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The Green Room, Autumn 1990


ISSUE:  Autumn 1990

At the time radical Abbie Hoffman committed suicide in April 1989 by taking an overdose of phenobarbital, Stephen J. Whitfield was in Grenoble, France completing a book on The Culture of the Cold War, which Johns Hopkins University Press is publishing this fall.

“My interest in Abbie Hoffman was spurred by the shocking and saddening news of his death,” Mr. Whitfield writes. “He represented a conjunction of a number of my scholarly interests—in the fate of American radicalism, in the role of humor in public life, in the 1950’s, and how the ambience of that decade came to disappear, and in the Jewish style in national politics. (My last article in VQR was on “The Jewish Vote” in the winter 1986 issue.)”

Though Hoffman was an alumnus of Brandeis University where Mr. Whitfield is Max Richter Professor of American Studies, he only saw the stunt man in action one time, “when he came to the campus for an amusing and fervent speech that urged the students to devote themselves to political activism. But he was clearly preaching to the uncommitted; and for all his effervescence, the years had taken their toll.”

Mr. Whitfield is also the author of Voices of Jacob, Hands of Esau: Jews in American Life and Thought (1984) and A Critical American: The Politics of Dwight McDonald (1984).

As a member of the staff at the University of Virginia now assembling the complete letters of William James for publication, Bernice Grohskopf found ten written between 1856 and 1859 that had been given “scant attention” by James scholars, and they are the subject of her essay. An author of both fiction and nonfiction, Ms. Grohskopf has published The Treasure of Sutton Hoo: Ship-burial for an Anglo-Saxon King, an introductory book on Anglo-Saxon literature and history, six novels for young adults, and numerous short stories, articles, and book reviews. She is a three-time winner of the Pen Syndicated-Fiction Award, a former Fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and was writer-in-residence at Sweet Briar College between 1980 and 1982. She is presently working on a book about the relationship between William and Henry James, based on the letters they exchanged over a period of about 50 years.

Robert Olen Butler is better qualified than most Americans to write about the Vietnamese. Before he was stationed in that Asian country, he was trained to speak Vietnamese and that knowledge is indicated in his story about Miss Noi. The story itself is one of 13 and one novella in a collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, due to be published next year by Simon & Schuster. “This will be my seventh published book,” Mr. Butler notes. “The other six were critically acclaimed and commercially unsuccessful novels all published since 1981, three with Horizon Press (The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones), two with Alfred A. Knopf (On Distant Ground, Wabash), and the most recent last fall with Simon & Schuster (The Deuce).”

The prolific Mr. Butler is also under contract to write the screenplay for The Alleys of Eden, and he has other stories forthcoming in The Hudson Review, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review. He is a teacher of creative writing at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Australian George Watson is a Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge and a former professor at New York University. He is the author of Politics in Literature in Modern Britain and The Idea of Liberalism. He is also a prolific essayist, one of his most recent being “1989 and All That” appearing in the spring 1990 issue of The Hudson Review, in which Mr. Watson concluded that the events of that astounding year “mark out the 1980’s as the great surprise package of the century: not the end of history but a new beginning, an enlargement of possibilities, and a time of sudden hope.”

Suzanne Hunter Brown’s fiction has appeared in The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Greensboro Review, Southwest Review, Carolina Quarterly, and other journals. She has just finished a first short story collection, Past Lives. She teaches fall terms at Dartmouth College.

Greg Johnson teaches creative writing at Kennesaw College in Georgia. His third book, a collection of short stories titled Distant Friends, will be published next year. He is also the author of A Critical Study, Emily Dickinson: Perception and the Poet’s Quest.

“Masquerade” is the latest story by George Mannejc, who lives in North Carolina and teaches at a small college, his specialty being 19th-century British literature.

Ira Sadoff’s latest collection, Emotional Traffic, was published last year by David R. Godine. Mr. Sadoff is a member of the faculty at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Jane Brox is a baker as well as a poet and is a recent graduate of the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Roger Shillings is the author of three collections of stories, Alternative Lives (1974), P-Town Stories (1980), and In a Murderous Time (1984). He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Karen Whitehill is a member of the staff of the Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia and is also a practicing poet.

Robert Wrigley’s What My Father Believed, his third collection of poetry, will be published next spring by the University of Illinois Press. He lives and teaches in Idaho.

Angela Ball teaches at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is the also an editor for The Mississippi Review. Her work has appeared in such journals as Grand Street, Boulevard, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Along with poet Rita Dove, she represented the United States at the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam last June.

A member of the faculty at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Victor Depta has published two books of poetry, The Creek (1973) and The House (1978) and has had recent poems in Birmingham Poetry Review, Zone 3, and California Quarterly.

Kenneth Rosen is a professor of English at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Lawrence Raab is a member of the faculty at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Delsa Winer’s stories have recently appeared in Fiction, Boston Globe Magazine, Na’amat, and Working Mother. She was a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellow, and cited in Best American Short Stories 1987. Her forthcoming novel is Pilgrims and Lovers.

A contributing editor of The Paris Review, John A. Glusman has written for The Washington Journalism Review, Christian Science Monitor, Philadelphia Inquirer, Progressive, Dissent, and The Sewanee Review. He has also worked in publishing in New York City.

Robert D. Zaretsky wrote his doctoral dissertation on the city of Nimes and the Department of the Gard under the Vichy regime in World War II; hence his interest in the Klaus Barbie trial. He received his Ph. D. in history from the University of Virginia in 1989 and is now a member of the history faculty at the University of Houston. He is a former member of the Peace Corps who served in Korea.

David H. Lynn is associate editor of The Kenyon Review and an assistant professor of English at Kenyon College. He received his Ph. D. in English from the University of Virginia and is author of The Hero’s Tale: Narrators in the Early Modern Novel published in the spring of 1989 by St. Martin’s.

David Lee Rubin is a professor of French at the University of Virginia and editor of Continuum, an annual of early modern French literary studies published by AMS Press. His third book on the 17th-century lyric, A Pact with Silence: Art and Thought in the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine, will be published next year by Ohio State University Press.

Darden Ashbury Pyron is a member of the history faculty at Florida International University in Miami. A native South Carolinian, he recently completed a biography of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, which will be published by Oxford University Press.

A professor of political and social science at York University in Toronto, Paul Roazen is the author of Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.

Jeffrey Meyers, professor of English at the University of Colorado, has written three books on T.E. Lawrence, including The Wounded Spirit and T.E. Lawrence: Soldier, Writer, Legend. He has also written biographies of Catherine Mansfield, Ernest Hemingway, and, most recently, D.H. Lawrence.

David Kirby is McKenzie Professor of English at Florida State University. He has written several books on contemporary literature and four books of poetry, most recently Saving the Young Men of Vienna, winner of the University of Wisconsin’s Brittingham Prize. His latest book, Mark Strand and the Poet’s Place in Contemporary Culture, was published this fall by the University of Missouri Press.

THE VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEWStaige D.BlackfordEditorGregoryOrrPoetry Consultant

Advisory EditorsRichard M. RortyJ.C. LevensonG. Edward WhitePatricia Meyer SpacksKenneth W. ThompsonCharlee Pawlina, Business Manager

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