Arts & Humanities Reviews | July 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Ferris, William. The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists. Univ. of North Carolina. Aug. 2013. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469607542. $35 w/DVD. LIT

Historian Ferris (former chair, National Endowment for the Humanities; history, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues) depicts the storytelling culture of the American South as one in which a sacred love of reading and writing was instilled early in the lives of children, many of whom grew up to become some of American’s most celebrated artists. Here, he documents interviews with 26 noted Southern writers, photographers, painters, musicians, and scholars, including Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Ernest Gaines, Alex Haley, B.B. King, and Pete Seeger. Collected over the last 40 years, the interviews reveal the inspired lives of these artists and how their creativity was broadened by dabbling into other disciplines such as photography and painting. The accompanying DVD features presentations by and interviews with several artists to add another layer of insight to Ferris’s already wonderful work. VERDICT Required for viewers and readers interested in Southern folkways and culture.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Library Journal Reviews starred review No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood. Seal Pr. 2013. 224p. ed. by Henriette Mantel. notes. ISBN 9781580054430. pap. $16. LIT

Emmy-winning comedy writer, actress, and director Mantel (In the MiddleMidge and BuckAn Unreasonable Man) presents a collection of 37 essays written by women who wittingly and candidly share their reasons for avoiding motherhood. Many of the essayists are comedians, comedy writers, or both, among them Margaret Cho, Julie Halston, Sue Kolinksy, Laurie Graff, and Carol Siskind. These essays provide frank details behind each writer’s choice (e.g., childhood epiphany, health reasons, lack of interest, monetary issues, demanding careers). A common theme throughout is that the decision to remain childfree is a personal one that should not cause the woman to endure unsolicited advice from outsiders. In her essay, comedy writer Bonnie Datt criticizes strangers who seek to counsel her on having children. She aptly notes that in a reverse situation she would not tell her airplane seatmate that “she’d regret having six children.” Many of the essayists describe (in a humorous way) the sexist comments and unwanted feedback they receive from complete strangers regarding their decision. VERDICT An entertaining and hilarious collection of essays. These writings are sometimes bittersweet and will appeal to all readers, but especially fans of women’s studies and contemporary popular culture.—Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Media, PA

Library Journal Reviews starred review Exporting Perilous Pauline: Pearl White and the Serial Film Craze. Univ. of Illinois. 2013. 256p. ed. by Marina Dahlquist. photogs. notes. index. ISBN 9780252037689. $85; pap. ISBN 9780252079214. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780252094941. FILM

When the general public thinks of silent films, two indelible images usually come to mind: the Keystone Kops roaring by in a rickety Model T and a serial queen (the star of several short films) tied to railroad tracks while a villain twirls his mustache and leers at her. Of all of the serials queens, Pearl White reigned supreme. White was as popular worldwide as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, and her most famous character, “Pauline,” was the epitome of the capable woman who was emerging in the early 20th century. Here, Dahlquist (cinema studies, Stockholm Univ.) has collected essays from film scholars around the globe who examine the serial queen phenomenon as it spread throughout Europe, India, and Asia—that brief moment in time when heroines dove off cliffs, confounded jewel thieves, and saved the day, all while still adhering to the strict code of post-Victorian femininity. VERDICT This excellent collection of essays will enthrall both film historians and gender historians alike. Highly recommended.—Teri Shiel, Univ. of Connecticut Health Ctr. Lib., Farmington

The following titles are reviewed in the July print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Eisler, Benita. The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman. Norton. Jul. 2013. 432p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780393066166. $29.95. FINE ARTS

Estrada, Nicolas. New Earrings: 500+ Designs from Around the World. Thames & Hudson, dist. by Norton.2013. 244p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780500290828. pap. $29.95. DEC ARTS

Garry Winogrand. Yale Univ. in assoc. with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 2013. 448p. ed. by Leo Rubinfien. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300191776. $85. photog


Hawksley, Lucinda. Charles Dickens’ Favorite Daughter: The Life, Loves, and Art of Katey Dickens Perugini.Lyons: Globe Pequot. Jul. 2013. 400p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780762785216. $26.95. LIT

Library Journal Reviews starred review Kilcup, Karen L. Fallen Forests: Emotion, Embodiment, and Ethics in American Women’s Environmental Writing, 1781–1924. Univ. of Georgia. 2013. 512p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780820332864. $69.95; pap. ISBN 9780820345000. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780820345710. LIT


Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music. Duke Univ. 2013. 392p. ed. by Diane Pecknold. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780822351498. $99.95; pap. ISBN 9780822351634. $27.95. MUSIC

My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles. Metropolitan: Holt. Jul. 2013. 320p. ed. by Peter Biskind. ISBN 9780805097252. $28. FILM

Zemeckis, Leslie. Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America. Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. 2013. 368p. photogs. notes. index. ISBN 9781620876916. $24.95. THEATER


Koertge, Ron. The Ogre’s Wife. Red Hen. Sept. 2013. 80p. ISBN 9781597097239. pap. $17.95. POETRY

Miller, Jane. Thunderbird. Copper Canyon. Jul. 2013. 60p. ISBN 9781556594410. pap. $16. POETRY

Library Journal Reviews starred review Ruefle. Mary. Trances of the Blast. Wave. Oct. 2013. 136p. ISBN 9781933517735. $22. POETRY

Skoog, Ed. Rough Day. Copper Canyon. 2013. 85p. ISBN 9781556594342. pap. $16. POETRY


Aslan, Reza. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Random. Jul. 2013. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781400069224. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780679603535. REL

Bergoglio, Jorge Mario & Abraham Skorka. On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century. Image. 2013. 256p. tr. from Spanish by Alejandro Bermudez. ISBN 9780770435066. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780770435073. REL


Stracher, Cameron. Kings of the Road: How Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, and Alberto Salazar Made Running Go Boom. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. 240p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780547773964. $25. SPORTS

Swade, Josh. The Holy Grail of Hoops: One Fan’s Quest To Buy the Original Rules of Basketball. Skyhorse, dist. by Norton. Aug. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781613213834. $24.95. SPORTS