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Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002     413.256.1547    800.503.5865    books@amherstbooks.com
Local Authors

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)
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)
jacket cover
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