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Newly Published: Judge, Jury and Executioner

New on our boookshelf:

Judge, Jury and Executioner: Essays on The Punisher in Print and on Screen
Edited by Alicia M. Goodman, Matthew J. McEniry, Ryan Cassidy and Robert G. Weiner

Since the Punisher’s first appearance in the pages of Spider-Man #129, the character has become one of the most popular and controversial figures in Marvel’s vast universe. The Punisher represents one of the most recognizable types of anti-heroes. His iconic skull insignia stands for a unique type of justice: protecting the innocent while violently eliminating everyone he sees as a villain. This collection examines the Punisher from philosophical perspectives about morality and justice. Essays critique the character through the lenses of gender and feminism; consider the Punisher’s veteran status in relation the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; and examine how politics and gun violence connect the Punisher’s world with the real world. Many iterations of the Punisher are examined within, including the Netflix release of Marvel’s The Punisher, comics series such as Punisher: MAX, Marvel Knights, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, and several fan fiction stories.

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Newly Published: Deconstructing Bret Easton Ellis

New on our bookshelf:

Deconstructing Bret Easton Ellis: A Derridean Reading of the Fiction
Annette Schimmelpfennig

Riddled with intertextual references and notorious for their explicit portrayal of sex, drugs, and the occasional rock ’n’ roll, the novels of Bret Easton Ellis reveal many layers. The novels are often accused of not making sense—but they instead make many senses. Their semantic complexity is obvious when put under a theoretical lens as provided by Jacques Derrida. His semiotic analysis, which focuses on the instability of meaning and is shaped by key terms such as différance, the trace, and the supplement, offers the ideal framework to look behind Ellis’s obsession with surfaces.

Aimed at aficionados of Ellis’s works as well as students of contemporary American fiction and literary theory, this book discusses the central issues in Ellis’s novels through 2019 and offers a new perspective for the practical use of Derrida’s ideas. In order to ensure accessibility, a theoretical chapter introduces all the concepts necessary to understand a Derridean analysis of Ellis’s fiction. As Rip says in Imperial Bedrooms: “It means so many things, Clay.”

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Newly Published: The Rail, the Body and the Pen

New on our bookshelf:

The Rail, the Body and the Pen: Essays on Travel, Medicine and Technology in 19th Century British Literature
Edited by Brian Cowlishaw

Many of the best-known British authors of the 1800s were fascinated by the science and technology of their era. Dickens included spontaneous human combustion and “mesmerism” (hyptnotism) in his plots. Mary Shelley created the immortal Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creature. H.G. Wells imagined the Time Machine, the Invisible Man, and invaders from Mars. Percy Shelley was as infamous at Oxford for his smelly experiments and for his atheism.

This book of essays explores representations of technology in the work of various nineteenth-century British authors. Essays cluster around two important areas of innovation— transportation and medicine. Each essay contributor accessibly maps out the places where art and science meet, detailing how these authors both affected and reflected the technological revolutions of their time.

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Newly Published: Ancient Greeks on the Human Condition

New on our bookshelf:

Ancient Greeks on the Human Condition: Themes in the Writings of Homer, Aristophanes, Euripides and Thucydides
Matthew Sims

This book examines the writings of four ancient Greeks–Homer, Thucydides, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Each of these four individuals represents a different approach toward the human condition, ranging from the heroic and tragic to the comic and absurd. This book focuses on how the human condition can best be understood within the framework of these four perspectives by examining the major contributions of these Greek writers, whether in the form of epic (Homer’s Iliad), history (Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War), or drama (the plays of Euripides and Aristophanes). These various perceptions of Greek thought illuminate our understanding of what it means to be fully human. By focusing on the concepts of the heroic, tragic, comic, and absurd, we can see how these ancient Greek authors still provide key insights for us today as they clarify those timeless features that define the human condition.

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Newly Published: Adapting Stephen King

New on our bookshelf:

Adapting Stephen King: Volume 1, Carrie, ’Salem’s Lot and The Shining from Novel to Screenplay
Joseph Maddrey

Stephen King’s fiction has formed the basis of more motion picture adaptations than any other living author. Over half a century since his earliest publications, Hollywood filmmakers continue to reinvent, reimagine, remake, and reboot King’s stories, with mixed results. This book, volume 1 in a series, examines the various screen adaptations of King’s first three novels: Carrie, Salem’s Lot, and The Shining. Reaching further than questions of fidelity to the author and adherence to directorial visions, it charts the development of each individual adaptation from first option to final cut. Through old and new interviews with the writers, producers, and directors of these films–as well as in-depth analyses of produced and unproduced screenplays–it illuminates the adaptation process as an intricately collaborative endeavor. Rather than merely synopsize the resulting stories, its goal is to compare, contrast, and contextualize each of these adaptations as the products of their creators.

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Newly Published: The Metatheater of Tennessee Williams

New on our bookshelf:

The Metatheater of Tennessee Williams: Tracing the Artistic Process Through Seven Plays
Laura Michiels

Tennessee Williams’ characters set the stage for their own dramas. Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire), arrived at her sister’s apartment with an entire trunk of costumes and props. Amanda Wingfield (The Glass Menagerie) directed her son on how to eat and tries to make her daughter act like a Southern Belle.

This book argues for the persistence of one metatheatrical strategy running throughout Williams’ entire oeuvre: each play stages the process through which it came into being–and this process consists of a variation on repetition combined with transformation. Each chapter takes a detailed reading of one play and its variation on repetition and transformation. Specific topics include reproduction in Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), mediation in Something Cloudy, Something Clear (1981), and how the playwright frequently recycled previous works of art, including his own.

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Newly Published: Islands and Captivity in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Islands and Captivity in Popular Culture: A Critical Study of Film, Television and Literature
Laura J. Getty

The choices that individuals make in moments of crisis can transform them. By focusing on fictional characters trapped on fictional islands, the book examines how individuals react when forced to make hard choices within the liminal space of a “prison” island. At stake is the perception of choice: do characters believe that they have the power to choose, or do they think that they are at the mercy of fate? The results reveal certain patterns—psychological, historical, social, and political—that exist across a variety of popular/public cultures and time periods.

This book focuses on how the interplay between liminality and the Locus of Control theory creates dynamic sites of negotiated meaning. This psychological concept has never before been used for literary analysis. Offered here as an alternative to the defects of Freudian psychology, the Locus of Control theory has been proven reliable in thousands of studies, and the results have been found, with few exceptions, to be consistent in both women and men. That consistency is explored through close readings of islands found in popular culture books, films, and television shows, with suggestions for future research.

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Newly Published: Walking the Camino de Santiago

New on our bookshelf:

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Essays on Pilgrimage in the Twenty-First Century
Edited by Tiffany Gagliardi Trotman

The Camino de Santiago, the Route of Saint James, the Way—all describe a pilgrimage with multiple routes that pass through Spain and end at the Cathedral of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela. In the 21st century, this medieval tradition is seeing a revival with travelers, both spiritual and secular, who embrace it for different reasons. Offering insight into the personal journeys of contemporary pilgrims, this collection of new essays explores cultural expressions of the Camino from the perspective of literature, film and graphic novels, and looks beyond Spain and the “Caminoisation” of other historical routes.

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Newly Published: Adventure Journalism in the Gilded Age

New on our bookshelf:

Adventure Journalism in the Gilded Age: Essays on Reporting from the Arctic to the Orient
Edited by Katrina J. Quinn, Mary M. Cronin and Lee Jolliffe

These new essays tell the stories of daring reporters, male and female, sent out by their publishers not to capture the news but to make the news—indeed to achieve star billing—and to capitalize on the Gilded Age public’s craze for real-life adventures into the exotic and unknown. They examine the adventure journalism genre through the work of iconic writers such as Mark Twain and Nellie Bly, as well as lesser-known journalistic masters such as Thomas Knox and Eliza Scidmore, who took to the rivers and oceans, mineshafts and mountains, rails and trails of the late nineteenth century, shaping Americans’ perceptions of the world and of themselves.

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New Harry Potter Catalog and Sale

Happy Birthday Harry Potter (and happy birthday, Neville Longbottom)! In honor of “The Boy Who Lived,” we’re introducing this year’s catalog sale dedicated to all things Hogwarts. Find detailed characterizations of your favorite wizards and witches, deep dives into the series’ many literary allegories and sociologies on the fandom at large. Our 2021 Harry Potter catalog has magic in store for the film buffs, bookworms and anyone in between. From now through August 9, use coupon code HOGWARTS25 on the McFarland site for 25% off our Harry Potter catalog.

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Newly Published: Herman Melville

New on our bookshelf:

Herman Melville: A Companion
Corey Evan Thompson

This reference work covers both Herman Melville’s life and writings. It includes a biography and detailed information on his works, on the important themes contained therein, and on the significant people and places in his life. The appendices include suggestions for further reading of both literary and cultural criticism, an essay on Melville’s lasting cultural influence, and information on both the fictional ships in his works and the real-life ones on which he sailed.

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Newly Published: The Enduring Fantastic

New on our bookshelf:

The Enduring Fantastic: Essays on Imagination and Western Culture
Edited by Anna Höglund and Cecilia Trenter

Fantastic fiction is traditionally understood as Western genre literature such as fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Expanding on this understanding, these essays explore how the fantastic has been used in Western societies since the Middle Ages as a tool for organizing and materializing abstractions in order to make sense of the present social order. Disciplines represented here include literature studies, gender studies, biology, ethnology, archeology, history, religion, game studies, cultural sociology, and film studies. Individual essays cover topics such as the fantastic creatures of medieval chronicle, mummy medicine in eighteenth-century Sweden, how fears of disease filtered through the universal and adaptable vampire, the gender aspects of goddess worship in the secular West, ecocentrism in fantasy fiction, how videogames are dealing with the remediation of heritage, and more.

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Newly Published: Adapting Superman

New on our bookshelf:

Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel
Edited by John Darowski

Almost immediately after his first appearance in comic books in June 1938, Superman began to be adapted to other media. The subsequent decades have brought even more adaptations of the Man of Steel, his friends, family, and enemies in film, television, comic strip, radio, novels, video games, and even a musical. The rapid adaptation of the Man of Steel occurred before the character and storyworld were fully developed on the comic book page, allowing the adaptations an unprecedented level of freedom and adaptability.

The essays in this collection provide specific insight into the practice of adapting Superman from comic books to other media and cultural contexts through a variety of methods, including social, economic, and political contexts. Authors touch on subjects such as the different international receptions to the characters, the evolution of both Clark Kent’s character and Superman’s powers, the importance of the radio, how the adaptations interact with issues such as racism and Cold War paranoia, and the role of fan fiction in the franchise. By applying a wide range of critical approaches to adaption and Superman, this collection offers new insights into our popular entertainment and our cultural history.

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Newly Published: Writing Madness, Writing Normalcy

New on our bookshelf:

Writing Madness, Writing Normalcy: Self and Stigma in Memoirs of Mental Illness
Lisa Spieker

What does it mean to be “mad” in contemporary American society? How do we categorize people’s reactions to extreme pressures, trauma, loneliness and serious mental illness? Importantly—who gets to determine these classifications, and why?

This book seeks to answer these questions through studying an increasingly popular media genre—memoirs of people with mental illnesses. Memoirs, like the ones examined in this book, often respond to stigmatizing tropes about “the mad” in popular culture and engage with concepts in mental health activism and research. This study breaks new academic ground and argues that the featured texts rethink the possibilities of community building and stigma politics. Drawing on literary analysis and sociological concepts, it understands these memoirs as complex, at times even contradictory, approaches to activism.

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Newly Published: Television’s Outlander

New on our bookshelf:

Television’s Outlander: A Companion, Seasons 1–5
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Over its five seasons on the air, the televised series Outlander has combined romance, adventure, history, and time travel into a classic saga of love, war, and the ties that bind family together. After surviving the 1746 uprising of the Scottish Highlanders, the intrigue-ridden Paris of Charles Stuart, and a sea voyage across the Caribbean, Claire and Jamie Fraser finally settle in the mountains of North Carolina. There, they build a community of immigrant farmers who continue to struggle for justice, democracy, and independence from British colonialism.

This companion volume offers detailed information on more than 125 topics including characters, themes, places, events, actors, herbalism, and historical chronology. For fans and scholars alike, it separates fact from fiction and aids in understanding the effects of the 1746 Jacobite uprising on the formation of the United States.

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Newly Published: The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien

New on our bookshelf:

The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien: A Christian Platonic Reading of the Legendarium
Jyrki Korpua

J. R. R. Tolkien is arguably the most influential fantasy writer of all time–his world building and epic mythology have changed Western audiences’ imaginations and the entire fantasy genre. This book is the first wide-ranging Christian Platonic reading on Tolkien’s fiction. This analysis, written for scholars and general Tolkien enthusiasts alike, discusses how his fiction is constructed on levels of language, myth and textuality that have a background in the Greek philosopher Plato’s texts and early Christian philosophy influenced by Plato. It discusses the concepts of ideal and real, creation and existence, and fall and struggle as central elements of Tolkien’s fiction, focusing on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. Reading Tolkien’s fiction as a depiction of ideal and real, from the vision of creation to the process of realization, illuminates a part of Tolkien’s aesthetics and mythology that previous studies have overlooked.

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Newly Published: Writers by the River

New on our bookshelf:

Writers by the River: Reflections on 40+ Years of the Highland Summer Conference
Edited by Donia S. Eley and Grace Toney Edwards

The Highland Summer Writing Conference (HSC), held each summer along the banks of the ancient New River at Radford University’s Selu Conservancy, brings together and inspires writers as they participate in the communal art of creating and sharing. Over the years, many prestigious Appalachian authors have taught workshops to like-minded students, many of whom became published authors in their own right. This book, a celebration of the HSC, is a collection of reflective essays, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction contributed by 41 authors and student-authors who have taken part in the conference over a span of 43 years.

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Newly Published: Jane Austen

New on our bookshelf:

Jane Austen: A Companion
Laura Dabundo

Written for readers at all levels, this book situates Jane Austen in her time, and for all times. It provides a biography; locates her work in the context of literary history and criticism; explores her fiction; and features an encyclopedic, readable resource on the people, places and things of relevance to Austen the person and writer. Details on family members, beaux, friends, national affairs, church and state politics, themes, tropes, and literary devices ground the reader in Austen’s world. Appendices offer resources for further reading and consider the massive modern industry that has grown up around Austen and her works.

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Newly Published: Thomas Hardy

New on our bookshelf:

Thomas Hardy: A Companion to the Novels
Ronald D. Morrison

Thomas Hardy enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a novelist before devoting his talents to writing poetry for the remainder of his life. This book focuses on Hardy’s remarkable achievements as a novelist. Although Victorian readers considered some of his works controversial, his novels remained highly regarded. His novels still appear in the syllabi of courses in Victorian literature and the British novel, as well as courses in feminist/gender studies, environmental studies, and other topics.

For scholars, students, and the general reader, this companion helps to makes Hardy’s novels accessible by providing a detailed biography of Hardy, plot summaries of each novel, and analyses of the critical contexts surrounding them. Entries focus on the people, cultural forces, literary forms, and movements that influenced Hardy’s novels. The companion also suggests approaches for original interpretations and suggestions for further study.

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Newly Published: Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985–1995

New on our bookshelf:

Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985–1995
Jason Olsen

From 1985 to 1995, Mark Gruenwald was the head writer for Captain America. During this decade, Gruenwald wrote some of the most essential stories in Captain America’s history and guided the comic through an eventful period of both world history and comic book history. This book dissects the influence of the world at large on Gruenwald’s stories and the subsequent influence of Gruenwald’s work on the world of comics. The book’s ten chapters discuss a wide range of topics including the generational tensions inherent in a comic about a G.I. Generation hero, written by a baby boomer, for an audience of Gen Xers; the enduring threat of the Red Skull and the never-ending aura of World War II; the rising popularity of vigilante characters during the ‘90s; and how Captain America fits into the war on drugs and its “just say no” mentality. Set against the declining American patriotism of the 1980s and 1990s, this book places special emphasis on the symbolism of the most American of superheroes.

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Newly Published: Is Superman Circumcised?

New on our bookshelf:

Is Superman Circumcised?: The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero
Roy Schwartz

Superman is the original superhero, an American icon, and arguably the most famous character in the world—and he’s Jewish! Introduced in June 1938, the Man of Steel was created by two Jewish teens, Jerry Siegel, the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and Joe Shuster, an immigrant. They based their hero’s origin story on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves. They made him a refugee fleeing catastrophe on the eve of World War II and sent him to tear Nazi tanks apart nearly two years before the US joined the war. In the following decades, Superman’s mostly Jewish writers, artists, and editors continued to borrow Jewish motifs for their stories, basing Krypton’s past on Genesis and Exodus, its society on Jewish culture, the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann’s, and a future holiday celebrating Superman on Passover. A fascinating journey through comic book lore, American history, and Jewish tradition, this book examines the entirety of Superman’s career from 1938 to date, and is sure to give readers a newfound appreciation for the Mensch of Steel!

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Newly Published: Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables

New on our bookshelf:

Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables
Russell Hamer

Kierkegaard is often praised for his poetic writing style. Throughout his works, especially his pseudonymous ones, he often breaks from philosophical prose and instead uses extended metaphors, fairy tales, parables, and allegories. This book, which is the first that directly addresses Kierkegaard’s parables, argues that they help the reader undergo transformative change. It asks why Kierkegaard uses parables in a broad sense, how they function as a form of indirect communication, why Kierkegaard must remain secretive about the purpose of the parables, and how this secrecy plays an important role in Kierkegaard’s authorship.

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Newly Published: The Avengers in Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

The Avengers in Video Games: A Guide to Solo Adventures and Mighty Marvel Team-Ups, with Creator Interviews
Blair Farrell

For decades, Marvel Comics’ superhero group the Avengers have captured the imagination of millions, whether in comics, multi-billion dollar grossing films or video games. Similar to the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Avengers video games first started with titles driven by single characters, like Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Over time, the games grew to include more and more heroes, culminating in playing experiences that featured the Avengers assembled.

This is the first-ever book assessing the video games starring “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Featured games span consoles and platforms, from popular PlayStation and Xbox titles to an arcade game in danger of being lost to time. All video games are covered in depth, with each entry including game background and a detailed review from the author. Some game entries also include behind-the-scenes knowledge from the developers themselves, providing exclusive details on the Marvel video game universe.

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Newly Published: Rachel Carson

New on our bookshelf:

Rachel Carson: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist credited with the founding of the ecology movement and the rise in ecofeminism. One of her most popular works was Silent Spring, which challenged the use of DDT (an insecticide infamous for its negative environmental effects) and questioned the claims of modern industry. Carson also wrote essays, reviews, articles, and speeches to educate the public about the impacts of chemical pollutants on both the environment and the human body. This literary companion provides readers with Carson’s key messages via an A-to-Z index of topics discussed in her works including carcinogens, endangered species, and radioactivity.

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Newly Published: Reading the Cozy Mystery

New on our bookshelf:

Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre
Edited by Phyllis M. Betz

With their intimate settings, subdued action and likeable characters, cozy mysteries are rarely seen as anything more than light entertainment. The cozy, a subgenre of crime fiction, has been historically misunderstood and often overlooked as the subject of serious study. This anthology brings together a groundbreaking collection of essays that examine the cozy mystery from a range of critical viewpoints.

The authors engage with the standard classification of a cozy, the characters who appear in its pages, the environment where the crime occurs and how these elements reveal the cozy story’s complexity in surprising ways. Essays analyze cozy mysteries to argue that Agatha Christie is actually not a cozy writer; that Columbo fits the mold of the cozy detective; and that the stories’ portrayals of settings like the quaint English village reveal a more complicated society than meets the eye.

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Women’s Studies Sale and New Catalog

Women made 2020 a banner year for diversity and inclusivity. In sports, representation on and off the field erupted with the leadership of Kim Ng, Sarah Fuller and Katie Sowers. Scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And in politics, women like Cori Bush, Sarah McBride, Yvette Herrell and others were elected to ever-diversifying legislatures, while Kamala Harris ascended to the highest elected position a woman has yet to hold. To honor Women’s History Month and to nurture the path forward, we’re offering 20% off our catalog through March 31st with coupon code WOMEN20.

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Newly Published: Speculations of War

New on our bookshelf:

Speculations of War: Essays on Conflict in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Utopian Literature
Edited by Annette M. Magid

Late 19th century science fiction stories and utopian treatises related to morals and attitudes often focused on economic, sociological and, at times Marxist ideas. More than a century later, science fiction commonly depicts the inherent dangers of capitalism and imperialism. Examining a variety of conflicts from the Civil War through the post-9/11 era, this collection of new essays explores philosophical introspection and futuristic forecasting in science fiction, fantasy, utopian literature and film, with a focus on the warlike nature of humanity.

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Newly Published: Leiji Matsumoto

New on our bookshelf:

Leiji Matsumoto: Essays on the Manga and Anime Legend
Edited by Helen McCarthy and Darren-Jon Ashmore

Leiji Matsumoto is one of Japan’s most influential myth creators. Yet the huge scope of his work, spanning past, present and future in a constantly connecting multiverse, is largely unknown outside Japan. Matsumoto was the major creative force on Star Blazers, America’s gateway drug for TV anime, and created Captain Harlock, a TV phenomenon in Europe. As well as space operas, he made manga on musicians from Bowie to Tchaikovsky, wrote the manga version of American cowboy show Laramie, and created dozens of girls’ comics. He is a respected manga scholar, an expert on Japanese swords, a frustrated engineer and pilot who still wants to be a spaceman in his eighties.

This collection of new essays–the first book on Matsumoto in English–covers his seven decades of comic creation, drawing on contemporary scholarship, artistic practice and fan studies to map Matsumoto’s vast universe. The contributors–artists, creators, translators and scholars–mirror the range of his work and experience. From the bildungsroman to the importance of textual analysis for costume and performance, from early days in poverty to honors around the world, this volume offers previously unexplored biographical and bibliographic detail from a life story as thrilling as anything he created.

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Newly Published: Heroes Masked and Mythic

New on our bookshelf:

Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters
Christopher Wood

Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods–the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero.

What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel’s Black Panther? Do DC’s Wonder Woman and Xena the Warrior Princess reflect the tradition of Amazon women such as Penthesileia? How does the modern superhero’s journey echo that of the epic warrior?

With fresh insight into ancient Greek texts and historical art, this book examines modern superhero archetypes and iconography in comics and film as the crystallization of the hero’s journey in the modern imagination.

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Newly Published: In Frankenstein’s Wake

New on our bookshelf:

In Frankenstein’s Wake: Mary Shelley, Morality and Science Fiction
Alison Bedford

Just over 200 years ago on a stormy night, a young woman conceived of what would become one of the most iconic images of science gone wrong, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. For a long period, Mary Shelley languished in the shadow of her luminary husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was rescued from obscurity by the feminist scholars of the 1970s and 1980s.

This book offers a new perspective on Shelley and on science fiction, arguing that she both established a new discursive space for moral thinking and laid the groundwork for the genre of science fiction. Adopting a contextual biographical approach and undertaking a close reading of the 1818 and 1831 editions of the text give readers insight into how this story synthesizes many of the concerns about new science prevalent in Shelley’s time. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse, the present work argues that Shelley should be not only credited with the foundation of a genre but recognized as a figure who created a new cultural space for readers to explore their fears and negotiate the moral landscape of new science.

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Newly Published: The Alchemical Harry Potter

New on our bookshelf:

The Alchemical Harry Potter: Essays on Transfiguration in J.K. Rowling’s Novels
Edited by Anne J. Mamary

When Harry Potter first boards the Hogwarts Express, he journeys to a world which Rowling says has alchemy as its “internal logic.” The Philosopher’s Stone, known for its power to transform base metals into gold and to give immortality to its maker, is the subject of the conflict between Harry and Voldemort in the first book of the series. But alchemy is not about money or eternal life, it is much more about the transformations of desire, of power and of people—through love.

Harry’s equally remarkable and ordinary power to love leads to his desire to find but not use the Philosopher’s Stone at the start of the series and his wish to end the destructive power of the Elder Wand at the end. This collection of essays on alchemical symbolism and transformations in Rowling’s series demonstrates how Harry’s work with magical objects, people, and creatures transfigure desire, power, and identity. As Harry’s leaden existence on Privet Drive is transformed in the company of his friends and teachers, the Harry Potter novels have transformed millions of readers, inspiring us to find the gold in our ordinary lives.

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Newly Published: Word Parts Dictionary

New on our bookshelf:

Word Parts Dictionary: Standard and Reverse Listings of Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots and Combining Forms, 3d ed.
Michael J. Sheehan

This book, now in its third edition, is still the most uniquely comprehensive resource for finding word parts needed to express a concept. Along with aiding vocabulary expansion, this dictionary provides guidance to those who may be interested in inventing or deciphering words bearing an established and embedded meaning.

This work is split into three parts. Part I, the dictionary proper, provides an alphabetical listing of over 5,100 word parts. Each entry includes a brief definition, examples of use and etymology.

Part II, the Finder, is a reverse dictionary that allows users to start with a meaning or concept to then find word parts that express the meaning. The only reverse dictionary of its kind,this section is updated with over 4,600 search terms in total.

The expanded Part III organizes word parts under 20 convenient categories—like The Body, Fear or Dislike of, Experts and Shapes.

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Newly Published: Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder

New on our bookshelf:

Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder: A Critical Study of the Writings
Joe Sanders

Since they began appearing in the 1970s, Michael Bishop’s science fiction and fantasy stories have been recognized for their polished prose and their depth of thought and feeling. His award-winning fiction includes No Enemy but Time (1982), Unicorn Mountain (1988), Brittle Innings (1994) and the outstanding short story “The Pile” (2008). After the 2017 publication of his collection Other Arms Reach Out to Me, Bishop was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame. Revision and republication of much of Bishop’s fiction in recent years have renewed interest in Bishop’s explorations of religion, belief and the pursuit of human truth.

This book is the first comprehensive study of Michael Bishop’s literary body, examining his work in full. Featured are close readings of all his novels and studies of short stories, poetry and essays that Bishop himself identified for special attention.

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Newly Published: Super Skills, Super Reading

New on our bookshelf:

Super Skills, Super Reading: Literacy and Television Superheroes
Perry Dantzler

What comes to mind when you think about superheroes? Strength, bravery, and heroism are common answers. However, superheroes do not only have physical strength, but they also have mental strengths and skills. Superheroes tend to have intelligence and detection skills which allow them to develop other skills. In this analysis of superhero literacy aimed at students, the connection between superhero media and larger theories of literacy are explored. The author uses six superhero television shows to show how literacy is portrayed in superhero media and how it reflects and shapes cultural ideas of literacy. The shows covered are Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil.

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Newly Published: Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive

New on our bookshelf:

Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive: A Reader-Response Study of the Fiction and Its Rhetoric
David S. Goldstein and Shawnrece D. Campbell

The late Toni Morrison was the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. A powerful writer, she wove stories depicting the largely overlooked Black experience in America and exploring the intersection of gender and race through the lives of Black women. Morrison’s writing continues to move people and push readers to reassess their beliefs about what it means to be Black in America.

Synthesizing some 250 scholarly works about Morrison’s writing, this book examines eight novels as well as the short story “Recitatif.” They are analyzed for techniques used to deepen meaning and emotional weight, and reveal Morrison’s mastery over prose.

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Newly Published: The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction: Charles Fort and the Evolution of the Genre
Tanner F. Boyle

Charles Fort was an American researcher from the early twentieth century who cataloged reports of unexplained phenomena he found in newspapers and science journals. A minor bestseller with a cult appeal, Fort’s work was posthumously republished in the pulp science fiction magazine Astounding Stories in 1934. His idiosyncratic books fascinated, scared, and entertained readers, many of them authors and editors of science fiction. Fort’s work prophesied the paranormal mainstays of SF literature to come: UFOs, poltergeists, strange disappearances, cryptids, ancient mysteries, unexplained natural phenomena, and everything in between. Science fiction authors latched on to Fort’s topics and hypotheses as perfect fodder for SF stories. Writers like Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, H.P. Lovecraft, and others are examined in this exploration of Fortean science fiction—a genre that borrows from the reports and ideas of Fort and others who saw the possible science-fictional nature of our reality.

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Newly Published: Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games
Peter David

Peter David, award-winning writer of comic books, novels, television, films and video games, has boatloads of stories to tell about his 30-year career. Whether it was attending George Takei’s wedding, being described as Will Smith’s bodyguard, or wandering around on the set of Babylon 5, David has been telling anecdotes of his life for years. Here they are all in one place, along with the story of a career that has taken him from writing Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk for twelve years to adventures in the Star Trek universe to the New York Times bestseller list.

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Newly Published: Murder in a Few Words

New on our bookshelf:

Murder in a Few Words: Gender, Genre and Location in the Crime Short Story
Charlotte Beyer

The clue-puzzle, legal thriller, and classic whodunit are just a few of the subgenres within the widely popular crime fiction genre. However, despite its popularity among readers, the crime short story genre has yet to be fully explored by scholars. This book offers a deep-dive into crime short stories written by a wide range of authors, tracing the history and evolution of the crime short story. The book offers an accessible and original examination of crime short stories, focusing on compelling themes such as miscarriage of justice, feminism, environmental crime and toxic masculinity.

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Newly Published: Murder, in Fact

New on our bookshelf:

Murder, in Fact: Disillusionment and Death in the American True Crime Novel
Lana A. Whited

With the 1965 publication of In Cold Blood, Truman Capote declared he broke new literary ground. But Capote’s “nonfiction novel” belongs to a long Naturalist tradition originating in the work of 19th-century French novelist Emile Zola. Naturalism offers a particular response to the increasing problem of violence in American life and its sociological implications.

This book traces the origins of the fact-based homicide novel that emerged in the mainstream of American literature with works such as Frank Norris’s McTeague and flourished in the twentieth century with works such as Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Richard Wright’s Native Son. At their heart is a young man isolated from community who acts out in desperate circumstances against someone who reflects his isolation. A tension develops between how society views this killer and the way he is viewed by the novelist. The crimes central to these narratives epitomize the vast gap between those who can aspire to the so-called “American dream” and those with no realistic chance of achieving it.

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Newly Published: The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction: A Survey, 1841–2000
Laird R. Blackwell

Although fantasy and supernatural literature have long and celebrated histories, many critics contend that the fantastic and the supernatural have no place in the logical, rational, world of the detective story. This book is the first extensive study of the fantastic in detective fiction and it explores the highly debated question of whether detective fiction and the fantastic can comfortably coexist.

The “locked room” mystery—which often uses the fantastic as a red herring to eventually be debunked by reason and logic—has long been among the most popular subgenres of detective fiction. This book also explores stories featuring almost supernaturally gifted detectives, stories where the supernatural is truly encountered, and stories with ambiguous endings.
Close to 500 detective stories from 1841 to 2000, in which the fantastic or supernatural plays a central role, are discussed and analyzed. Although not all the stories are judged to be successful as detective tales, in the great majority, the fantastic enlivens the tale and deepens the mystery without weakening the detective elements.

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Newly Published: Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque

New on our bookshelf:

Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque: Subversion of Ideology in the Fiction
David McCracken

With the success of Fight Club, his novel-turned-movie, Chuck Palahniuk has become noticed for accurately capturing the exploitation of power in America in the 21st century. With cynicism and skepticism, he satirizes the manipulative aspects of ideologies and beliefs pushing society’s understanding of the norm.

In this work, Palahniuk’s characters are analyzed as people who rebel against the systems in control. Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory is applied to explain Palahniuk’s application of the comic grotesque; theories from Louis Althusser and Slavoj Žižek help reveal aspects of ideology in Palahniuk’s writing.

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Newly Published: Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels

New on our bookshelf:

Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels
Jennifer Beauvais

Domestic issues, chastity, morality, marriage and love are concerns we typically associate with Victorian female characters. But what happens when men in Victorian novels begin to engage in this type of feminine discourse? While we are familiar with certain Victorian women seeking freedom by moving beyond the domestic sphere, there is an equally interesting movement by the domestic man into the private space through his performance of femininity.

This book defines the domesticated bachelor, examines the effects of the blurring of boundaries between the public and private spheres, and traces the evolution of the public discourse on masculinity in novels such as Brontë’s Shirley, Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This bachelor, along with his female counterpart, the New Woman, opens up for discussion new definitions of Victorian masculinity and gender boundaries and blurs the rigid distinction between the gendered spaces thought to be in place during the Victorian period.

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Newly Published: Animals and Ourselves

New on our bookshelf:

Animals and Ourselves: Essays on Connections and Blurred Boundaries
Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson Kathy Shepherd Stolley and Lisa Lyon Payne

The relationship between humans and animals has always been strong, symbiotic and complicated. Animals, real and fictional, have been a mainstay in the arts and entertainment, figuring prominently in literature, film, television, social media, and live performances. Increasingly, though, people are anthropomorphizing animals, assigning them humanoid roles, tasks and identities. At the same time, humans, such as members of the furry culture or college mascots, find pleasure in adopting animal identities and characteristics. This book is the first of its kind to explore these growing phenomena across media. The contributors to this collection represent various disciplines, to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, and healthcare. Their essays demonstrate the various ways that human and animal lives are intertwined and constantly evolving.

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Newly Published: Patterns of American Popular Heroism

New on our bookshelf:

Patterns of American Popular Heroism: From Roman and Biblical Roots to Modern Media
James G. Shoopman

The American popular hero has deeply bipolar origins: Depending on prevailing attitudes about the use or abuse of authority, American heroes may be rooted in the traditions of the Roman conquerors of The Aeneid or of the biblical underdog warriors and prophets.

This book reviews the history of American popular culture and its heroes from the Revolutionary War and pre-Civil War “women’s literature” to the dime novel tales of Jesse James and Buffalo Bill. “Hinge-heroes” like The Virginian and the Rider’s of the Purple Sage paved the way for John Wayne’s and Humphrey Bogart’s champions of civilization, while Jimmy Stewart’s scrappy rebels fought soulless bankers and cynical politicians. The 1960s and 1970s saw a wave of new renegades—the doctors of MASH and the rebel alliance of Star Wars—but early 21st Century terrorism called for the grit of world weary cops and the super-heroism of Wonder Woman and Black Panther to make the world safe.

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Newly Published: EcoComix

New on our bookshelf:

EcoComix: Essays on the Environment in Comics and Graphic Novels
Edited by Sidney I. Dobrin

Exploring image and imagination in conjunction with natural environments, the animal, and the human, this collection of essays turns the ecocritical and ecocompositional gaze upon comic studies. The comic form has a long tradition of representing environmental rhetoric. Through discussions of comics including A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, We3, Concrete, and Black Orchid, these essays bring the rich work of ecological criticism into dialogue with the multi-faceted landscape of comics, graphic novels, web-comics, cartoons, and animation. The contributors ask not only how nature and environment are portrayed in these texts but also how these textual forms inform how we come to know nature and environment–or what we understand those terms to represent. Interdisciplinary in approach, this collection welcomes diverse approaches that integrate not only ecocriticism and comics studies, but animal studies, posthumanism, ecofeminism, queer ecology, semiotics, visual rhetoric and communication, ecoseeing, image-text studies, space and spatial theories, writing studies, media ecology, ecomedia, and other methodological approaches.

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Newly Published: Alfred Tennyson

New on our bookshelf:

Alfred Tennyson: A Companion
Laurence W. Mazzeno

Alfred Tennyson was a poet all his life, writing more than a thousand works in virtually every poetic genre. Considered by his Victorian contemporaries the pre-eminent poet of the age, he has become a canonical figure who is widely read and studied today. Consequently, his poems appear on the syllabi of both survey courses in Victorian literature as well as upper-division and graduate-level topics courses that cover Victorian studies or address subjects such as environmental studies, religion, elegiac poetry, and Arthurian literature.

This companion makes Tennyson’s poetry accessible to contemporary readers by identifying some of the formal elements of the poems, highlighting their relevance to Tennyson’s Victorian contemporaries, and explaining their enduring appeal and value. Entries in the companion, organized alphabetically, provide essential details about Tennyson’s most anthologized poems, offer suggestions for reading and interpretation, and elucidate unfamiliar historical and literary allusions. Additional entries, a biography of Tennyson, and a selected bibliography of recent criticism offer information about the people, places, events, and issues that influenced Tennyson or were important to him and his contemporaries.

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Newly Published: Cyclone Country

New on our bookshelf:

Cyclone Country: The Language of Place and Disaster in Australian Literature
Chrystopher J. Spicer

The storm has become a universal trope in the literature of crisis, revelation and transformation. It can function as a trope of place, of apocalypse and epiphany, of cultural mythos and story, and of people and spirituality.

This book explores the connections between people, place and environment through the image of cyclones within fiction and poetry from the Australian state of Queensland, the northern coast of which is characterized by these devastating storms. Analyzing a range of works including Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm, and Vance Palmer’s Cyclone it explains the cyclone in the Queensland literary imagination as an example of a cultural response to weather in a unique regional place. It also situates the cyclones that appear in Queensland literature within the broader global context of literary cyclones.

 

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Newly Published: Caitlín R. Kiernan

New on our bookshelf:

Caitlín R. Kiernan: A Critical Study of Her Dark Fiction
James Goho

Caitlín R. Kiernan is at the forefront of contemporary gothic, weird and science fiction literature. She has written more than a dozen novels, over 250 short stories, many chapbooks, along with a large number of graphic works. For these Kiernan has won numerous awards. This first full-length look at Kiernan’s body of work explores her fictional universe through critical literary lenses to show the depth of her contributions to modern genre literature.

A prolific and creative writer, Kiernan’s fictions bring to life our fears about the other, the unknown, and the future through stories that range widely across time and space. A sense of dark terror pervades her novels and stories. Yet Kiernan’s fictional universe is not disengaged from reality. That is because she works within the long tradition of gothic fiction speaking to the gravest ethical, social and cultural issues. In her dark fiction, Kiernan illustrates the terror of the tyranny of the normal, the oppression of marginalized people, and the pervasive violence of our time. Her dystopian sf propels today’s dangerous economic, social, political and environmental tendencies into the future. Kiernan’s fiction portrays troubling truths about the current human condition.

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Newly Published: Chinese Women Writers on the Environment

New on our bookshelf:

Chinese Women Writers on the Environment: A Multi-Ethnic Anthology of Fiction and Nonfiction
Edited by Dong Isbister, Xiumei Pu and Stephen D. Rachman

The stories, prose and poems in this anthology offer readers a unique and generous array of women’s experiences in China. In a world that is rapidly modernizing, these writings attempt to reconcile with the ever-changing people, plants, beasts and environment. After five years of painstaking collection and translation, the authors present these stories of strength and sadness, defiance and resilience, urban and village life, from the days of the cultural revolution to the present. Whether a house full of hawks and eagles, a stubborn cow, or a defiant elderly couple sabotaging a lumber operation, these stories express powerful visions of the earth interwoven with human memory.

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Newly Published: Marion Zimmer Bradley

New on our bookshelf:

Marion Zimmer Bradley: A Companion to the Young Adult Literature
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

This literary companion surveys the young adult works of American author Marion Zimmer Bradley, primarily known for her work in the fantasy genre. An A to Z arrangement includes coverage of novels (The Catch Trap, Survey Ship, The Fall of Atlantis, The Firebrand, The Forest House and The Mists of Avalon), the graphic narrative Warrior Woman, the Lythande novella The Gratitude of Kings, and, from the Darkover series, The Shattered Chain, The Sword of Aldones and Traitor’s Sun. Separate entries on dominant themes—rape, divination, religion, violence, womanhood, adaptation and dreams—comb stories and longer works for the author’s insights about the motivation of institutions that oppress marginalized groups, especially women.

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Newly Published: Terry Pratchett’s Ethical Worlds

New on our bookshelf:

Terry Pratchett’s Ethical Worlds: Essays on Identity and Narrative in Discworld and Beyond
Edited by Kristin Noone and Emily Lavin Leverett

Terry Pratchett’s writing celebrates the possibilities opened up by inventiveness and imagination. It constructs an ethical stance that values informed and self-aware choices, knowledge of the world in which one makes those choices, the importance of play and humor in crafting a compassionate worldview, and acts of continuous self-examination and creation. This collection of essays uses inventiveness and creation as a thematic core to combine normally disparate themes, such as science fiction studies, the effect of collaborative writing and shared authorship, steampunk aesthetics, productive modes of “ownership,” intertextuality, neomedievalism and colonialism, adaptations into other media, linguistics and rhetorics, and coming of age as an act of free will.

In all Pratchett’s constructed worlds and narratives—from Discworld, to the science-fictional flat planet of Strata, from a parody of Conan the Barbarian’s Cimmeria to the comedically apocalyptic Good Omens—questions of identity, community, and the relations between self and other are constantly examined, debated, and reshaped. Pratchett’s worlds thus become ethical worlds: fantasies in which language always matters, stories resonate with the past and the future, and choices emphasize the importance of compassion and creation.

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Newly Published: The Rise and Fall of the Future

New on our bookshelf:

The Rise and Fall of the Future: America’s Changing Vision of Tomorrow, 1939–1986
Gordon Arnold

Mid–20th century America envisioned a wondrous future of comfort, convenience and technological advancement. Popular culture—including World’s Fairs, science fiction and advertising—fed high hopes even when war and hardship threatened. American ingenuity and consumer culture promised to deliver flying cars, undersea cities, household robots and space travel. By the 1960s political assassinations, the civil rights and women’s movements, the Vietnam War and the “generation gap” eroded that optimism, refocusing attention on the issues of the present. The nation’s utopian dream was brief but revealing. Based on a wide range of sources, this book takes a fresh look at America’s precipitous fall from futurism to disillusionment.

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Newly Published: Baseball and Football Pulp Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and Football Pulp Fiction: Six Publishers, with a Directory of Stories, 1935–1957
Michelle Nolan

This first-ever volume focusing on sports pulp fiction devoted to America’s two most popular pastimes of the 1935–1957 era—baseball and football—provides extensive detail on authors, along with examination of key plots, themes, trends and categories. Commentary relates the works to real-life baseball and football of the period.

The history of the genre is traced, beginning with the debut of Dime Sport (later renamed Dime Sports), the first magazine from a major publisher to provide competition for Street & Smith’s long-established Sport Story Magazine. Complementing the text is a complete catalog of fiction from the six major publishers who competed with S&S, also noting the cover themes for 1,054 issues.

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Newly Published: Lessons from Hogwarts

New on our bookshelf:

Lessons from Hogwarts: Essays on the Pedagogy of Harry Potter
Edited by Marcie Panutsos Rovan and Melissa Wehler

Before she was a renowned children’s author, J.K. Rowling was an educator. Her bestselling series, Harry Potter, places education at the forefront, focusing not only on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures but also on their magical education.
This multi-author collection shines a light on the central role of education within the Harry Potter series, exploring the pedagogical possibilities of using Harry Potter to enhance teaching effectiveness. Authors examine topics related to environments for learning, approaches to teaching and learning, and the role of mentorship. Created for scholars, teachers, and fans alike, this collection provides an entry into pedagogical theories and offers critical perspectives on the quality of Hogwarts education—from exemplary to abusive and every approach in between. Hogwarts provides many lessons for educators, both magical and muggle alike.

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Newly Published: Bungalow Modernity

New on our bookshelf:

Bungalow Modernity: A Study of Twentieth Century Fictions of Home
Mary Lou Emery

Despite its cozy image, the bungalow in literature and film is haunted by violence even while fostering possibilities for personal transformation, utopian social vision and even comedy. Originating in Bengal and adapted as housing for colonialist ventures worldwide, the homes were sold in mail-order kits during the “bungalow mania” of the early 20th century and enjoyed a revival at century’s end. The bungalow as fictional setting stages ongoing contradictions of modernity—home and homelessness, property and dispossession, self and other—prompting a rethinking of our images of house and home. Drawing on the work of writers, architects and film directors, including Katherine Mansfield, E. M. Forster, Amitav Ghosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Willa Cather, Buster Keaton and Walter Mosley, this study offers new readings of the transcultural bungalow.

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Newly Published: Futures of the Past

New on our bookshelf:

Futures of the Past: An Anthology of Science Fiction Stories from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries, with Critical Essays
Edited by Ivy Roberts

Science fiction boasts a deceptively long history, extending as far back as the 19th century. This anthology pairs original essays that introduce short stories of vintage science fiction. Critical introductions written by international experts contextualize these stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inclusions range from legendary authors like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe to lesser-known figures like E.P Mitchell, George Parsons Lathrop, and Franklin Ruth.

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Newly Published: The Ekphrastic Writer

New on our bookshelf:

The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction
Janée J. Baugher

A common definition of ekphrasis is descriptive writing influenced by the visual arts. Beyond the written word, however, responding to art can engender self-reflection, creativity, and help writers to build characters, plot, and setting. This book unites the history and tradition of ekphrasis, its conventions, the writing process, and multi-genre writing prompts. In addition to subjects such as early art engagement, psychology, and the eye-brain-perception relationship, this book discusses artists’ creative processes, tools, and techniques, and offers instruction on how to read art by way of deep-looking.

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Newly Published: Myth-Building in Modern Media

New on our bookshelf:

Myth-Building in Modern Media: The Role of the Mytharc in Imagined Worlds

A.J. Black

Mythology for centuries has served as humanity’s window into understanding its distant past. In our modern world, storytelling creates its own myths and legends, in media ranging from the world of television and cinema to literature and comic books, that help us make sense of the world we live in today.

What is the “Mytharc”? How did it arise? How does it inform modern long-form storytelling? How does the classical hero’s journey intersect with modern myths and narratives? And where might the storytelling of tomorrow take readers and viewers as we imagine our future? From The X-Files to H.P. Lovecraft, from Lost to the Marvel cinematic universe and many worlds beyond, this study explores our modern storytelling mythology and where it may lead us.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

Theresa Bane

Curious about the chains that bound Fenriswulf in Norse mythology? Or the hut of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch of Russian folklore? Containing more than one thousand detailed entries on the magical and mythical items from the different folklore, legends, and religions the world over, this encyclopedia is the first of its kind. From Abadi, the named stone in Roman mythology to Zul-Hajam, one of the four swords said to belong to the prophet Mohammed, each item is described in as much detail as the original source material provided, including information on its origin, who was its wielder, and the extent of its magical abilities. The text also includes a comprehensive cross-reference system and an extensive bibliography to aid researchers.

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June Transportation Sale

It’s June, gas prices are cheap, the highways are free of traffic, and holiday destinations are uncrowded. Let’s hit the road (in spirit, if not in deed)! Our automotive history line, including histories of marques famous and obscure, auto racing, biographies, reference works like J. Kelly Flory’s massive American Cars volumes, and much more, is complimented by many excellent works on locomotive, aviation, and maritime history; bicycles; and military transportation. This month, we’re offering ALL transportation titles at 40% off the list price with coupon code TRANSPORTATION40! Use this coupon code on our website through Sunday, June 28. Safe travels from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: Ian Rankin

New on our bookshelf:

Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Erin E. MacDonald

Ian Rankin is considered by many to be Scotland’s greatest living crime fiction author. Most well known for his Inspector Rebus series—which has earned critical acclaim as well as scores of fans worldwide—Rankin is a prolific author whose other works include spy thrillers, nonfiction books and articles, short stories, novels, graphic novels, audio recordings, television/film, and plays.

This companion—the first to provide a complete look at all of his writings—includes alphabetized entries on Rankin’s works, characters, and themes; a biography; a chronology; maps of Rebus’ Edinburgh; and an annotated bibliography. A champion of both Edinburgh and Scotland, Rankin continues to combine engaging entertainment with socio-political commentary showing Edinburgh as a microcosm of Scotland, and Scotland as a microcosm of the world. His writing investigates questions of Scottish identity, British history, masculinity, and contemporary culture while providing mystery readers with complex, suspenseful plots, realistic character development, and a unique mix of American hard-boiled and procedural styles with Scottish dialects and sensibilities.

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Newly Published: Archie’s Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s–1970s

New on our bookshelf:

Archie’s Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s–1970s: An Illustrated History
Michelle Nolan

This is the first book to comprehensively examine the multitude of non-Archie teen humor comic books, including girls and boys such as Patsy Walker, Hedy Wolfe, Buzz Baxter and Wendy Parker from Marvel; Judy Foster, Buzzy, Binky and Scribbly from DC; Candy from Quality Comics; and Hap Hazard from Ace Comics. It covers, often for the first time, the history of the characters, who drew them, why (or why not) they succeeded as rivals for the Archie Series, highlights of both unusual and typical stories and much more. The author provides major plotlines and a history of the development of each series. Much has been written about the Archie characters, but until now very little has been told about most of their many comic book competitors.

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New Editorship for Clues: A Journal of Detection

We’re pleased to announce that Caroline Reitz will be the next executive editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection. Reitz is an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY and a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also co-editor of the Dickens Studies Annual and brings rich personal publishing experience.

Reitz will succeed Janice Allan,  who assumed executive editorship in 2012. Allan’s high standards and commitment to diverse voices led to publication of high-quality articles from authors from all over the world, demonstrating that mystery/detective/crime fiction study truly is an international enterprise that offers much to the field of literary criticism. We deeply appreciate her contributions and excellent leadership over the past eight years.

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Newly Published: Teaching Girls on Fire

New on our bookshelf:

Teaching Girls on Fire: Essays on Dystopian Young Adult Literature in the Classroom
Edited by Sarah Hentges and Sean P. Connors

The rise of YA dystopian literature has seen an explosion of female protagonists who are stirring young people’s interest in social and political topics, awakening their civic imagination, and inspiring them to work for change. These “Girls on Fire” are intersectional and multidimensional characters. They are leaders in their communities and they challenge injustice and limited representations. The Girl on Fire fights for herself and for those who are oppressed, voiceless, or powerless. She is the hope for our shared future.

This collection of new essays brings together teachers and students from a variety of educational contexts to explore how to harness the cultural power of the Girl on Fire as we educate real-world students. Each essay provides both theoretical foundations as well as practical, hands-on teaching tools that can be used with diverse groups of students, in formal as well as informal educational settings. This volume challenges readers to realize the symbolic power the Girl on Fire has to raise consciousness and inform action and to keep that fire burning.

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Newly Published: Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920
Kate Morrison

Who decides what is right or wrong, ethical or immoral, just or unjust? In the world of crime and spy fiction between 1880 and 1920, the boundaries of the law were blurred and justice called into question humanity’s moral code. As fictional detectives mutated into spies near the turn of the century, the waning influence of morality on decision-making signaled a shift in behavior from idealistic principles towards a pragmatic outlook taken in the national interest.

Taking a fresh approach to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, this book examines how Holmes and his rival maverick literary detectives and spies manipulated the law to deliver a fairer form of justice than that ordained by parliament. Multidisciplinary, this work views detective fiction through the lenses of law, moral philosophy, and history, and incorporates issues of gender, equality, and race. By studying popular publications of the time, it provides a glimpse into public attitudes towards crime and morality and how those shifting opinions helped reconstruct the hero in a new image.

 

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Newly Published: Resist and Persist

New on our bookshelf:

Resist and Persist: Essays on Social Revolution in 21st Century Narratives
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

To many, the world appears to be in a state of dangerous change. News and fictional media alike report that these are dark times, and narratives of social resistance imbue many facets of Western culture. The new essays making up this collection examine different events and themes of the 2010s that readily acknowledge the struggling state of things. Crucially, these essays look to the resistance and political activism of communities that seek to make long-reaching and institutional changes in the world through a diverse group of media texts. They scrutinize how a society relates to injustices and how individuals enact a desire for change. The authors analyze a broad range of works such as texts as Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock, Black Panther, The Death of Stalin, Get Out, Jessica Jones, Hamilton, The Shape of Water, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. By digging into these and other works, as well as historic events, the contributors explicate the soul-deep necessity of pushing back against injustice, whether personal or cultural.

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Newly Published: Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age

New on our bookshelf:

Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age: Critical Essays
Edited by Julie H. Kim

To read a crime novel today largely simulates the exercise of reading newspapers or watching the news. The speed and frequency with which today’s bestselling works of crime fiction are produced allow them to mirror and dissect nearly contemporaneous socio-political events and conflicts. This collection examines this phenomenon and offers original, critical, essays on how national identity appears in international crime fiction in the age of populism and globalization. These essays address topics such as the array of competing nationalisms in Europe; Indian secularism versus Hindu communalism; the populist rhetoric tinged with misogyny or homophobia in the United States; racial, religious or ethnic others who are sidelined in political appeals to dominant native voices; and the increasing economic chasm between a rich and poor.

More broadly, these essays inquire into themes such as how national identity and various conceptions of masculinity are woven together, how dominant native cultures interact with migrant and colonized cultures to explore insider/outsider paradigms and identity politics, and how generic and cultural boundaries are repeatedly crossed in postcolonial detective fiction.

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Newly Published: Santa Claus Worldwide

New on our bookshelf:

Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers
Tom A. Jerman

This is a comprehensive history of the world’s midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share. It tracks the evolution of these figures from the tribal priests who presided over winter solstice celebrations thousands of years before the birth of Christ, to Christian notables like St. Martin and St. Nicholas, to a variety of secular figures who emerged throughout Europe following the Protestant Reformation. Finally, it explains how the popularity of a poem about a “miniature sleigh” and “eight tiny reindeer” helped consolidate the diverse European gift-givers into an enduring tradition in which American children awake early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.

Although the names, appearance, attire and gift-giving practices of the world’s winter solstice gift-givers differ greatly, they are all recognizable as Santa, the personification of the Christmas and Midwinter festivals. Despite efforts to eliminate him by groups as diverse as the Puritans of seventeenth century New England, the Communist Party of the twentieth century Soviet Union and the government of Nazi Germany, Santa has survived and prospered, becoming one of the best known and most beloved figures in the world.

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Newly Published: Girls to the Rescue

New on our bookshelf:

Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I
Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis

During World War I, as young men journeyed overseas to battle, American women maintained the home front by knitting, fundraising, and conserving supplies. These became daily chores for young girls, but many longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort—and some were. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Through fiction, girls could catch spies, cross battlefields, man machine guns, and blow up bridges. These adventurous heroines were contemporary feminist role models, creating avenues of leadership for women and inspiring individualism and self-discovery. The work presented here analyzes the powerful messages in such literature, how it created awareness and grappled with the engagement of real girls in the United States and Allied war effort, and how it reflects their contemporaries’ awareness of girls’ importance.

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Newly Published: The Ages of the Black Panther

New on our bookshelf:

The Ages of the Black Panther: Essays on the King of Wakanda in Comic Books
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski

Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comic books, and his most iconic adventures are analyzed here. This collection of new essays explores Black Panther’s place in the Marvel universe, focusing on the comic books. With topics ranging from the impact apartheid and the Black Panther Party had on the comic to theories of gender and animist imagery, these essays analyze individual storylines and situate them within the socio-cultural framework of the time periods in which they were created, drawing connections that deepen understanding of both popular culture and the movements of society. Supporting characters such as Everett K. Ross and T’Challa’s sister Shuri are also considered. From his creation in 1966 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee up through the character’s recent adventures by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, more than fifty years of the Black Panther’s history are addressed.

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of It

New on our bookshelf:

The Many Lives of It: Essays on the Stephen King Horror Franchise
Edited by Ron Riekki

After its publication in 1986, Stephen King’s novel It sparked sequels, remakes, parodies and solidified an entire genre: clown horror. Decades later, director Andy Muschietti revitalized King’s popular novel, smashing all box office expectations with the release of his 2017 film It. At the time of its release, the movie set the record for the world’s highest-grossing horror film. Examining the legacy of the controversial cult novel, the 2017 box office sensation and other incarnations of the demonic clown Pennywise, this collection of never-before-published essays covers the franchise from a variety of perspectives. Topics include examinations of the carnivalesque in both the novel and films, depictions of sexuality and theology in the book, and manifestations of patriarchy and the franchise, among other diverse subjects.After its publication in 1986, Stephen King’s novel It sparked sequels, remakes, parodies and solidified an entire genre: clown horror. Decades later, director Andy Muschietti revitalized King’s popular novel, smashing all box office expectations with the release of his 2017 film It. At the time of its release, the movie set the record for the world’s highest-grossing horror film. Examining the legacy of the controversial cult novel, the 2017 box office sensation and other incarnations of the demonic clown Pennywise, this collection of never-before-published essays covers the franchise from a variety of perspectives. Topics include examinations of the carnivalesque in both the novel and films, depictions of sexuality and theology in the book, and manifestations of patriarchy and the franchise, among other diverse subjects.

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True Crime Sale

April means we’re halfway to our next Halloween, and we think it’s a great time to celebrate all things macabre. This month, we’re offering readers 40% off our most riveting—and often downright frightening—books on real-life monsters and mayhem with our true crime sale. Through April 19th, use coupon code TRUECRIME40 on all of our reads about serial killers, unsolved crimes, famous robberies and more. Browse our true crime catalog here!

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Newly Published: Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel

New on our bookshelf:

Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel: Life and the Environment After Societal Collapse
Clint Jones

As awareness of climate change grows, so do the number of cultural depictions of environmental disaster. Graphic novels have reliably produced dramatizations of such disasters. Many use themes of dystopian hopefulness, or the enjoyment readers experience from seeing society prevail in times of apocalypse.

This book argues that these generally inspirational narratives contribute to a societal apathy for real-life environmental degradation. By examining the narratives and art of the environmental apocalypse in contemporary graphic novels, the author stands against dystopian hope, arguing that the ways in which we experience depictions of apocalypse shape how we respond to real crises.

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New to Kindle, March 2020

The following titles are now available on Kindle:

A Century in Uniform: Military Women in American Films
African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788–1941
Apocalypse TV: Essays on Society and Self at the End of the World
Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel: Life and the Environment After Societal Collapse
Autogenic Training: A Mind-Body Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndrome and Stress-Related Disorders, 3d ed.
Baseball in Europe: A Country by Country History, 2d ed.
Chasing the Bounty: The Voyages of the Pandora and Matavy
Colonels in Blue—Missouri and the Western States and Territories: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary
Electric Trucks: A History of Delivery Vehicles, Semis, Forklifts and Others
Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Film History Through Trade Journal Art, 1916–1920
Final Battles of Patton’s Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division, 1945–1946
George “Mooney” Gibson: Canadian Catcher for the Deadball Era Pirates
Girl of Steel: Essays on Television’s Supergirl and Fourth-Wave Feminism
Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies: 23 Actresses Who Suffered Early Deaths, Accidents, Missteps, Illnesses and Tragedies
Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement
Japan’s Spy at Pearl Harbor: Memoir of an Imperial Navy Secret Agent
Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush
John Derek: Actor, Director, Photographer
Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston
Managing Organizational Conflict
Nick McLean Behind the Camera: The Life and Works of a Hollywood Cinematographer
Parenting Through Pop Culture: Essays on Navigating Media with Children
Philip K. Dick: Essays of the Here and Now
Quaker Carpetbagger: J. Williams Thorne, Underground Railroad Host Turned North Carolina Politician
Rhode Island’s Civil War Dead: A Complete Roster
Rosalie Gardiner Jones and the Long March for Women’s Rights
Rosenblatt Stadium: Essays and Memories of Omaha’s Historic Ballpark, 1948–2012
Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
Sailing Under John Paul Jones: The Memoir of Continental Navy Midshipman Nathaniel Fanning, 1778–1783
Section 27 and Freedman’s Village in Arlington National Cemetery: The African American History of America’s Most Hallowed Ground
Sicily on Screen: Essays on the Representation of the Island and Its Culture
Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television
Taking Fire!: Memoir of an Aerial Scout in Vietnam
The 6th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster
The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry: How a Confederate Artillery Battery and a Black Union Regiment Defined the War
The General Aviation Industry in America: A History, 2d ed.
The Man Who Made Babe Ruth: Brother Matthias of St. Mary’s School
The Showgirl Costume: An Illustrated History
The USS Swordfish: The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship
The Women of City Point, Virginia, 1864–1865: Stories of Life and Work in the Union Occupation Headquarters
Themes in Latin American Cinema: A Critical Survey, 2d ed.
Understanding Nazi Ideology: The Genesis and Impact of a Political Faith
Virtual Tribe: Indigenous Identity in Social Media
Why the Axis Lost: An Analysis of Strategic Errors
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Newly Published: Sacred and Mythological Animals

New on our bookshelf:

Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
Yowann Byghan

From the household cat to horses that can fly, a surprisingly wide range of animals feature in religions and mythologies all across the world. The same animal can take on different roles: the raven can be a symbol of evil, a harbinger of death, a wise messenger or a shape-changing trickster. In Norse mythology, Odin’s magical ravens perch on his shoulders and bring him news.

This compendium draws upon religious texts and myths to explore the ways sacred traditions use animal images, themes and associations in rituals, ceremonies, texts, myths, literature and folklore across the world. Sections are organized by the main animal classifications such as mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects. Each chapter covers one significant grouping (such as dogs, cats or horses), first describing an animal scientifically and then detailing the mythological attributes. Numerous examples cite texts or myths. A final section covers animal hybrids, animal monsters and mythical animals as well as stars, constellations and Zodiac symbols. An appendix describes basic details of the religions and mythologies covered. A glossary defines uncommon religious terms and explains scientific animal names.

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Newly Published: Philip K. Dick

New on our bookshelf:

Philip K. Dick: Essays of the Here and Now
Edited by David Sandner

Philip K. Dick was a visionary writer of science fiction. His works speak to contemporary fears of being continually watched by technology, and the paranoia of modern life in which we watch ourselves and lose our sense of identity. Since his death in 1982, Dick’s writing remain frighteningly relevant to 21st century audiences. Dick spent his life in near poverty and it was only after his death that he gained popular and critical recognition.

In this new collection of essays, interviews, and talks, Philip K Dick is rediscovered. Concentrating both on recent critical studies and on reassessing his legacy in light of his new status as a “major American author,” these essays explore, just what happened culturally and critically to precipitate his extraordinary rise in reputation. The essays look for his traces in the places he lived, in the SF community he came from, and in his influence on contemporary American literature and culture, and beyond.

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Newly Published: Ethics After Poststructuralism

New on our bookshelf:

Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Edited by Lee Olsen, Brendan Johnston and Ann Keniston

The present era of economic devastation, legacies of colonization and imperialism, climate change and habitat loss, calls for a new understanding of ethics. These essays on otherness, responsibility and hospitality raise urgent questions. Contributors range from the prominent—including Levinas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben—to recent theorists such as Judith Butler, Enrique Dussell and Rosi Braidotti. The essays emphasize the always vulnerable status of a radically different Other, even as they question what responsibility to that Other might mean.

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2019

New on our bookshelf:

Text & Presentation, 2019
Edited by Amy Muse

This volume is the sixteenth in a series dedicated to presenting the latest findings in the fields of comparative drama, performance, and dramatic textual analysis. Featuring some of the best work from the 2019 Comparative Drama Conference in Orlando, this book engages audiences with new research on contemporary and classic drama, performance studies, scenic design and adaptation theory in nine scholarly essays, two event transcripts and six book reviews. This year’s highlights include an interview with playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and a roundtable discussion on the sixtieth anniversary of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

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Newly Published: Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement

New on our bookshelf:

Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement
William Farina

Over the last three decades, Italian crime fiction has demonstrated a trend toward a much higher level of realism and complexity. The origins of the New Italian Epic, as it has been coined by some of its proponents, can be found in the widespread backlash against the Mafia–sponsored murders of Sicilian magistrates which culminated with the assassinations of Judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992. Though beginning in the Italian language, this prolific, popular movement has more recently found its way into the English language and hence it has found a much wider international audience.

Following a brief, yet detailed, history of the cultural and economic development of Sicily, this book provides a multilayered look into the evolution of the New Italian Epic genre. The works of ten prominent contemporary writers, including Andrea Camilleri, Michael Dibdin, Elena Ferrante, and Massimo Carlotto, are examined against the backdrop of various historical periods. This “past is prologue” approach to contemporary crime fiction provides context for the creation of these recent novels and enhances understanding of the complex moral ambiguity that is characteristic of anti-mafia Italian crime fiction.

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Newly Published: Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern

New on our bookshelf:

Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays
Edited by Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak

From shambling zombies to Gothic ghosts, horror has entertained thrill-seeking readers for centuries. A versatile literary genre, it offers commentary on societal issues, fresh insight into the everyday and moral tales disguised in haunting tropes and grotesque acts, with many stories worthy of critical appraisal. This collection of new essays takes in a range of topics, focusing on historic works such as Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville (1826) and modern novels including Max Brooks’ World War Z. Other contributions examine weird fiction, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Indigenous Australian monster mythology and horror in picture books for young children.

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Newly Published: Rebirth in the Life and Works of Beatrix Potter

New on our bookshelf:

Rebirth in the Life and Works of Beatrix Potter
Richard Tuerk

This work traces the concepts of initiation, transformation and rebirth though Beatrix Potter’s personal writings and her children’s fiction. Her letters and journals reveal attempts to escape from what she called her “unloved birthplace” and her overbearing parents. Potter felt that her life culminated in her forties, when she was, in effect, reborn through marriage as Mrs. William Heelis, a farmer raising Herdwick sheep and buying land for the National Trust.

From her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, through some of the last, such as The Fairy Caravan and The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, central characters undergo processes of initiation during which they mature toward adulthood. The most successful ones move from being helpless children to more mature creatures on their way to independence, while others experience no change or even regression.

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Newly Published: Agency in The Hunger Games

New on our bookshelf:

Agency in The Hunger Games: Desire, Intent and Action in the Novels
Kayla Ann

For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency involves not only the physical battle of controlling one’s body but also one’s response to such influences as morality, trauma, power and hope.

The author explores personal agency through in-depth examinations of the lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and others, and through an analysis of themes like the overabundance of bodily imagery, social expectations in the Capitol, and problem parental figures. Readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set out by Collins’ characters, who prove over and over that human agency is always attainable.

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Newly Published: The Global Vampire

New on our bookshelf:

The Global Vampire: Essays on the Undead in Popular Culture Around the World
Edited by Cait Coker

The media vampire has roots throughout the world, far beyond the shores of the usual Dracula-inspired Anglo-American archetypes. Depending on text and context, the vampire is a figure of anxiety and comfort, humor and fear, desire and revulsion. These dichotomies gesture the enduring prevalence of the vampire in mass culture; it can no longer articulate a single feeling or response, bound by time and geography, but is many things to many people. With a global perspective, this collection of essays offers something new and different: a much needed counter-narrative of the vampire’s evolution in popular culture. Divided by geography, this text emphasizes the vampiric as a globetrotting citizen du monde rather than an isolated monster.

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Newly Published: Willful Monstrosity

Newly Published:

Willful Monstrosity: Gender and Race in 21st Century Horror
Natalie Wilson

Taking in a wide range of film, television, and literature, this volume explores 21st century horror and its monsters from an intersectional perspective with a marked emphasis on gender and race. The analysis, which covers over 70 narratives, is organized around four primary monstrous figures—zombies, vampires, witches and monstrous women. Arguing that the current horror renaissance is populated with willful monsters that subvert prevailing cultural norms and systems of power, the discussion reads horror in relation to topics of particular import in the contemporary moment—rampant sexual violence, unbridled capitalist greed, brutality against people of color, militarism, and the patriarchy’s refusal to die.

Examining ground-breaking films and television shows such as Get Out, Us, The Babadook, A Quiet Place, Stranger Things, Penny Dreadful, and The Passage, as well as works by key authors like Justin Cronin, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, Margo Lanagan, and Jeanette Winterson, this monograph offers a thorough account of the horror landscape and what it says about the 21st century world.

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Newly Published: Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics

New on our bookshelf:

Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics
Lou Mougin

When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in a string of imitators—Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, super villains or Hitler—like the Shield, the Black Terror, Crimebuster, Cat-Man, Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Black Cat and even Frankenstein?

These and other four-color fighters crowded the newsstands from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due.

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Newly Published: The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong

New on our bookshelf:

The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong: Exploring Curiosity and Otherness on Stage
Yuko Kurahashi

This first-ever biography exploring the life of Ping Chong (1946), successful avant-garde artist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, focuses on his valuable contributions to modern theatre. Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Chong’s productions, the author takes a broad and informative approach to his work as a performer, playwright and director over 48 years.

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Newly Published: Welcome to Arkham Asylum

New on our bookshelf:

Welcome to Arkham Asylum: Essays on Psychiatry and the Gotham City Institution
Edited by Sharon Packer, M.D. and Daniel R. Fredrick

Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is a staple of the Batman universe, evolving into a franchise comprised of comic books, graphic novels, video games, films, television series and more. The Arkham franchise, supposedly light-weight entertainment, has tackled weighty issues in contemporary psychiatry. Its plotlines reference clinical and ethical controversies that perplex even the most up-to-date professionals. The 25 essays in this collection explore the significance of Arkham’s sinister psychiatrists, murderous mental patients, and unethical geneticists. It invites debates about the criminalization of the mentally ill, mental patients who move from defunct state hospitals into expanding prisons, madness versus badness, sociopathy versus psychosis, the “insanity defense” and more. Invoking literary figures from Lovecraft to Poe to Caligari, the 25 essays in this collection are a broad-ranging and thorough assessment of the franchise and its relationship to contemporary psychiatry.

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Newly Published: Science Fiction and the Dismal Science

New on our bookshelf:

Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre
Edited by Gary Westfahl, Gregory Benford, Howard V. Hendrix and Jonathan Alexander

Despite the growing importance of economics in our lives, literary scholars have long been reluctant to consider economic issues as they examine key texts. This volume seeks to fill one of these conspicuous gaps in the critical literature by focusing on various connections between science fiction and economics, with some attention to related fields such as politics and government. Its seventeen contributors include five award-winning scholars, five science fiction writers, and a widely published economist.

Three topics are covered: what noted science fiction writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and Kim Stanley Robinson have had to say about our economic and political future; how the competitive and ever-changing publishing marketplace has affected the growth and development of science fiction from the nineteenth century to today; and how the scholars who examine science fiction have themselves been influenced by the economics of academia. Although the essays focus primarily on American science fiction, the traditions of Russian and Chinese science fiction are also examined. A comprehensive bibliography of works related to science fiction and economics will assist other readers and critics who are interested in this subject.

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Beer, Wine and Spirits Sale

While many of our readers, authors and staff have an appreciation for the drinking of beer, practically as many also have a fondness for the culture of beer.  Drink and culture converge at McFarland, where we have a small but growing line of books that look at the social and historical impact of beer, wine and spirits.  Now through January 15, get 30% off of these books with coupon code BEER30.  Grab a book, grab your beverage of choice, and kick back and enjoy two of life’s great pastimes!  Furthermore, if you’re an author with an idea for a book about beer culture, tell us what you’ve got on tap at proposals@mcfarlandpub.com.