By Richard W. Jennings ’66. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 176 pp. $16.00
Spencer Adams Honesty may be the last best hope for Paisley, Kansas—and for lonely kids everywhere. Spencer and his mom are the last people left in Paisley, except for Chief Leopard Frog, Spence’s imaginary friend. One lonely day, Chief Leopard Frog’s carved rabbit talisman tells Spence to take his photo, so Spence digs up his late father’s camera and starts shooting photographs all around his ghost town. When the photos come back developed, he does not expect to see his old neighbor Maureen Balderson in her bedroom. Or Ma Puttering clearing weeds in her yard. They aren’t in Paisley anymore. Yet there they are. What happens to Spence next is unexpected. It involves a catalogue called Uncle Milton’s Thousand Things You Thought You’d Never Find, a poetry deal gone awry and a ghost camera that promises to take pictures of the past (just be sure not to photograph yourself).
Opportunity Lost: Race and Poverty in the Memphis City Schools
By Marcus D. Pohlmann, Professor of Political Science. Knoxville: University of Tennessee; 280 pp. $42.00
Pohlmann examines the troubling issue of why Memphis city school students are underperforming at alarming rates. His provocative interdisciplinary analysis, combining both history and social science, examines the events before and after desegregation, compares a city school to an affluent suburban school to pinpoint imbalances and offers critical assessments of various educational reforms.
Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? Fifth Edition
By John F. Cooper, Stanley J. Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies. Boulder: Westview Press; 304 pp. $35.00
In this newly revised and updated edition of Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? Copper examines Taiwan’s geography and history, society and culture, economy, political system and foreign and security policies in the context of Taiwan’s uncertain political status: whether a sovereign nation or a province of the People’s Republic of China. Cooper argues that Taiwan’s very rapid and successful democratization suggests Taiwan should be independent and separate from China, while increasingly important economic links between Taiwan and China indicate the opposite. New to the fifth edition is enhanced coverage of the issues of an aging population, immigration, Taiwan’s loss of diplomatic status and its improving commercial—though not political—relations with China.
Quoting Death in Early Modern England: The Poetics of Epitaphs Beyond the Tomb
By Scott L. Newstok, Assistant Professor of English. New York: Palgrave Macmillan; 232 pp. $75.00
Newstok engages in an innovative study of the Renaissance practice of making epitaphic gestures within other English genres. A poetics of quotation uncovers the ways in which writers including Shakespeare, Marlowe, Holinshed, Sidney, Jonson, Donne and Elizabeth I have recited these texts within new contexts.