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Newly Published: Immersive Theater and Activism

New on our bookshelf:

Immersive Theater and Activism: Scripts and Strategies for Directors and Playwrights
Nandita Dinesh

Immersive theater calls upon audience members to become participants, actors and “others.” It traditionally offers binary roles—that of oppressor or that of victim—and thereby stands the risk of simplifying complex social situations.

Challenging such binaries, this book articulates theatrical “grey zones” when addressing juvenile detention, wartime interventions and immigration processes. It presents scripts and strategies for directors and playwrights who want to create theatrical environments that are immersive and pedagogical; aesthetically evocative and politically provocative; simple and complex.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: Carl Hiaasen

New on our bookshelf:

Carl Hiaasen: Sunshine State Satirist
David Geherin

Carl Hiaasen has been described as “one of the funniest crime writers in decades,” “America’s finest satirical novelist,” and a “great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity, and disappointment.”

A columnist for thirty years, Hiaasen also wrote several award-winning young adult books but is best known for his 14 crime novels. His distinctive blend of outrageous humor and biting satire appeals to mystery fans, as well as readers of comic fiction and those interested in social and environmental issues.

The author examines Hiaasen’s entire body of work, from his earliest writing as a reporter and then columnist for the Miami Herald to his bestselling novels for both adult and young readers. While much of his writing focuses on his beloved Florida, his work has a universal appeal that has earned him global fame.

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Newly Published: I Wanna Wrock!

New on our bookshelf:

I Wanna Wrock! The World of Harry Potter–Inspired “Wizard Rock” and Its Fandom
Paul A. Thomas

“Wizard rock”—music based on the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling—is an idiosyncratic subgenre, with band names like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys and The Whomping Willows. Drawing on input from insiders and fans, and interviews with more than a dozen wizard rockers, this book explores the history and aesthetics of the movement. An appendix lists dozens of popular bands, members and discographies: a must-have for fandom scholars and wizard rock devotees alike.

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Newly Published: A Life Both Public and Private

New on our bookshelf today:

A Life Both Public and Private: Expressions of Individuality in Old English Poetry
Brent R. LaPadula

The concept of the individual or the self, central in so many modern-day contexts, has not been investigated in depth in the Anglo-Saxon period. Focusing on Old English poetry, the author argues that a singular, Anglo-Saxon sense of self may be found by analyzing their surviving verse. The concept of the individual, with an identity outside of her community, is clearly evident during this period, and the widely accepted view that the individual as we understand it did not really exist until the Renaissance does not stand up to scrutiny.

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Newly Published: George Orwell

New on our bookshelf today:

George Orwell: A Literary Companion
Mark Connelly

George Orwell (1903–1950) is one of the most influential authors in the English language. His landmark novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have been translated into many foreign languages and inspired numerous stage and film adaptations. His well-known essays “A Hanging” and “Shooting an Elephant” are widely anthologized and often taught in college composition classes. The writer is credited with inventing the terms “Big Brother,” “thought crime,” “unperson” and “double think.” His name itself has become an adjective—“Orwellian.”

Seventy years after its publication, Nineteen Eighty-Four remains very popular, its sales surging in an era of enhanced surveillance and media manipulation. This literary companion provides an extensive chronology and more than 175 entries about both his literary works and personal life. Also included are discussion questions and research topics, notable quotations by Orwell and an extensive bibliography of related sources.

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Newly Published: Stopping by Woods

New on our bookshelf today:

Stopping by Woods: Robert Frost as New England Naturalist
Owen D.V. Sholes

Robert Frost was a practicing farmer, a skilled naturalist and one of America’s best-loved poets. His body of work provides a vivid and compelling narrative of New England’s changing environment—though it can be hard to discern when its parts are scattered through hundreds of different poems, voices and moods.

This book pieces together Frost’s environmental commentary, examining his poems thematically and in a logical order. In them, homesteads are carved out of the forest, families make their living from an obdurate land, property is abandoned when it fails to sell, and plants and animals reclaim deserted farms. Frost bemoaned the loss of people from the land but also celebrated the flora and fauna that thrived in fallow fields and empty barns.

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Newly Published: Vying for the Iron Throne

New on our bookshelf today:

Vying for the Iron Throne: Essays on Power, Gender, Death and Performance in HBO’s Game of Thrones
Edited by Lindsey Mantoan and Sara Brady

Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin’s books.

The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television—major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics—and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.

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Newly Published: Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews

New on our bookshelf today:

Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews: Antisemitism in German and Austrian Crime Writing Before the World Wars
T.S. Kord

In the years leading up to the World Wars, Germany and Austria saw an unprecedented increase in the study and depiction of the criminal. Science, journalism and crime fiction were obsessed with delinquents while ignoring the social causes of crime. As criminologists measured criminals’ heads and debated biological predestination, court reporters and crime writers wrote side-splitting or heart-rending stories featuring one of the most popular characters ever created—the hilarious or piteous crook. The author examines the figure of the crook and notions of “Jewish” criminality in a range of antisemitic writing, from Nazi propaganda to court reporting to forgotten classics of crime fiction.

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Halloween Sale: Horror Books

We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now.  At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween!  McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31.  Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…

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Newly Published: The Archive Incarnate

New on our bookshelf today:

The Archive Incarnate: The Embodiment and Transmission of Knowledge in Science Fiction
Joseph Hurtgen

We live in an information economy, a vast archive of data ever at our fingertips. In the pages of science fiction, powerful entities—governments and corporations—attempt to use this archive to control society, enforce conformity or turn citizens into passive consumers. Opposing them are protagonists fighting to liberate the collective mind from those who would enforce top-down control.

Archival technology and its depictions in science fiction have developed dramatically since the 1950s. Ray Bradbury discusses archives in terms of books and television media, and Margaret Atwood in terms of magazines and journaling. William Gibson focused on technofuturistic cyberspace and brain-to-computer prosthetics, Bruce Sterling on genetics and society as an archive of social practices. Neal Stephenson has imagined post-cyberpunk matrix space and interactive primers. As the archive is altered, so are the humans that interact with ever-advancing technology.

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Newly Published: Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction
Edited by Kevin A. Morrison

This companion to Victorian popular fiction includes more than 300 cross-referenced entries on works written for the British mass market. Biographical sketches cover the writers and their publishers, the topics that concerned them and the genres they helped to establish or refine. Entries introduce readers to long-overlooked authors who were widely read in their time, with suggestions for further reading and emerging resources for the study of popular fiction.

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Newly Published: Fantasy Literature and Christianity

New on our bookshelf today:

Fantasy Literature and Christianity: A Study of the Mistborn, Coldfire, Fionavar Tapestry and Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series
Weronika Łaszkiewicz

The debate surrounding the Christian aspects of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has revealed not only the prominence of religious themes in fantasy fiction, but also readers’ concerns over portrayals of religion in fantasy. Yet while analyses of these works fill many volumes, other fantasy series have received much less attention. This critical study explores the fantastic religions and religious themes in the works of American and Canadian writers Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry), Celia S. Friedman (Coldfire Trilogy), and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) series. References to biblical tradition and Christian teachings reveal these writers’ overall approach to Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and the fantasy genre.

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Newly Published: The Bite, the Breast and the Blood

New on our bookshelf today:

The Bite, the Breast and the Blood: Why Modern Vampire Stories Suck Us In
Amy Williams Wilson

Central to every vampire story is the undead’s need for human blood, but equally compelling is the human ingestion of vampire blood, which often creates a bond. This blood connection suggests two primal, natural desires: breastfeeding and communion with God through a blood covenant.

This analysis of vampire stories explores the benefits of the bonding experiences of breastfeeding and Christian and vampire narratives, arguing that modern readers and viewers are drawn to this genre because of our innate fascination with the relationship between human and maker.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in October Issue of Choice

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
“Compelling…crucially contributing to feminist recovery work and scholarship in African American studies, Freedom Narratives of African American Women is required reading for those interested in 19th-century America…essential.”

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
“Groundbreaking study…this volume is required reading for RPG and gaming scholars…essential.”

The American Soldier, 1866–1916: The Enlisted Man and the Transformation of the United States Army
“This is a rewarding study of enlisted men in the post–Civil War era…recommended.”

Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941
“Challenges widely accepted views…an interesting historical analysis…recommended.”

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Newly Published: The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio

New on our bookshelf today:

The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio: Exploring Their Parallel Worlds
Laura Tosi with Peter Hunt

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871) and Carlo Collodi’s Le Avventure di Pinocchio (1883) are among the most influential classics of children’s literature. Firmly rooted in their respective British and Italian national cultures, the Alice and Pinocchio stories connected to a worldwide audience almost like folktales and fairy tales and have become fixtures of postmodernism.

Although they come from radically different political and social backgrounds, the texts share surprising similarities. This comparative reading explores their imagery and history, and discusses them in the broader context of British and Italian children’s stories.

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Newly Published: Writing for College

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing for College: A No-B.S. Guide
Robert Alden Rubin

This book guides first-year students through the dos and don’ts of composition, from such basic questions as “Can I use ‘I’ in a college essay?” to more advanced points about structure and style. Emphasizing the importance of writing in all majors, the author encourages students to find their own voice and to express themselves without jargon or “academese.” Tips are provided on concision, use of supporting claims, marshaling arguments, researching topics, documenting sources, and revision.

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Newly Published: The Echo of Odin

New on our bookshelf today:

The Echo of Odin: Norse Mythology and Human Consciousness
Edward W.L. Smith

The pagan mythology of the Vikings offers a rich metaphor for consciousness. This book presents the cosmography of Norse mythology as a landscape of human inner life. Each of the nine worlds of this cosmography is viewed as a symbol of a distinct type of consciousness that is emblematic of a particular perspective or way of relating to others.

Individual gods and goddesses are considered nuanced personifications of their worlds. The philosophy of pagan mythology is explored by comparing and contrasting the Sayings of Odin from the Norse Edda with the Christian Ten Commandments.

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Newly Published: Video Gaming in Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Video Gaming in Science Fiction: A Critical Study
Jason Barr

As video gaming and gaming culture became more mainstream in the 1970s, science fiction authors began to incorporate aspects of each into their work. This study examines how media-fueled paranoia about video gaming—first emerging almost fifty years ago—still resonates in modern science fiction. The author reveals how negative stereotypes of gamers and gaming have endured in depictions of modern gamers in the media and how honest portrayals are still wanting, even in the “forward thinking” world of science fiction.

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Newly Published: Pirates in History and Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Pirates in History and Popular Culture
Edited by Antonio Sanna

This collection of new essays covers the myriad portrayals of the figure of the pirate in historical records, literary narratives, films, television series, opera, anime and games. Contributors explore the nuances of both real and fictional pirates, giving attention to renowned works such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, and the anime One Piece, as well as less well known works such as pirate romances, William Clarke Russell’s The Frozen Pirate, Lionel Lindsay’s artworks, Steven Speilberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, and Pastafarian texts.

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Newly Published: Memory and Identity in Canadian Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Memory and Identity in Canadian Fiction: Self-Inventive Storytelling in the Works of Five Authors
Sharon Selby

Covering the works of Canadian authors Alistair Macleod, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart, Margaret Atwood and Drew Hayden Taylor, the author explores how the themes of memory, storytelling and identity develop in their fiction. For the narrative voices in these works, the past is embedded in the present and a wider cultural history is written over with personal significance. The act of storytelling shapes the characters’ lives, letting them rewrite the past and be haunted by it. Storytelling becomes an existential act of everyday connection among ordinary people and daily (often unrecognized) acts of heroism.

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Newly Published: George Orwell on Screen

New on our bookshelf today:

George Orwell on Screen: Adaptations, Documentaries and Docudramas on Film and Television
David Ryan

British author and essayist George Orwell shot to fame with two iconic novels: the anti–Stalinist satire Animal Farm and the dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four.

A few years after his death in 1950, the CIA bankrolled screen adaptations of both novels as Cold War propaganda. Orwell’s depiction of a totalitarian police state captivated the media in the 1980s. Today, mounting anxieties about digital surveillance and globalization have made him a hot property in Hollywood.

Drawing on interviews with actors, writers, directors and producers, this book presents the first comprehensive study of Orwell on film and television. Beginning with CBS’s 1953 live production of Nineteen Eighty-Four that mirrored the McCarthy witch hunts, the author covers 20 wide-ranging adaptations, documentaries and biopics, including two lost BBC dramatizations from 1965.

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Newly Published: Shakespeare’s Apprenticeship

New on our bookshelf today:

Shakespeare’s Apprenticeship: Identifying the Real Playwright’s Earliest Works
Ramon Jiménez

The contents of the Shakespeare canon have come into question in recent years as scholars add plays or declare others only partially his work. Now, new literary and historical evidence demonstrates that five heretofore anonymous plays published or performed during his lifetime are actually his first versions of later canonical works.

Three histories, The Famous Victories of Henry the FifthThe True Tragedy of Richard the Third, and The Troublesome Reign of John; a comedy, The Taming of a Shrew; and a romance, King Leir, are products of Shakespeare’s juvenile years. Later in his career, he transformed them into the plays that bear nearly identical titles. Each is strikingly similar to its canonical counterpart in terms of structure, plot and cast, though the texts were entirely rewritten.

Virtually all scholars, critics and editors of Shakespeare have overlooked or disputed the idea that he had anything to do with them. This addition of five plays to the Shakespeare canon introduces a new facet to the authorship debate, and supplies further evidence that the real Shakespeare was Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford.

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King Arthur Sales Starts Now

What is known of the legendary King Arthur is mostly derived from folklore and literature.  Though today, one is just as likely to have been introduced to King Arthur by a cartoon boy pulling a sword from a stone.  You’ll find books covering all disciplines in our new King Arthur catalog
For film studies, McFarland’s latest catalog includes such titles as Kevin J. Harty’s groundbreaking Cinema Arthuriana and The Reel Middle Ages.  For students (and professors) of Arthurian literature, William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer have brought us a very useful book for the classroom, Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance.   It offers new translations from Latin, Middle English and Old French of texts that exemplify the most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages.  In addition to Arthuriana in folklore, literature and film, this new catalog also includes our line of popular works debating the evidence about historic sites and figures, including Hengest, Gwrtheyrn and the Chronology of Post-Roman BritainWhen you order direct from our website using the coupon code Arthur25, print editions of all Arthuriana books are 25% off September 15 through September 30.
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Newly Published: Adapted from the Original

New on our bookshelf today:

Adapted from the Original: Essays on the Value and Values of Works Remade for a New Medium
Edited by Laurence Raw

Critics and audiences often judge films, books and other media as “great” —but what does that really mean? This collection of new essays examines the various criteria by which degrees of greatness (or not-so) are constructed—whether by personal, political or social standards—through topics in cinema, literature and adaptation. The contributors recognize how issues of value vary across different cultures, and explore what those differences say about attitudes and beliefs.

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Newly Published: Terrifying Texts

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrifying Texts: Essays on Books of Good and Evil in Horror Cinema
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

From Faust (1926) to The Babadook (2014), books have been featured in horror films as warnings, gateways, prisons and manifestations of the monstrous. Ancient grimoires such as the Necronomicon serve as timeless vessels of knowledge beyond human comprehension, while runes, summoning diaries, and spell books offer their readers access to the powers of the supernatural—but at what cost?
 This collection of new essays examines nearly a century of genre horror in which on-screen texts drive and shape their narratives, sometimes unnoticed. The contributors explore American films like The Evil Dead (1981), The Prophecy (1995) and It Follows (2014), as well as such international films as Eric Valette’s Malefique (2002), Paco Cabeza’s The Appeared (2007) and Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (1981).

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Newly Published: Storytelling in the Modern Board Game

New on our bookshelf today:

Storytelling in the Modern Board Game: Narrative Trends from the Late 1960s to Today
Marco Arnaudo

Over the years, board games have evolved to include relatable characters, vivid settings and compelling, intricate plotlines. In turn, players have become more emotionally involved—taking on, in essence, the role of coauthors in an interactive narrative.

Through the lens of game studies and narratology—traditional storytelling concepts applied to the gaming world—this book explores the synergy of board games, designers and players in story-oriented designs. The author provides development guidance for game designers and recommends games to explore for hobby players.

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Newly Published: Teens and the New Religious Landscape

New on our bookshelf today:

Teens and the New Religious Landscape: Essays on Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Edited by Jacob Stratman

How are teenagers’ religious experiences shown in today’s young adult literature? How do authors use religious texts and beliefs to add depth to characters, settings and plots? How does YA fiction place itself in the larger conversation regarding religion?

Modern YA fiction does not shy away from the dilemmas and anxieties teenagers face today. While many stories end with the protagonist in a state of flux if not despair, some authors choose redemption or reconciliation.

This collection of new essays explores these issues and more, with a focus on stories in which characters respond to a new (often shifting) religious landscape, in both realistic and fantastic worlds.

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Newly Published: Redes literarias

New on our bookshelf today:

Redes literarias: Antología del texto hispánico en su contexto histórico-cultural
Compilado y comentado por Mindy E. Badía y Bonnie L. Gasior

Esta nueva antología literaria—dirigida a estudiantes del tercer o cuarto año de un programa de español universitario—abarca poesía, prosa narrativa, drama y ensayo de autores españoles, latinoamericanos, y latinos. Las lecturas están organizadas cronológicamente y cada selección está acompañada por una introducción a su contexto histórico y sus conexiones con otras obras. Redes proporciona un conocimiento básico de la historia literaria del mundo hispano además de una introducción a los aspectos formales del análisis  literario.

This literary anthology—aimed at students in the third or fourth years of a university-level Spanish program—includes poetry, prose narrative, drama and essays by Spanish, Latin American and Latino authors. The readings are organized chronologically, and each selection is accompanied by an introduction to its historical context and its connections to other works. Redes provides a background of the literary history of the Hispanic world as well as an introduction to the formal aspects of literary analysis.

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Newly Published: Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

New on our bookshelf today:

Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Edited by Jamil Khoury, Michael Malek Najjar and Corey Pond

A bold and singular collection of six plays by Arab and Jewish playwrights explores the human toll of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Admission by Motti Lerner, Scenes From 70* Years by Hannah Khalil, Tennis in Nablus by Ismail Khalidi, Urge for Going by Mona Mansour, The Victims by Ken Kaissar, and The Zionists by Zohar Tirosh-Polk.

Rather than striving to achieve balance and moral equivalency between “competing” narratives, the plays investigate themes of identity, justice, occupation, exile, history and homeland with honesty and integrity. The plays do not “take sides” or adhere to ideological orthodoxies but challenge tribalism and narrow definitions of nationalism, while varying widely in thematic content, dramatic structure, and time and place.

Where politicians and diplomats fail, artists and storytellers may yet succeed—not in ratifying a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, but in building the sort of social and political connectivity that enables resolution.

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Newly Published: Crime Fiction from a Professional Eye

New on our bookshelf today:

Crime Fiction from a Professional Eye: Women Writers with Law Enforcement and Justice Experience
Lili Pâquet

There is a new category of authors blurring the line between fiction and nonfiction: women who work or have worked in criminal justice—lawyers, police officers and forensic investigators—who publish crime fiction with characters that resemble real-life counterparts. Drawing on their professional experience, these writers present compelling portrayals of inequality and dysfunction in criminal justice systems from a feminist viewpoint. This book presents the first examination of the true-crime-infused fiction of authors like Dorothy Uhnak, Kathy Reichs and Linda Fairstein.

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Newly Published: Worlds Gone Awry

New on our bookshelf today:

Worlds Gone Awry: Essays on Dystopian Fiction
Edited by John J. Han, C. Clark Triplett and Ashley G. Anthony

Dystopian fiction captivates us by depicting future worlds at once eerily similar and shockingly foreign to our own. This collection of new essays presents some of the most recent scholarship on a genre whose popularity has surged dramatically since the 1990s. Contributors explore such novels as The Lord of the FliesThe Heart Goes LastThe Giver and The Strain Trilogy as social critique, revealing how they appeal to the same impulse as utopian fiction: the desire for an idealized yet illusory society in which evil is purged and justice prevails.

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Newly Published: Finding Monte Cristo

New on our bookshelf today:

Finding Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas and the French Atlantic World
Eric Martone

During his lifetime, Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870)—grandson of a Caribbean slave and author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo—faced racial prejudice in his homeland of France and constantly strove to find a sense of belonging. For him, “Monte Cristo” was a symbol of this elusive quest.

It proved equally elusive for those struggling to overcome slavery and its legacy in the former French colonies. Exiled to the margins of society, 19th and 20th century black intellectuals from the Caribbean and Africa drew on Dumas’ work and celebrity to renegotiate their full acceptance as French citizens. Their efforts were influenced by earlier struggles of African Americans in the decades after the Civil War, who celebrated Dumas as a black American hero.

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Newly Published: Young Adult Literature in the Composition Classroom

New on our bookshelf today:

Young Adult Literature in the Composition Classroom: Essays on Practical Application
Edited by Tamara Girardi and Abigail G. Scheg

Young adult literature holds an exceptional place in modern American popular culture. Accessible to readers of all levels, it captures a diverse audience and tends to adapt to the big screen in an exciting way. With its wide readership, YAL sparks interesting discussions inside and outside of the classroom. This collection of new essays examines how YAL has impacted college composition courses, primarily focusing on the first year. Contributors discuss popular YA stories, their educational potential, and possibilities for classroom discussion and exercise.

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Newly Published: Alternate Worlds

New on our bookshelf today:

Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, 3d ed.
James Gunn

Alternate Worlds was first published in 1975 and became an instant classic, winning a Hugo award. This third edition brings the history of science fiction up to date, covering developments over the past forty years—a period that has seen the advent of technologies only imagined in the genre’s Golden Age.

As a literature of change, science fiction has become ever more meaningful, presaging dangers to humanity and, as Alvin Toffler wrote, guarding against “the premature arrival of the future.” The world has begun to recognize science fiction in many different ways, incorporating its elements in products, visual media and huge conventions.

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Newly Published: Longfellow in Love

New on our bookshelf today:

Longfellow in Love: Passion and Tragedy in the Life of the Poet
Edward M. Cifelli

After four years travelling through Europe and a yearlong romance with Giulia Persiani in Rome, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow came back home in 1829 and fell in love again, this time with Mary Storer Potter, whom he married in 1831. They travelled together to England and Scandinavia in 1834 but their happiness was cut short when she died in 1835.

In 1836, traveling in Switzerland, he met the woman who would become the grand passion of his life, 18-year old Fanny Appleton of Boston. But she, a wealthy textile heiress, was not interested in settling down with a Harvard professor. She rebuffed his advances for six years—then suddenly changed her mind and married him on July 13, 1843. For the next 18 years they were “America’s couple,” and Longfellow became America’s poet—and then tragedy struck once again.

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Newly Published: A Dune Companion

New on our bookshelf today:

A Dune Companion: Characters, Places and Terms in Frank Herbert’s Original Six Novels
Donald E. Palumbo

This companion to Frank Herbert’s six original Dune novels—DuneDune MessiahChildren of DuneGod Emperor of DuneHeretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune—provides an encyclopedia of characters, locations, terms and other elements, and highlights the series’ underrated aesthetic integrity. An extensive introduction discusses the theme of ecology, chaos theory concepts and structures, and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in Herbert’s narratives.

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Newly Published: Gary Paulsen

New on our bookshelf today:

Gary Paulsen: A Companion to the Young Adult Literature
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

McFarland Companions to Young Adult Literature American novelist Gary Paulsen is best known for his young adult fiction, including bestsellers NightjohnSoldier’s Heart, and Woods Runner. From his trenchant prose in The Rifle and The Foxman to the witty escapades of Harris and Me and Zero to Sixty, Paulsen crafts stories with impressive range. The tender scenes in The Quilt and A Christmas Sonataspeak to his empathy for children, with characters who endure the same hardships that marred his own early life.

This literary companion introduces readers to his life and work. A-to-Z entries explore themes such as alcoholism, coming of age, slavery, survival, and war. A glossary defines terms unique to his work. Appendices provide related historical references, writing, art, and research topics.

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Newly Published: The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton

New on our bookshelf today:

The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction
Laird R. Blackwell

G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories are widely considered to be some of the finest detective short stories ever published, offering vivid writing, brilliant puzzles, biting social criticism, and metaphysical explorations of life’s great questions. This book presents the first in-depth analysis of his works both as classics of the detective genre and as meaningful philosophical inquiries. The Father Brown stories are examined along with Chesterton’s less well known fiction, including the short stories about Mr. Pond, Gabriel Gale, Basil and Rupert Grant, Horne Fisher, Dr. Adrian Hyde and Philip Swayne, and the novels The Man Who Was Thursday and Manalive.

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Newly Published: Teaching Huckleberry Finn

New on our bookshelf today:

Teaching Huckleberry Finn: Why and How to Present the Controversial Classic in the High School Classroom
John Nogowski

Nearly all of the Gadsden County’s student body is black and considered economically disadvantaged, the highest percentage of any school district in Florida. Fewer than 15 percent perform at grade level.

An idealistic new teacher at East Gadsden High, John Nogowski saw that the Department of Education’s techniques would not work in this environment. He wanted to make an impact in his students’ lives. In a room stacked with battered classics like A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird, he found 30 pristine, “quarantined” copies of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Abused by an alcoholic father, neglected by his own community, consigned to a life of privation and danger. Wouldn’t Huck strike a chord with these kids? Were he alive today, wouldn’t he be one of them? Part lesson plan, part memoir, Nogowski’s surprising narrative details his experience teaching Twain’s politically charged satire of American racism and hypocrisy to poor black teens.

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Newly Published: The Spectacle of Twins in American Literature and Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

The Spectacle of Twins in American Literature and Popular Culture
Karen Dillon

The cultural fantasy of twins imagines them as physically and behaviorally identical. Media portrayals consistently offer the spectacle of twins who share an insular closeness and perform a supposed alikeness—standing side by side, speaking and acting in unison.

Treating twinship as a cultural phenomenon, this first comprehensive study of twins in American literature and popular culture examines the historical narrative—within the discourses of experimentation, aberrance and eugenics—and how it has shaped their representations in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Newly Published: Violence and Victimhood in Hispanic Crime Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Violence and Victimhood in Hispanic Crime Fiction: Essays on Contemporary Works
Edited by Shalisa M. Collins, Renée W. Craig-Odders and Marcella L. Paul

At the heart of crime fiction is an investigation into an act of violence. Studies of the genre have generally centered on the relationship between the criminal and the investigator. Focusing on contemporary crime fiction from the Spanish-speaking world, this collection of new essays explores the role of the victim.

Contributors discuss how the definition of “victim,” the nature of the crime, the identification of the body and its treatment by authorities reflect shifting social landscapes, changing demographics, economic crises and political corruption and instability.

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July Transportation Sale: Get 25% off ALL Transportation Titles

Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors.  When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout.  Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal.  On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
 
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution!  In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
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Author Stephen Knight Receives George N. Dove Award

Congratulations to author Stephen Knight, the 2018 recipient of the George N. Dove Award! Presented annually by the Mystery Area of the Popular Culture Association, the Dove Award recognizes an outstanding scholar in mystery and crime fiction research.

Knight is the author of four McFarland books: The Mysteries of the CitiesSecrets of Crime Fiction ClassicsTowards Sherlock Holmes, and Australian Crime Fiction.

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Newly Published: In Search of Elena Ferrante

New on our bookshelf today:

In Search of Elena Ferrante: The Novels and the Question of Authorship
Karen Bojar

Elena Ferrante—named one of the 100 most influential people in 2016 by Time magazine—is best known for her Neapolitan novels, which explore such themes as the complexity of female friendship; the joys and constraints of motherhood; the impact of changing gender roles; the pervasiveness of male violence; the struggle for upward mobility; and the impact of the feminist movement. Ferrante’s three novellas encompass similar themes, focusing on moments of extreme tension in women’s lives.

This study analyzes the integration of political themes and feminist theory in Ferrante’s works, including men’s entrapment in a sexist script written for them from time immemorial. Her decision to write under a pseudonym is examined, along with speculation that Rome-based translator Anita Raja and her husband Domenico Starnone are coauthors of Ferrante’s books.

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Newly Published: Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915

New on our bookshelf today:

Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915
Ed Klekowski and Libby Klekowski

By 1915, the Western Front was a 450–mile line of trenches, barbed wire and concrete bunkers, stretching across Europe. Attempts to break the stalemate were murderous and futile. Censorship of the press was extreme—no one wanted the carnage reported.

Remakably, the Allied command gave two intrepid American women, Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart, permission to visit the front and report on what they saw. Their travels are reconstructed from their own published accounts, Rinehart’s unpublished day-by-day notes, and the writings of other journalists who toured the front in 1915. The present authors’ explorations of the places Wharton and Rinehart visited serves as a travel guide to the Western Front.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the July issue of Choice!

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
“Any car spotter will enjoy this book, and may find a 26 horsepower favorite. The book is presented in a pleasant, easily readable format and contains a useful index and excellent bibliography… recommended.”

Women in the American Revolution
“effective… enriches the breadth of scholarship published on this topic… Wike’s multicultural net captures the multifaceted roles of women… recommended.”

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
“This readable book will no doubt be enjoyed by his intended audience of football and sports fans… recommended.”

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
“Nuanced… one leaves this study with a thorough knowledge of Green’s oeuvre and full insight into his mastery of high modernism… recommended.”

 

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Newly Published: Growing Up with Vampires

New on our bookshelf today:

Growing Up with Vampires: Essays on the Undead in Children’s Media
Edited by Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk

Vampire narratives are generally thought of as adult or young adult fare, yet there is a long history of their appearance in books, film and other media meant for children. They emerge as expressions of anxiety about change and growing up but sometimes turn out to be new best friends who highlight the beauty of difference and individuality.

This collection of new essays examines the history of vampires in 20th and 21st century Western popular media marketed to preteens and explores their significance and symbolism.

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Newly Published: Deadwood and Shakespeare

New on our bookshelf today:

Deadwood and Shakespeare: The Henriad in the Old West
Susan Cosby Ronnenberg

Set in politically unstable environments, Shakespeare’s history plays—Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V—and HBO’s Western series Deadwood (2004–2006) all stand as critiques of myths of national origin, the sanitized stories we tell ourselves about how power imposes order on chaos. Drawing parallels between the Shakespeare plays and Deadwood, the author explores questions about legitimate political authority, the qualities of an effective leader, gender roles and community, and the reciprocal relationship between past and present in historical narratives.

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Newly Published: I Am Legend as American Myth

New on our bookshelf today:

I Am Legend as American Myth: Race and Masculinity in the Novel and Its Film Adaptations
Amy J. Ransom

Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend has spawned a series of iconic horror and science fiction films, including The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007). The compelling narrative of the last man on earth, struggling to survive a pandemic that has transformed the rest of humanity into monsters, has become an American myth. While the core story remains intact, filmmakers have transformed the details over time, reflecting changing attitudes about race and masculinity.

This reexamination of Matheson’s novel situates the tale of one man’s conflicted attitude about killing racialized “others” within its original post–World War II context, engaging the question of post-traumatic stress disorder. The author analyzes the several film adaptations, with a focus on the casting and interpretations of protagonist Robert Neville.

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Newly Published: “The game’s afoot”

New on our bookshelf today:

“The game’s afoot”: A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare
Cynthia Lewis

Like the age-old feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet, the enduring rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers makes for great drama. Macbeth’s career began with promise but ended in ruin—not unlike Pete Rose’s. Twelfth Night’s Viola’s disguise as a boy to enter into a man’s world is echoed in Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ challenge to the pro golf patriarchy when she competed in the Los Angeles Open.

Exploring parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and famous events in the world of sports, this book introduces seven of the best-known plays to the sports enthusiast and offers a fresh perspective to Shakespeare devotees.

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Newly Published: H.P. Lovecraft

New on our bookshelf today:

H.P. Lovecraft: Selected Works, Critical Perspectives and Interviews on His Influence
H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by Leverett Butts

This collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s most influential works presents several of his most famous stories, a sampling of his poetry and an abridgment of his monograph Supernatural Horror in Literature, with commentary providing background and context. Criticism is included from such scholars as S.T. Joshi and Robert M. Price, along with essays by writers Brad Strickland and T.E.D. Klein, and interviews with Pulitzer-nominated author Richard Monaco (Parsival) and award-winning novelists Cherie Priest (Boneshaker) and Caitlin Kiernan (The Drowning Girl).

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Newly Published: Postmodern Artistry in Medievalist Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Postmodern Artistry in Medievalist Fiction: An International Study
Earl R. Anderson

Focusing on modern-day fiction set in the Middle Ages or that incorporates medieval elements, this study examines storytelling components and rhetorical tropes in more than 60 works in five languages by more than 40 authors.

Medievalist fiction got its “postmodern” start with such authors as Calvino, Fuentes, Carpentier and Eco. Its momentum increased since the 1990s with writers whose work has received less critical attention, like Laura Esquivel, Tariq Ali, Matthew Pearl, Matilde Asensi, Ildefonso Falcones, Andrew Davison, Bernard Cornwell, Donnal Woolfolk Cross, Ariana Franklin, Nicole Griffith, Levi Grossman, Conn Iggulden, Edward Rutherfurd, Javier Sierra, Alan Moore and Brenda Vantrease.

The author explores a wide range of “medievalizing” tropes, discusses the negative responses of postmodernism and posits four “hard problems” in medievalist fiction.

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Newly Published: Don Quixote as Children’s Literature

New on our bookshelf today:

Don Quixote as Children’s Literature: A Tradition in English Words and Pictures
Velma Bourgeois Richmond

Cervantes is regarded as the author of the first novel and the inventor of fiction. From its publication in 1605, Don Quixote—recently named the world’s best book by authors from 54 countries—has been widely translated and imitated. Among its less acknowledged imitations are stories in children’s literature.

In context of English adaptation and critical response this book explores the noble and “mad” adventures retold for children by distinguished writers and artists in Edwardian books, collections, home libraries, schoolbooks and picture books. More recent adaptations including comics and graphic novels deviate from traditional retellings. All speak to the knight-errant’s lasting influence and appeal to children.

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Newly Published: Shocking and Sensational

New on our bookshelf today:

Shocking and Sensational: The Stories Behind Famous True Crime and Scandal Books
Julian Upton

Already part of a genre known for generating controversy, some true crime and scandal books have wielded a particular power to unsettle readers, provoke authorities and renew interest in a case. The reactions to such literature have been as contentious as the books themselves, clouding the “truth” with myths and inaccuracies.

From high-profile publishing sensations such as Ten Rillington PlaceFatal Vision and Mommie Dearestto the wealth of writing on the JFK assassination, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the Black Dahlia murder, this book delves into that hard copy era when crime and scandal books had a cultural impact beyond the genre’s film and TV documentaries, fueling outcries that sometimes matched the notoriety of the cases they discussed and leaving legacies that still resonate today.

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Newly Published: Modern Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Modern Science Fiction: A Critical Analysis: The Seminal 1951 Thesis with a New Introduction and Commentary
James Gunn
Edited by Michael R. Page

James Gunn—one of the founding figures of science fiction scholarship and teaching—wrote in 1951 what is likely the first master’s thesis on modern science fiction. Portions were in the short-lived pulp magazine Dynamic but it has otherwise remained unavailable.

Here in its first full publication, the thesis explores many of the classic Golden Age stories of the 1940s and the critical perspective that informed Gunn’s essential genre history Alternate Worlds and his anthology series The Road to Science Fiction.

The editor’s introduction and commentary show the historical significance of Gunn’s work and its relevance to today’s science fiction studies.

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Newly Published: Once Upon a Time in a Dark and Scary Book

New on our bookshelf today:

Once Upon a Time in a Dark and Scary Book: The Messages of Horror Literature for Children
K. Shryock Hood

Contemporary American horror literature for children and young adults has two bold messages for readers: adults are untrustworthy, unreliable and often dangerous; and the monster always wins (as it must if there is to be a sequel).

Examining the young adult horror series and the religious horror series for children (Left Behind: The Kids) for the first time, and tracing the unstoppable monster to Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, this book sheds new light on the problematic message produced by the combination of marketing and books for contemporary American young readers.

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Newly Published: Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld

New on our bookshelf today:

Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality
Sharon Paice MacLeod

Despite censorship and revision by Christian redactors, the early medieval manuscripts of Ireland and Britain contain tantalizing clues to the cosmology, religion and mythology of native Celtic cultures. Focusing on the latest research and translations, the author provides fresh insight into the indigenous beliefs and practices of the Iron Age inhabitants of the British Isles. Chapters cover a broad range of topics, including creation and cosmogony, the deities of the Gaels, feminine power in early Irish sources, and priestesses and magical rites.

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Newly Published: Psience Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Psience Fiction: The Paranormal in Science Fiction Literature
Damien Broderick

Science fiction has often been considered the literature of futuristic technology: fantastic warfare among the stars or ruinous apocalypses on Earth. The last century, however, saw through John W. Campbell the introduction of “psience fiction,” which explores themes of mind powers—telepathy, precognition of the future, teleportation, etc.—and symbolic machines that react to such forces.

The author surveys this long-ignored literary shift through a series of influential novels and short stories published between the 1930s and the present. This discussion is framed by the sudden surge of interest in parapsychology and its absorption not only into the SF genre, but also into the real world through military experiments such as the Star Gate Program.

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Two Books Reviewed in May Issue of Choice

Bare-Knuckle Britons and Fighting Irish: Boxing, Race, Religion and Nationality in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Adam Chill
“Compelling…captures the mise-en-scène of the sport, from the pubs and gambling halls to the action in the ring…recommended.”

The Caribbean Story Finder: A Guide to 438 Tales from 24 Nations and Territories, Listing Subjects and Sources
Sharon Barcan Elswit
“Fills a gap…well-constructed…the bibliography is excellent…A valuable resource for folk life, world literature, children’s literature, and intercultural studies…recommended.”

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Newly Published: A Successful Novel Must Be in Want of a Sequel

New on our bookshelf today:

A Successful Novel Must Be in Want of a Sequel: Second Takes on Classics from The Scarlet Letter to Rebecca
M. Carmen Gomez-Galisteo

What happened after Mr. Darcy married Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice? Where did Heathcliff go when he disappeared in Wuthering Heights? What social ostracism would Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter have faced in 20th century America?

Great novels often leave behind great questions—sequels seek to answer them. This critical analysis offers fresh insights into the sequels to seven literary classics, including Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

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Newly Published: French in a Flash

New on our bookshelf today:

French in a Flash: Grammar and Vocabulary Fundamentals
Barbara Boyer

Combining concise grammar and vocabulary lessons written for non-linguists, this practical French study guide makes even the more difficult parts of the language easily understandable. Fundamentals are explained in simple terms with helpful tips, clear summaries, visual shortcuts and charts. A simplified pronunciation guide tailored to English speakers is provided, along with a chapter on spoken French for more advanced learners. Each lesson is combined with helpful review exercises and answer keys to evaluate progress and to fast-track language acquisition, for the classroom or for self-directed learning. Suitable for students of all levels, the content is designed to present the language structures of standard undergraduate French courses.

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Newly Published: Writing and the Body in Motion

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing and the Body in Motion: Awakening Voice through Somatic Practice
Cheryl Pallant

Based upon the author’s lifetime practices as a dancer, poet and teacher, this innovative approach to developing body awareness focuses on achieving self-discovery and well-being through movement, mindfulness and writing. Written from a holistic (rather than dualistic) view of the mind-body problem, discussion and exercises draw on dance, psychology, neuroscience and meditation to guide personal exploration and creative expression.

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Newly Published: Blood on the Table

New on our bookshelf today:

Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction
Edited by Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda and Barbara Pezzotti

Written from a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective, this collection of new essays explores the semiotics of food in the 20th and 21st century crime fiction of authors such as Anthony Bourdain, Arthur Upfield, Sara Paretsky, Andrea Camilleri, Fred Vargas, Ruth Rendell, Stieg Larsson, Leonardo Padura, Georges Simenon, Paco Ignacio Talbo II, and Donna Leon. The collection covers a range of issues, such as the provision of intra-, per- or paratextual recipes, the aesthetics and ethics of food, eating rituals as indications of cultural belonging and regional, national and supranational, and eating disorders and other seemingly abnormal habits as signs of “otherness.” Also mentioned are the television productions of the Inspector Montalbano series (1999–ongoing), the Danish-Swedish Bron/Broen (2011[The Bridge]), and its remakes The Tunnel (2013, France/UK) and The Bridge (2013, USA).

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Newly Published: Perilous Escapades

New on our bookshelf today:

Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction
Gary Hoppenstand

Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.

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Newly Published: Girls on Fire

New on our bookshelf today:

Girls on Fire: Transformative Heroines in Young Adult Dystopian Literature
Sarah Hentges

Under the threat of climate change, corruption, inequality and injustice, Americans may feel they are living in a dystopian novel come to life. Like many American narratives, dystopian stories often focus on males as the agents of social change.

With a focus on the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and power, the author analyzes the themes, issues and characters in young adult (YA) dystopian fiction featuring female protagonists—the Girls on Fire who inspire progressive transformation for the future.

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Newly Published: British Chess Literature to 1914

New on our bookshelf today:

British Chess Literature to 1914: A Handbook for Historians
Tim Harding

A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.

Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.

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Newly Published: The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body
Edited by Ashton Spacey

Like other forms of fan fiction, slash fiction—centered on same-sex relationships between two or more characters—is a powerful cultural dialogue. Though the genre can be socially transformative, particularly as an active feminist resistance to patriarchal ideologies, it is complex and continually evolving.

This collection of new essays covers topics on real, “fringe” bodies and identities; the inscription and transgression of bodily boundaries; and the exploration of power, autonomy and personal agency. Considering the darker side of the genre, these essays discuss how systems of authority are both challenged and reiterated by the erotic imagination, and how the voices of marginalized groups are both raised and ignored within slash fiction and fan communities.

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2017

New on our bookshelf today:

Text & Presentation, 2017
Edited by Jay Malarcher

Presenting some of the best work from the 2017 Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection highlights the latest research in comparative drama, performance and dramatic textual analysis. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, from the “practical ethnography” of directing foreign language productions to writing for theoretical stages to the “radical deaf theater” of Aaron Sawyer’s The Vineyard. A full transcript of the keynote conversation with American playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer is included.

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Weekly Deal: Celtic Studies

This week, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with 20% off all Celtic studies books! Enter the coupon code CELTIC at checkout!

Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs

Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages

The Irish Vampire: From Folklore to the Imaginations of Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker

The Druids and King Arthur: A New View of Early Britain

The Other British Isles: A History of Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Scilly, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands

Modern Druidism

Celtic Cosmology and the Other World: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

British and Irish Poets: A Biographical Dictionary 449-2006

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Newly Published: Themes in Dickens

New on our bookshelf today:

Themes in Dickens: Seven Recurring Concerns in the Writings
Peter J. Ponzio

The Victorian age is often portrayed as an era of repressive social mores. Yet this simplified view ignores the context of Great Britain’s profound shift, through rapid industrialization, from rural to metropolitan life during this time.

Throughout his career, Charles Dickens addressed the numerous changes occurring in Victorian society. His portrayals of organized religion, class distinction, worker’s rights, prison reform and rampant poverty resonated with readers experiencing social upheaval. Focusing on his novels, nonfiction writing, speeches and personal correspondence, this book explores Dickens’s use of these themes as both literary devices and as a means to effect social progress.

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Newly Published: James Joyce

New on our bookshelf today:

James Joyce: A Literary Companion
James F. Broderick

Though he published just a handful of major works in his lifetime, James Joyce (1882–1941) continues to fascinate readers around the world and remains one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. The complexity of Joyce’s style has attracted—and occasionally puzzled—generations of readers who have succumbed to the richness of his literary world.

This literary companion guides readers through his four major works—Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—with chapter-by-chapter discussions and critical inquiry. An A to Z format covers the works, people, history and context that influenced his writing. Appendices summarize notable Joycean literary criticism and biography, and also discuss significant films based on his work.

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of Ajax

New on our bookshelf today:

The Many Lives of Ajax: The Trojan War Hero from Antiquity to Modern Times
Timothy V. Dugan

Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.

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Newly Published: The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie
William Shakespeare and Chase Pielak

What if one of literature’s greatest poets was actually a zombie, writing in an Elizabethan world teeming with the undead hiding in plain sight? Inviting readers to see the sublime in the looming apocalypse, this book presents all 154 Shakespearean sonnets (with minor alterations transfigured into “zonnets”) in their horrifying glory, highlighting transcendent themes of love, death, beauty and feasting on the flesh of the living. Each sonnet portrays a zombie encounter, with accompanying vignettes revealing the struggles of undead life in early modern England. Original illustrations by Anna Pagnucci bring the nightmare to life. Shakespeare will never be the same.

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

Library World Records, 3d ed.
Godfrey Oswald
“Simply fun to browse…a tremendous resource for researchers and authors wishing to incorporate library facts and statistics into their work…recommended.”—Choice

The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
“A valuable resource for future analysis…recommended.”—Choice

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Newly Published: Chivalry in Westeros

New on our bookshelf today:

Chivalry in Westeros: The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire
Carol Parrish Jamison

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.
This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics.

Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.

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Three New Titles Reviewed in February Issue of Choice

Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy
Matthew Coniam
“Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended.”

Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
David Owen
“An engaging book…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”

P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young
“Recommended”

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and Convergence Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Harry Potter and Convergence Culture: Essays on Fandom and the Expanding Potterverse
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

Since the 1997 publication of the first Harry Potter novel, the “Potterverse” has seen the addition of eight feature films (with a ninth in production), the creation of the interactive Pottermore© website, the release of myriad video games, the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, several companion books (such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), critical essays and analyses, and the 2016 debut of the original stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

This collection of new essays interprets the Wizarding World beyond the books and films through the lens of convergence culture. Contributors explore how online communities tackle Sorting and games like the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and analyze how Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are changing fandom and the canon alike.

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Newly Published: Janet Frame in Focus

New on our bookshelf today:

Janet Frame in Focus: Women Analyze the Works of the New Zealand Writer
Edited by Josephine A. McQuail

 New Zealand author Janet Frame (1924-2004) during her lifetime published 11 novels, three collections of short stories, a volume of poetry and a children’s book.

   The details of her life–her tragic early years, her confinement in a psychiatric hospital and her miraculous reprieve–overshadow her work and she remains largely neglected by scholars.

   These essays focus on Frame’s autobiography, short stories and novels. Contributors from around the world explore a range of topics, including her mother’s Christadelphian faith, her relationships with two 20th century icons (William Theophilus Brown and John Money), and a view of Frame in the context of trauma studies. Two of the essays were presented at the 2014 Northeast Modern Language Association convention.

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Newly Published: A Dark California

New on our bookshelf today:

A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture
Edited by Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice and Agata Zarzycka

Focusing on portrayals of California in popular culture, this collection of new essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature (Toby Barlow, Angela Carter, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and Claire Vaye Watkins), video games (L.A. Noire), music (Death Grips, Lana Del Rey, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), TV (True Detective and American Horror Story), and film  (Starry Eyes, Southland Tales and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).

Providing insight into the significance of Californian icons, the contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected to the myth of the Golden State and ambivalent responses to the myth based on social and political power, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape and the dominance of hyperreality.

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann

A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Winston Churchill, Myth and RealityThe January issue of Choice features four recommended McFarland titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth
“Langworth fires a stunning barrage in the long-running battle over Churchill’s reputation…effectively demolishes many core myths…a required addition to any collection on Churchill…essential.”

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives
Brandon Fullam
“Persuasively written, coherent, and in-depth…fresh and well thought out…a fascinating account…well-researched…recommended.”

Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed
Henry H. Bauer
“Recommended.”

For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
“Comprehensive…recommended for all theater and gay studies collections.”

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

“We used to eat people”New on our bookshelf today:

“We used to eat people”: Revelations of a Fiji Islands Traditional Village
R.M.W. Dixon

Living in a reed hut on Taveuni—the “garden isle” of Fiji—the author studied the native language and carefully observed their traditions until he was accepted as a (somewhat unusual) member of the village.

Despite five cyclones the summer of 1985, daily life was idyllic. Cannibalism has been abandoned, reluctantly, at the behest of the new Christian God. But the old religion survived beneath the facade and priests danced naked on the beach beneath the full moon. The village pulsated with factions and feuds, resolved by the stern but benevolent chief, whose word was law. Legends told of a princess born as a bird, who was killed and thus became a comely maiden—but the murderer had to be cooked and eaten.

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Newly Published: Writing Under the Influence

Writing Under the InfluenceNew on our bookshelf today:

Writing Under the Influence: Alcohol and the Works of 13 American Authors
Aubrey Malone

Writers and alcohol have long been associated—for some, the association becomes unmanageable. Drawing on rare sources, this collection of brief biographies traces the lives of 13 well known literary drinkers, examining how their relationship with alcohol developed and how it affected their work, for better or worse.

Focusing on examples like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver, the combined biographies present a study of the classic figure of the over-indulging author.

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Newly Published: Freedom Narratives of African American Women

Freedom Narratives of African American WomenNew on our bookshelf today:

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis

Stories of liberation from enslavement or oppression have become central to African American women’s literature. Beginning with a discussion of black women freedom narratives as a literary genre, the author argues that these texts represent a discourse on civil rights that emerged earlier than the ideas of racial uplift that culminated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An examination of the collective free identity of black women and their relationships to the community focuses on education, individual progress, marriage and family, labor, intellectual commitments and community rebuilding projects.

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Newly Published: Storytelling in Video Games

Storytelling in Video GamesNew on our bookshelf today:

Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative
Amy M. Green

Beginning with the structural features of design and play, this book explores video games as both compelling examples of story-telling and important cultural artifacts.

The author analyzes fundamentals like immersion, world building and player agency and their role in crafting narratives in the Mass Effect series, BioShock, The Last of Us, Fallout 4 and many more. The text-focused “visual novel” genre is discussed as a form of interactive fiction.

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Newly Published: James Lee Burke

New on our bookshelf today:

James Lee Burke: A Literary Companion
Laurence W. Mazzeno

James Lee Burke is an acclaimed writer of crime novels in which protagonists battle low-life thugs who commit violent crimes and corporate executives who exploit the powerless. He is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series, set in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou country. With characters inspired by his own family, Burke uses the mystery genre to explore the nature of evil and an individual’s responsibility to friends, family and society at large.

This companion to his works provides a commentary on all of the characters, settings, events and themes in his novels and short stories, along with a critical discussion of his writing style, technique and literary devices. Glossaries describe the people and places and define unfamiliar terms. Selected interviews provide background information on both the writer and his stories.

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Newly Published: Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962

New on our bookshelf today:

Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962
Ryan Ellett

More than 700 uncredited scriptwriters who created the memorable characters and thrilling stories of radio’s Golden Age receive due recognition in this reference work. For some, radio was a stepping stone on the way to greater achievements in film or television, on the stage or in literature. For others, it was the culmination of a life spent writing newspaper copy. Established authors dabbled in radio as a new medium, while working writers saw it as another opportunity to earn a paycheck. When these men and women came to broadcasting, they crafted a body of work still appreciated by modern listeners.

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Newly Published: The American Writer

New on our bookshelf today:

The American Writer: Literary Life in the United States from the 1920s to the Present
Lawrence R. Samuel

The American writer—both real and fictitious, famous and obscure—has traditionally been situated on the margins of society, an outsider looking in. From The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway to the millions of bloggers today, writers are generally seen as onlookers documenting the human condition. Yet their own collective story has largely gone untold.

Tracing the role of the writer in the United States over the last century, this book describes how those who use language as a creative medium have held a special place in our collective imagination.

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New in Softcover: Tech-Noir

Now available in softcover:

Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir
Paul Meehan

This critical study traces the common origins of film noir and science fiction films, identifying the many instances in which the two have merged to form a distinctive subgenre known as Tech-Noir. From the German Expressionist cinema of the late 1920s to the present-day cyberpunk movement, the book examines more than 100 films in which the common noir elements of crime, mystery, surrealism, and human perversity intersect with the high technology of science fiction. The author also details the hybrid subgenre’s considerable influences on contemporary music, fashion, and culture.

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Four Books Reviewed in December Issue of Choice

The December issue of Choice features reviews of four new McFarland books!

Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Robert Ernest Hubbard
“This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended.”

Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Myron J. Smith, Jr.
“Excellent…thorough…a plethora of maps, illustrations, and charts…recommended.”

LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s
Caren J. Town
“Important…deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…recommended.”

The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway
“Excellent…This scholarly, informative, yet easy-to-read volume includes an excellent bibliography and will be a fine addition to academic library collections…recommended.”

 

 

 

 

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Newly Published: Henry Green

New on our bookshelf today:

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
Peter Wolfe

By mid-career, many successful writers have found a groove and their readers come to expect a familiar consistency and fidelity. Not so with Henry Green (1905–1973). He prefers uncertainty over reason and fragmentation over cohesion, and rarely lets the reader settle into a nice cozy read. Evil, he suggests, can be as instructive as good. Through Green’s use of paradoxical and ambiguous language, his novels bring texture to the flatness of life, making the world seem bigger and closer. We soon stop worrying about what Hitler’s bombs have in store for the Londoners of Caught (1943) and Back (1946) and start thinking about what they have in store for each other. Praised in his lifetime as England’s top fiction author, Green is largely overlooked today. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of his work for a new generation of readers.

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Newly Published: Science Fiction in Classic Rock

New on our bookshelf today:

Science Fiction in Classic Rock: Musical Explorations of Space, Technology and the Imagination, 1967–1982
Robert McParland

As technology advances, society retains its mythical roots—a tendency evident in rock music and its enduring relationship with myth and science fiction. This study explores the mythical and fantastic themes of artists from the late 1960s to the mid–1980s, including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Drawing on insights from Joseph Campbell, J.G. Frazer, Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade, the author examines how performers have incorporated mythic archetypes and science fiction imagery into songs that illustrate societal concerns and futuristic fantasies.

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New Catalog and Huge Holiday Sale

It’s our biggest sale of the year! Through the holiday season, get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17! Need inspiration? Check out our brand new holiday catalog!

HOLIDAY17 is valid through January 2, 2018, and applies to any book on McFarland’s website. Browse our entire online catalog here