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Author! Author!

Dark Light: Electricity and Anxiety from the Telegraphto the X-Ray
by Linda Simon, professor of English
Harcourt, 2004


Contrary to popular belief, Americans reacted to the introduction of electricity in the last half of the nineteenth century with suspicion and fear. Forty years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb, only twenty percent of American families had wired their homes. Meanwhile, electrotherapy emerged as a popular medical treatment for everything from depression to digestive problems. Using newspapers, novels, and other primary sources, the author sheds some light on why Americans resisted technological innovation—then and now.

Shakespeare in China
by Murray J. Levith, professor of English
Continuum, 2004


Aimed at Shakespeareans interested in learning how the bard’s work was received in China in the twentieth century, this study provides a comprehensive sense of China’s past and ongoing encounter with Shakespeare—including recent accounts of the playwright in the People’s Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It pays particular attention to translation, criticism, and theatrical productions and highlights Shakespeare’s fate during the turbulent political times of modern China. Bringing together hard-to-find materials in both English and Chinese, it builds upon and extends past research on its subject.

Cross-Cultural Differences in Perspectives on the Self
edited by Virginia Murphy-Berman, visiting professor of psychology, and John Berman, professor of psychology, University of Nebraska Press, 2003

Revisiting the concepts of self and self-worth, eight authors investigate the extent to which factors traditionally associated with psychological effectiveness (intrinsic motivation; assuming personal responsibility for one’s actions; and feeling in control, unique, hopeful, and optimistic) are culturally bound. Essays consider cultural differences in models of psychological agency; the presumed universality of some forms of cognitive processing; intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; the popular “theory of self-actualization” formulated by Abraham Maslow; and the cultural boundaries of theory and the very meaning of the concept of culture itself.

Attention, authors!

Skidmore’s new Colton Alumni Welcome Center would like to showcase alumni authors in its library/lounge. To be included, please send one copy of your full-length published books to: Colton Alumni Welcome Center, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

A Shaker Musical Legacy
by Robert and Viola Woodruff
Opdahl ’45
University Press of New England, 2004


With more than 100 previously unpublished Shaker songs, this collection is geared toward scholars, performers, and aficionados of folk music. It introduces Shaker songs and dances that Brother Ricardo Belden, the last male member of the Hancock Shakers, gave in original manuscript form to Jerry and Sybil Count, the first directors of the Shaker Village Camp. Step-by-step instructions show how to perform the dances as the Shakers themselvesdanced them.

Viola and Robert Opdahl have been studying Shaker songs and dances for more than 40 years. Viola has written for the New York Historical Society and New York State Education Department; Robert was a staff member at the Shaker Village Camp.

Here Kitty Kitty
by Jardine Libaire ’95
Little, Brown & Company, 2004


Told in a series of snapshots that capture both the darkness and glamour of New York City—a tour through Wall Street steakhouses, cocaine dens, Hamptons beaches, loft parties, hospital rooms, etc.—this tale revolves around Lee, a tough and seductive redhead with an appetite for bad things. A Tribeca restaurant manager with a plan to be an artist, she’s a cross between a hipster and a calendar girl. In debt, doing drugs, and otherwise leading a wild life, she is suddenly terrified that she’s gone too far and can’t get back.

Jardine Libaire, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., has published stories in Fiction and the anthology Chick Lit 2; she also writes for Nerve.com. This is her first novel.

Searching for the G Spot
Peller Marion ’65
Artemis Arts Library, 2004


In this comic portrait of a baby-boomer couple, long married and on the verge of divorce, the wife attempts to save the marriage by signing them up for a tantric sex workshop in the Virgin Islands. Some of the characters they meet are a naughty gynecologist, a Brazilian psychic healer on the lam, a colonic therapist, a husband-hunting spiritualist, an ex-cabdriver guru, and a millionaire rancher. All these people are in competition to find their sexual and spiritual G spot.
President of Peller Marion Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in executive counseling, the author writes for several San Francisco Bay area professional journals and publishes a quarterly newsletter on career management.

Get booked

Alumni authors are urged to send copies of their books, publisher's notes, or reviews, so that Scope can make note of their work in the "Books" column.

G is for the Garden State, A New Jersey Alphabet
by Eileen Kirwin Cameron ’65;
illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
Sleeping Bear Press, 2004


For readers ages 9–12, this book introduces children to some of New Jersey’s most notable people, including inventor Thomas Edison and Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher. It also explores places and landmarks unique to the Garden State, including the training institute for Seeing Eye dogs, the largest complete dinosaur skeleton of its time, and the scenic Highlands, Pinelands, and New Jersey shoreline.

Eileen Cameron’s previous books include Canyon; she lives in Morristown, N.J.

Miami: A Backward Glance
by Muriel Vivian Murrell ’43
Pineapple Press, 2003

Part memoir, part history, this series of vignettes captures Miami’s history, from the roaring twenties through the Depression and Deco days, World War II, and into the fifties. The author’s remembrances—of lavish parties, yachts, and innovative architecture, of summer days and hurricanes—are populated with a mix of eccentric millionaires, artists, shysters, heiresses, and mobsters. Her backward glance tells the story of how the Magic City rose from the swamp, developing from a pioneer town to a luxury resort to an important crossroads of the Western Hemisphere.

Muriel Murrell was born in Miami, where she has been a Realtor for twenty years. This is her first book.