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Naked Came the Phoenix
Edited by Marcia Talley ’65
St. Martin’s Press, 2001

In this clever serial mystery novel, 13 well-known female mystery writers each contribute an independent chapter to move the tale along. Talley, who has just published her third Hannah Ives murder mystery, Occasion of Revenge, pulled the writers together, outlined a plot, and turned them loose, allowing each to choose the month to complete her chapter. The resulting comic soap-opera tale, set in an exclusive spa, entails several grisly and horrifying murders envisioned by some of the best minds in the genre. Talley is married to John B. Talley ’65, chair of musical activities for the U.S. Navy. Both are dedicated sailing enthusiasts, and the author did much of the book’s editing while living on a boat in the Bahamas.

Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age
By Sandra Hindman, Michael Camille, Nina Rowe ’90, and Rowan Watson
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 2001

Roger S. Wieck, the curator of Mediaeval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Pierpont Morgan Library, said of this magnificent production, “You can count on one hand the number of books that completely change the way you look at art.” The book was published to accompany an exhibition at Northwestern University’s art museum and is the result of hundreds of scholars who contributed information or art excerpts to its cause. Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum was among the contributing museums. Printed in Singapore with photographs of illuminated manuscripts in black and white and stunning color, this is the definitive collection representing 100 art works from 18 lenders. Rowe, one of the four editors, contributed her research on high medieval visualizations and idealizations of Jews and other outsider groups, as well as modern notions of medieval art. It is for this handsome 328-page book that coffee tables were designed. Rowe is a PhD candidate in the department of art history at Northwestern.

Beyond the Bard: Fifty Plays for Use in the English Classroom
By Joshua Rutsky ’93
Allyn & Bacon, 2001

This small, useful paperback will give English teachers and drama coaches a quick and easy way to select a play, from Shakespeare to contemporary theater, that is suitable for a particular unit. From the plot summaries to the number of lead roles, the reference also helps teachers to rule out plays that fail to meet their schools’ standards. Rutsky credits a play he saw as a first-year student at Oberlin for opening up possibilities in theater that he had never before imagined.

Judy Moody Gets Famous
By Megan McDonald ’81
Candlewick Press, 2001

This second story in the Judy Moody series is written for children in the third grade and up. Judy has a mood for every occasion; this time she is bent on discovering how to become famous. McDonald’s prolific award-wining publications range from picture books to young adult novels, and her first in the Judy Moody series was an ALA Notable Book and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2000. The author teaches writing workshops and classes in Sonoma and Marin, California, and visits schools across the country.

Enduring Visions: Women’s Artistic Heritage around the World
By Abby Remer ’82
Davis Publications, Inc., 2001

Africa, Arab World, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Oceania, United States, and Canada—these are the chapter headings in a beautifully illustrated book by an arts and educational consultant who has collected paintings, carvings, pottery, glassware, jewelry, textiles, and quilts created by women which best reflect the indigenous culture that served as inspiration for their work. Many of the visual expressions are reflected in full-page illustrations with use of brilliant color. Children will enjoy this collection as much as scholars. This volume perfectly complements the author’s previous book, Pioneering Spirits: The Lives and Times of Remarkable Artists in Western History. Remer lives in Manhattan with her husband.

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