Columbia Ink

Nov. 20, 2012Bookmark and Share

New books by faculty and staff feature fiction, memoir, politics, protests and more.

Silent House BY ORHAN PAMUK
Silent House
BY ORHAN PAMUK
Knopf
The Nobel Prize-winning writer’s second novel, Silent House, appeared in English this fall for the first time since its 1983 publication in Turkey. Pamuk, the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Mellon Professor of the Humanities, writes about a widow awaiting the annual summer visit of her grandchildren on the eve of Turkey’s 1980 military coup. The family is drawn into the looming political crisis by the troublemaking nephew of the woman’s servant, who has a complicated relationship with the family—he is the illegitimate son of her late husband. Pamuk will discuss his work at the University Lecture on November 29.
     
Occupy Nation BY TODD GITLIN Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street
BY TODD GITLIN
HarperCollins
Gitlin, a professor at the Journalism School, explores why the Occupy movement was not able to deliver legislative and regulatory change despite the galvanizing impact of its cry for economic justice, “We are the 99 percent.” A former leader of Students for a Democratic Society who was at the forefront of the student protests of the 1960s and ’70s, Gitlin offers a portrait of the more recent progressive social movement, from its origins to its inner tensions and prospects for achieving lasting change.
     
Hostages in the Middle Ages BY ADAM J. KOSTO Hostages in the Middle Ages
BY ADAM J. KOSTO
Oxford University Press, USA
In the Middle Ages, hostages were given, not taken, to secure diplomatic, military and financial transactions. Kosto, a History professor and medieval scholar, traces the development of the institution from late antiquity through the period of the Hundred Years War, exploring the logic of agreements, the identity of hostages and the conditions of their confinement. He ends by examining the reasons for the decline of the practice in the early modern era and the rise of today’s form of hostage taking.
     
Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums BY MABEL O. WILSON Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums
BY MABEL O. WILSON
University of California Press
With the National Museum of African American History and Culture set to open in Washington in 2015, Wilson traces the evolution of black public history from the Civil War through the civil rights movement. She examines black Americans’ participation in world’s fairs, Emancipation expositions and early grassroots museums, focusing on the figures who conceived the curatorial content including Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Wilson, an associate professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, also explores why Chicago and Detroit were the first cities to establish major black historical museums.
     
Scattered: A Mostly True Memoir BY JUSTINE HOPE BLAU Scattered: A Mostly True Memoir
BY JUSTINE HOPE BLAU
Hand Whistle Press
In her third book, Blau (SoA’91) a University Senate program officer, writes a largely factual account of growing up with a delusional mother who uproots Blau and her two older brothers from their home in Queens to live with her in a series of cheap hotels and apartments in and around Manhattan. Their chronic homelessness, which entailed scrounging for food and spending nights in subway cars and all-night diners, lasts six years until the girl is taken away from her mother at age 11 and placed in a children’s group home.
     
China’s Search for Security BY ANDREW NATHAN AND ANDREW SCOBELL China’s Search for Security
BY ANDREW NATHAN AND ANDREW SCOBELL
Columbia University Press
Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, analyzes China’s security concerns in this book written with a Rand Corp. political scientist. The authors examine China’s tense relationship with Japan, its interests in such global hot spots as North Korea, Iran and the Sudan, and its recent troubles in the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China’s complicated relationship with Taiwan also comes under scrutiny as does its relationship with the United States. The book concludes with recommendations for U.S. policymakers seeking to manage China’s rise.
     
Two-Part Inventions: A Novel BY LYNNE SHARON SCHWARTZ Two-Part Inventions: A Novel
BY LYNNE SHARON SCHWARTZ
Counterpoint
Two-Part Inventions begins when a concert pianist, Suzanne, dies suddenly of a stroke in the apartment she shares with her producer husband, Philip. He has built his wife’s career by altering her recordings to include performances by other pianists and now he is afraid that their fraud will be exposed. Schwartz, an adjunct professor of writing in the School of the Arts, explores the psychological terrain of a flawed marriage and a calculated career while contemplating the nature of truth, marriage and the pursuit of perfection.
     
Sources of Vietnamese Tradition BY JAYNE WERNER, GEORGE DUTTON AND JOHN K. WHITMORE Sources of Vietnamese Tradition
BY JAYNE WERNER, GEORGE DUTTON AND JOHN K. WHITMORE
Columbia University Press
Werner, an associate research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and colleagues have put together an anthology that surveys 2,000 years of Vietnamese history, politics and society. The readings explore China’s long domination of Vietnam, the influence of Buddhism and Confucian thought on governance, the political competition between north and south, the colonial era and Vietnam’s war with America, and relationships with neighboring countries and the West. Each chapter features readings that reveal the customs and beliefs of a rapidly changing culture.
 
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