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Alumni authors

By Katie Fitzgerald

Barry H. Leeds, PHD '67, delves into the most recent work of Norman Mailer, one of America's most respected, controversial and prolific authors, in "The Enduring Vision of Norman Mailer" ($18, paperback, Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press). The novel continues where another of his works, "The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer" (1969, NYU Press) left off, covering Mailer's most recent works and weaving in the personal side of the author with literary criticism. Structured thematically rather than chronologically, Leeds' book explores the pervasive themes of power, sexuality, violence, reincarnation, cancer and existential choice that pervade Mailer's works. Leeds, a Central Connecticut State University distinguished professor of English, also is the author of "Ken Kesey" (1981, Ungar Publishing).
"The True Story of Manse Jolly (As told by the Hon. A.W. Fries) Part I: The War Years, 1860-1865" ($14.95, paperback, iUniverse) by Steve Biondo, BSJ '72, of Anderson, S.C., is a fictional but historically accurate tale of a Southern folk hero during a tumultuous decade in American history. Spanning the war years, the account follows two unlikely comrades, a tough farmer and a naive law graduate, who bond during a time of conflict that tests their loyalty and courage. Biondo is working on the second of the book set.
"Blackflies are Murder" ($10.95, paperback, RendezVous Press) by Lou Allin, PHD '75, is a novel that follows the frightful steps of a realtor-sleuth in Northern Ontario after gunshots chase her from quiet forest paths. While the savage and inexplicable murder of a neighbor have her on guard in the North, where everyone is in danger of becoming ear bait, a horrifying truth and its fallout threaten to destroy more lives. Allin also has authored "Northern Winters are Murder ($10.95, paperback, RendezVous Press). She lives in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, where she has taught literature, writing and public speaking at Cambrian College for more than 25 years.
"The Dead Room" ($6.99, paperback, Pinnacle Books), a novel by Robert Ellis, BFA '76, throws civil attorney Teddy Mack into a grisly homicide case and a world of dirty politics and corruption as a string of disturbing murders plagues the city. The killing spree is believed to be perpetrated by one individual of unprecedented savagery and cunning. To end the string of bizarre murders, Mack must enter the maze of a madman to find shocking revelations. Ellis's debut novel "Access to Power" (2001, Pinnacle) was a bestseller. Ellis, of Glendale, Calif., is a media consultant with the Campaign Group Inc.
"Confronting American Labor: The New Left Dilemma" ($32.50, cloth, University of Missouri Press) by Jeffrey Coker, PHD '99, traces the development of the American left by examining four individuals who represent a cross section of post-World War II radicalism. Seymour Martin Lipset and C. Wright Mills were professional sociologists; Sidney Lens became a political commentator for leftist magazines and journals; and historian Herbert Gutman helped to create a new labor history reflecting broader transformations within the intellectual left. Coker is an assistant professor of history at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
"Stumbling Toward God, A Prodigal's Return" ($15.95, paperback, Innisfree Press Inc.) by Margaret McGee, MA '75, is a book of hope and courage to those on a spiritual path. Starting her journey as a self-proclaimed "atheist who prays," McGee explores two radically different churches, Unitarian and Episcopal, and joins both. "Stumbling Toward God" traces her spiritual search from atheism to eventually committing herself to one congregation. The book includes a reading group guide. She also writes fiction, plays and poetry. McGee and her husband, David Schroeder, reside in Port Townsend, Wash.

Katie Fitzgerald, BSJ '03, is a student writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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