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Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Books by Craig Nova, English Department

Noted novelist and UNCG faculty member Craig Nova (English) is attracting favorable notice for two recent publications.

Earlier this year, Nova re-issued an expanded version of his memoir Brook Trout and the Writing Life, a book that looks at writing, marriage, fatherhood, and fishing (including fishing with the FBI!). As Kirkus Reviews describes, "One of Nova's great strengths as a novelist is his unerring eye for natural detail....The book is unflinchingly candid about both the writing process and the hard work of marriage, each of which is seen intertwined with his fishing and his love of nature."

In 2010, Nova published The Informer, a political crime novel. John Irving praised the book, noting,

"There are three elements in a Craig Nova novel that you can rely on. First, there is the indelible atmosphere--in the case of The Informer, this is Berlin in the 1930s, and the atmosphere is both brutal and mystifying, because everyone seems capable of betraying anyone. The second element is that there are characters who know they're in trouble, but they have underestimated how much trouble they're in, and they are unsure in regard to which of the other characters they should fear most. The third and most important element is that these characters, and their entwined stories, are on a meticulously plotted collision course. . . . This is a dark but fantastic novel."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dr. Elizabeth Bucar (Religious Studies) Book Talk on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m.

Dr. Elizabeth Bucar, of the Department of Religious Studies, recently published Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi'i Women. She will talk about the book at the Multicultural Resource Center, EUC, on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m.

Read more about the book (taken from the Georgetown University Press blog):

"Much feminist scholarship has viewed Catholicism and Shi’i Islam as two religious traditions that, historically, have greeted feminist claims with skepticism or outright hostility. Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi'i Women demonstrates how certain liberal secular assumptions about these religious traditions are only partly correct and, more importantly, misleading. In this highly original study, Elizabeth Bucar compares the feminist politics of eleven U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi’i women and explores how these women contest and affirm clerical mandates in order to expand their roles within their religious communities and national politics.

Using scriptural analysis and personal interviews, Creative Conformity demonstrates how women contribute to the production of ethical knowledge within both religious communities in order to expand what counts as feminist action, and to explain how religious authority creates an unintended diversity of moral belief and action. Bucar finds that the practices of Catholic and Shi’a women are not only determined by but also contribute to the ethical and political landscape in their respective religious communities. She challenges the orthodoxies of liberal feminist politics and, ultimately, strengthens feminism as a scholarly endeavor.