[Alumni News and Notes]



A Four-Sided Bed
by Elizabeth Searle '83
Graywolf Press, 1998

Searle's first novel, A Four-Sided Bed, explores a tangle of relationships that tests the limits of the possible and challenges assumptions about the nature of sexual love and gender identity. The story begins in Oberlin, and Searle says "the two main characters are in some ways 'typical Obies': a computer-science whiz and electric guitar player who marries a sociology major." Christopher Tilghman says of Searle's writing that it is "a physical experience. One hears it as spoken, as an incantation." Her collection of stories My Body To You was published in 1993 as the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, and she teaches at the graduate writing program at Emerson College in Boston. (See Class of 1983.)

Gandhi: The Truth Can Fight
by Ann Lee Finkel '68
Ti-Jean Press, 1997

Written for readers aged 12-15, this short biography of Mohandas Gandhi emphasizes the ways his early struggles with himself and his environment strongly influenced his character. Written in a simple style, Gandhi provides an introduction to his life and to Indian culture and history. Finkel is a homesteader and teacher-librarian; she lives near Powell River in British Columbia, Canada.

Guns and Boyhood in America: A Memoir of Growing Up in the 50s
by Jonathan Holden '63
The University of Michigan Press, 1997

Sex, baseball, summer camp, and the mistakes of adolescence--these rites of passage are addressed by Holden in the memoir of his life as he grew up in the 1950s with a gay identical twin brother. Released in the University of Michigan Press' Poets-on-Poetry Series, the book is also a critique of homophobia, the national romance with guns, and other aspects of American culture. Holden is distinguished professor of English and poet-in-residence at Kansas State University, and his poetry collection, The Sublime (The Univer-sity of North Texas Press, 1996), was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the 1995 Vassar Miller Prize

Mixed Harvest: The Second Great Transformation in the Rural North, 1870-1930
by Hal S. Barron '73
The University of Chicago Press, 1997

"[In Mixed Harvest] Barron breaks new ground in explaining how farm families both resisted and accepted the new organizational society and consumer culture of the twentieth century," writes David E. Hamilton of the University of Kentucky. Through historical analysis the author explores how rural Americans, from New England to the northern Great Plains, successfully created a distinct subculture of their own in the face of the rapid industrialization and political centralization that occurred between 1870 and 1930. Barron is professor of history at Harvey Mudd College, and a member of the faculty at the Claremont Graduate School. He is also author of Those
Who Stayed Behind: Rural Society in Nineteenth-Century New England.

A Place on the Glacial Till: Time, Land, and Nature within an American Town
by Thomas Fairchild Sherman '56
Oxford University Press, 1997

Sherman explores Oberlin's history through an account of its ecology and geology. A Place on the Glacial Till is divided into six sections: rocks, water and ice, the Western Reserve, people, flora, and fauna. Combining the scientific and the anecdotal, Sherman describes Oberlin's plant, animal, and human life from 520 BC, discussing several Native American archaeological sites in the area. He also includes stories of more recent inhabitants, such as his own ancestors, the Fairchilds, and recounts tales of their life in the family settlement in Brownhelm, Ohio, in the early 1800s. Sherman is emeritus professor of biology, and taught at Oberlin for three decades. He is now retired and lives with his wife in the north woods of Maine.

In Their Own Right: The History of American Clergywomen
by Carl J. and Dorothy Jones Schneider, both '39
The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997

The book details the work and lives of American clergywomen of various denominations, and describes the painfully slow opening of the profession to women from colonial times to the present. The authors speculate about the future of American clergywomen in relation to feminism, womanism, the backlash from the religious right, the controversy over ordaining lesbians, and denominations, such as Roman Catholicism, that still deny ordination to women. The Schneiders are the authors of several historical works, including Into the Break: American Women Overseas in World War I and Sound Off: American Military Women Speak Out. They live in Essex, Connecticut.

Treasure Hunt
by William H. Honan '52
Fromm International, 1997

The treasure being hunted in this nonfiction account is the "Quedlinberg hoard," several missing pieces of sacred church art stolen from the medieval German town of Quedlinberg during the American liberation in 1945. The hunter is Honan himself, who, while working as a report-er for the New York Times, helped to locate and return the missing treasure valued at $200 mil-lion and including two rare jeweled biblical manuscripts over 1,000 years old. Following a forty-year-old trail, Honan eventually discovers that the thief, now deceased, was a U.S. Army lieutenant from Texas who probably never understood the enormity of his crime. The New York Times Book Review calls Treasure Hunt1 a "first-rate detective story."

China Against the Tides: Restructuring through Revolution, Radicalism and Reform
By Marc Blecher
Pinter/Cassell, 1997

An interpretive survey of China's revolution, its sustained experiment with radical state socialism, and its efforts at equally radical structural reform. Blecher examines the ways in which China has repeatedly reversed course, confounding its own citizens and leaders as well as foreign observers. He stresses that analysts must take Chinese perspectives seriously if they are not to continue to be surprised by China's development. For example, he argues that China's extraordinary economic success since 1978 is rooted firmly in political authoritarianism, contrary to the Western commonplace that economic modernization and democracy go hand in hand. Blecher is professor of politics and East Asian studies at Oberlin.

Green Well Years
by Manohar Devadoss '72
East West Books, 1997

This autobiographical novel is based on Devadoss' boyhood in the temple city of Madurai, India, with detailed pen-and-ink illustrations by the author. Green Well Years follows Sundar, a young boy on the threshold of adolescence, through the idyllic and trying last days of his childhood, and interweaves the rhythms of the city itself with his story. The Indian Review of Books says of Devadoss that his "social commentary is perceptive and his humor-laden observations are those of an artist." He lives in Madras with his wife, Mahema Devadoss (see Classnotes, 1972). To order the book, write the Devadosses at 1, Kangayaruram, Papanasam Sivan Road; Santhome, Madras, 600 004, India.

Full of Carp
by Peter Bradley,
Illustrated by Jeff Tolbert '88
Hungry Mind Press, 1997

A collection of off-the-wall cartoons about the world's most beloved bottom feeder, Full of Carp captures great moments in carp history, and introduces the reader to famous carp, providing helpful carp phrases. Tolbert is a freelance illustrator and designer who has worked for Minnesota Public Radio, The Utne Reader, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He says he hopes this book "doesn't make it impossible for him to find further work in his field."

Guitar Music by Women Composers: An Annotated Catalogue
Compiled by Janna MacAuslan and Kristan Aspen '70
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997

A practical guide for guitarists searching for a repertoire that includes women composers, this book lists musical works by instrumentation, with biographies of each composer. Thomas F. Heck of The Ohio State University music and dance library calls the work a "timely response for a very real need in the field of guitar research." Aspen is a freelance academic, performer and lecturer, devoted to increasing public awareness of women in the field of music, and she and MacAuslan have recorded two compact discs, "Returning Muse to Music" and "Heartstreams."

The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy
By David Mayers '74
Oxford University Press
Hardcover 1995/Paperback 1997

A history of the men who have served as U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union, The Ambassadors sharply illuminates the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. Mayers assesses the impact U.S. ambassadors have had on American-Soviet policy from the time of czarist Russia on through the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Included are analyses of policy during the World Wars, the Stalinist period, and détente, as well as a tentative evaluation of the embassy's view of Gorbachev's inno-vations. The American Academy of Diplomacy calls the book "a work of superb historical analysis" and has named it as winner of the first annual award for a book of distinction on American diplomacy. Mayers, recognized as a leading scholar of United States-Soviet relations, holds a joint appointment in the history and political science departments of Boston University. This is his third book on U.S. foreign policy, and he is a frequent contributor to journals of inter-national relations and history. Mayers lives in Newton, Mass., with his wife, Elizabeth, and their son Peter.

The Supervisory Encounter: A Guide for Teachers of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
by Daniel Jacobs '59, Paul David, and Donald Jay Meyer
Yale University Press, 1997

The guide provides a theoretical and technical framework for supervising and training psychodynamically-oriented therapists and psychoanalysts, and describes the phases of supervision, its goals, and the nature of supervisory interventions. "Essential reading for those who supervise, those who wish to supervise, and those who are being supervised," says Joyce A. Lerner in the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. Jacobs is a training and supervising analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programed Course
by Paul O. Harder and Greg Steinke '64
Allyn and Bacon, 1995

Steinke has authored the latest revision of Harder's classic text, now in its eighth edition. The aim of the programed course is to encour-age the student reader to take an active part in their learning of the fundamentals of music theory. Steinke is director of the School of Music and professor of music at Ball State University, and is currently active as a composer of chamber and large ensemble music and as an oboe soloist. His work is featured on two recently released CDs (see "Recent Recordings").

Television Musicals: Plots, Critiques, Casts, and Credits for 222 Shows Written for and Presented on Television, 1944-1996
by Joan Baxter '48
McFarland & Company, 1997

222 television musicals fully detailed, with each entry providing air date, network, running time, cast, credits, a listing of all the songs, and a plot synopsis, along with contemporary reviews of the show. Baxter is a freelance writer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Quilts in Community: Ohio's Traditions
by Ricky Clark '54, George W. Knepper, and Ellice Ronsheim
Quilted Gardens: Floral Quilts of the Nineteenth Century
by Ricky Clark '54
Rutledge Hill Press, 1991 and 1994

Quilts in Community, winner of the 1992 Ohioana Book Award, is a social history of Ohio's women told through their quilts and their own words. Many of the quilts are photographed in color, with histories based on interviews with quiltmakers, and diaries, county histories, and early newspapers. Quilted Gardens is an in-depth view of the design and social significance of classic floral quilts, one of the most popular styles chosen by many nineteenth-century quiltmakers.Original quilts are photographed in color. Clark is an affiliate scholar at Oberlin, a founding member of the Ohio Quilt Research Project, and a board member of the American Quilt Study Group. She is considered the leading quilt historian in the country.

English Verbs and Sentence Structure
by Thomas Sheehan '72
Prentice Hall Regents, 1996

Two communicative courses using "story squares," or page-long illustrations of the major points in a story, these texts and their accompanying guides are designed to help teach inter-mediate English grammar.

I Was a Teenage Norwegian
by Peter Dublin '66
Press-Tige Books, 1997

An autobiographical novel about Dublin's experience spending his last year of high school in a small Norwegian town 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Two Perfectly Marvelous Cats
by Rosmaond M. Young
J. N. Townsend Publishing, 1996

Recently chosen as a Quality Paperback Book Club selection, these are the true stories of Faith and Simon, two ordinary British pet cats who showed extraordinary courage during WW II. Faith, a London church cat, survived the Battle of London and protected her kitten by a seemingly prescient relocation of her nest to the basement just before her church was destroyed by a bomb. Simon served as ship's cat on board the HMS Amethyst, where he saved many lives by catching the rats that were depleting the crew's dangerously short food supply. Simon died of a virus exacerbated by the wounds he sustained in one of the Amethyst's battles. Both cats received medals for their bravery from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). Young's narration is based on research and interviews. She lives in Ohio.

In My Heart, I Am a Dancer
by Chamroeun Yin Edited by Deborah Wei '79 and Debora Kodish
Philadelphia Folklore Project, 1996

This children's book about Chamroeun Yin's experience performing and teaching the art of Cambodian court dance is part of an ongoing collaborative effort of the Philadelphia Folklore Project to deepen public understanding of folk art and to integrate a critical approach to it into education.

Greece A Traveler's Literary Companion
Edited by Artemis Leontis
Whereabouts Press, 1997

The 24 stories in this collection are arranged by their geographical allusions, and are designed to complement any travel through Greece, "real or imagined." Each is the work of a modern Greek writer--among them Nobel laureates George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis, and Vassilis Vassilikos, author of Z. and several are translated into English for the first time. Leontis is professor of modern Greek at Ohio State University, and has published several essays on Greek literature in Greek and in English. Her last book, Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland, was named outstanding academic book for 1995 by Choice magazine.


by Rozanna Weinberger and Evelyne Luest, performing George Rochberg, Georges Enescu, Gary Noland, Greg Steinke '64, and Jackie T. Gabel
North Pacific Music 1996

"Passion" features music for viola solo with piano, processed with digital electro-acoustics. Recorded here are the first three pieces of Steinke's seven-part suite, "Santa Fe Trail Echoes," a work inspired by a book of Joan Myers' photography.

Contemporary American Eclectic Music for the Piano
0by Jeffrey Jacob, performing Dinos Constantinides, Michael Rose, Drew Krause, Greg Steinke '64, Vernon Taranto, Ira-Paul Schwarz, Jack Fortner, and Page Williams
New Ariel Recording, 1996

Featured on this CD of Jacob's performance is Steinke's composition "Family Portrait for Piano," written as a remembrance of his family, and dedicated to his in-laws.

My Favorite Music
by OC Piano Professor Sedmara Zakarian Rutstein,
SZR Productions, CD #ZD-010, 1997.

A selection of piano works by Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin. New Records proclaimed: "She is a first-class artist... not even Richter or Horowitz excels her in this Russian music. Nor is the Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy less attractive."

by Paul Silbergleit '90 Guitar, Leader, Composer
Silberspoon Productions 1996

This CD from Milwaukee-based jazzer Silbergleit includes seven of his originals, two compositions from pianist Mark Davis, and new arrangements for the standards "Cheek to Cheek" and "Round Midnight." Within the largely straight-ahead jazz context of the album is a variety of styles, including bop, funk, and bossa nova. Silbergleit is joined here by five of his musical colleagues.