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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Writing Under the Influence

Writing Under the InfluenceNew on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Freedom Narratives of African American Women

Freedom Narratives of African American WomenNew on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Storytelling in Video Games

Storytelling in Video GamesNew on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: James Lee Burke

New on our bookshelf today:

James Lee Burke: A Literary Companion
Laurence W. Mazzeno

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962
Ryan Ellett

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

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Newly Published: The American Writer

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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