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Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002     413.256.1547    800.503.5865    books@amherstbooks.com
Local Authors
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PeggyOBrien
Amherst resident & professor in the English department at the University of Massachusetts, Peggy O’Brien has a new book—Writing Lough Derg: From William Carleton to Seamus Heaney.   O’Brien’s study shows how a discrete tradition of writing about Lough Derg helped contemporary Irish poets rescue metaphysical inquiry from the grip of nationalism.   Linked with the supernatural from pagan times, Lough Derg had become by the early twentieth century an icon of the fusion of the Catholic Church & the Irish nation.   Surveying literary treatments of Lough Derg from William Carleton through Denis Devlin, Patrick Kavanagh, & ultimately to Seamus Heaney, O’Brien addresses the role of spirituality in an increasingly cosmopolitan, postmodern, post-Catholic Ireland. Her extended consideration of Heaney culminates in an insightful juxtaposition with Czeslaw Milosz, the Polish poet who also struggled with the conflation of Catholicism & patriotism.   (2006)
University of Massachusetts professor Brian Ogilvie has a new book— The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe.  About the book: In the late fifteenth & early sixteenth centuries, naturalists focused on understanding ancient & medieval descriptions of the natural world, but by the mid-sixteenth century naturalists turned toward distinguishing & cataloguing new plant & animal species.   To do so, they developed new techniques of observing & recording, created botanical gardens & herbaria, & exchanged correspondence & specimens within an international community.   By the early seventeenth century, naturalists began the daunting task of sorting through the wealth of information they had accumulated, putting a new emphasis on taxonomy & classification.   Drawing on published natural histories, manuscript correspondence, garden plans, travelogues, watercolors, & drawings, Ogilvie reconstructs the evolution of this discipline of description through four generations of naturalists.   (2006)
LisaOlstein
Lisa Olstein was born in 1972 & raised near Boston, Massachusetts.   She earned a BA from Barnard & an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, undertaking additional studies at Harvard Divinity School.   Her debut volume (due in November), Radio Crackling, Radio Gone, won the prestigious Hayden Carruth Award.   She currently directs the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts & Action in Amherst, Massachusetts.   (2006)
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No matter how far he traveled, Amherst resident Felix Oppenheim always carried his Leica camera.   Now gathered together for the first time, Oppenheim presents 107 of his favorite photographs of architecture & landscapes, each accompanied by its reflection in water. This collection includes photographs taken over five decades. They range from cathedrals, mosques, castles, chateaux, manor houses, & bridges mirrored in seas, lakes, rivers, canals, moats, & other bodies of water, in France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Spain (Granada), Netherlands, Belgium, Morocco, Iran (Isfahan), Egypt, & United States.   (2008)
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Amherst resident Shulamith Oppenheim, best known for her children's stories, has as new novel, The Invisible World.   From the publisher’s description:   On a warm October day only a few years past the middle of the 18th century, a boy was born on Unst, the most northerly of isle of Shetland.   He was named Michael Magnus, laird of Burrafirth.   His father, Laurence Bruce, gave the title to his son immediately.  It was good, he said, for the boy to grow up knowing who he was and what such a rank entailed.   When Michael turned five, his mother died, her lifeless body found among the seals who sing on the shores of Burrafirth.   Now that the boy is nine, he needs a tutor.  But the question must be asked, which one will be the teacher & which will be the student?   This fascinating tale of Scotland is perfect for all readers from 12 to 80.   (2007)
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Pierre Orelus, a graduate student in the Education Department at the University of Massachusetts, has a new book: Education Under Occupation: The Heavy Price of Living in a Neocolonized & Globalized World.   Orelus critically analyzes the ongoing & wide-ranging effects of colonialism & globalization on the poor, especially on those living in the “Third World.”   The author—originally from Haiti—argues that colonization was not merely about the conquest of foreign lands, but it was also about the ideological monitoring of the colonized's mind, often maintained through western hegemonic texts & institutional apparatus, such as schools & churches.   (2007)

Last updated 16 October, 2008 Site Map