philosophy. It’s based on their popular undergraduate course, God and the Good Life. The case studies presented explore love, religious faith, finance, truth, suffering and more, as well as what major philosophers — ancient and modern — have to say about the profoundest questions of human life.
Wastepaper Modernism: Twentieth-Century Fiction and the Ruins of Print, Joseph Elkanah Rosenberg
(Oxford University Press). Concerns about the death of the printed page didn’t begin with the advent of the Kindle and other e-readers. Rosenberg, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, examines recurrent images of destroyed and ravaged paper — burnt manuscripts, junk mail, bureaucratic paperwork — in 20th century novels, including works by Henry James, D.H. Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Vladimir Nabokov and others. He suggests that some of the experimental techniques found in their stories are in part a reaction to changes in media that were already happening at the dawn of the century.
Soldiers of God in a Secular World: Catholic Theology and Twentieth-Century French Politics,
Sarah Shortall (Harvard University Press). The French Third Republic proclaimed the separation of Church and state in 1905, but the Catholic Church wasn’t done. French Jesuits and Dominicans, who studied at seminaries in exile, went on to develop the nouvelle théologie, or “new theology,” in the 1930s and ’40s, played a key role in modernizing the Church and eventually would inspire many of the changes produced by the Second Vatican Council, writes Shortall, an assistant professor of history. In the process, Catholic intellectuals and priests formulated a new, public role for their faith in a secular age.
Religion and Politics Beyond the Culture Wars: New Directions in a Divided America, edited by Darren
Dochuk ’05Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame Press). Much of the recent history of modern American religion and politics assumes an enduring partisan divide. This collection of essays — authored by leading scholars and edited by Dochuk, the Andrew V. Tackes College Professor of History — encourages readers to look beyond predictable clashes over social issues and examine the ways in which faith has fueled 20th-century U.S. politics. Examining debates on such topics as labor, immigration, civil rights, marriage equality and foreign policy, the contributors argue that standard, accepted narratives don’t tell the full story of religious faith and politics in the modern age.