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The Green Room, Winter 1993


ISSUE:  Winter 1993

Just as Mallory yearned to climb Mt. Everest, “because it’s there,” so men have gone to the moon—and may some day reach Mars—because they are out there. Space explorers are driven by the same urge to make the unknown known that impelled Columbus to seek a new route to the Indies—and discover a New World—now more than 500 years ago. Indeed, as Wyn Wachhorst observes, man’s walk on the moon in July 1969 “may be seen, a thousand years hence, as the signature of our century.”

After receiving an A. B. in philosophy and a Ph. D. in history from Stanford, Mr. Wachhorst taught American history and American studies at the University of California and San Jose State, where he was also director and administrator of the Sourisseau Academy for California State and Local History from 1978 to 1982. His previous writings include a book on Edison as an American cultural symbol (Thomas Alva Edison: An American Myth published by MIT Press in 1981), which was a History Book Club selection.

If technology is involved in the exploration of space, it is also very much a part of the novels of Tom Clancy and other practitioners of what the late William F. Ryantermed the “techno-thriller.” A native of Washington, D. C. , he spent his career in magazine feature journalism, and his interviews with eminent authors were a feature in just about every issue of Virginia Country Magazine in the ten years preceding his death (among them: Norman Mailer, Ann Beattie, James Mitchner, and Howard Fast). Mr. Ryan was also one of the most accomplished napkin cartoonists on the lounge circuit of the East Coast. A resident of Arlington, Virginia, he fought a long battle against multiple sclerosis before succumbing to that disease and pneumonia on Jan. 11, 1992 at age 46.

Robie Macauley the author of three books of fiction, the latest of which is A Secret History of Time to Come published by Knopf. He retired as the executive editor at Houghton Mifflin in 1989 and resumed a long-postponed pursuit of writing for literary magazines. One of his stories won The Paris Review John Train Humor Prize in 1991.

A literary scholar who has published widely on American history and on cultural affairs and controversies, Peter Shaw received his Ph. D. from Columbia in English and Comparative Literature in 1965. He has taught English and American Literature at SUNY Stony Brook, and he has been a visiting professor at Barnard, Columbia, the University of Virginia, and the New School. His The Character of John Adams, appearing in 1976, was a History Book Club selection. He is also the author of American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution (1981).

Tony Crunk won the Virginia Prize for Poetry in 1990. His manuscript was chosen by Mary Oliver from more than 100 submissions. He currently lives in Montana.

Beth Stahlecker died Oct. 30, 1991, at age 38. She received her M. A. from Temple University, her M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College, and ran the tutoring program for economically and educationally disadvantaged students at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The author of a book of poems published in 1991 by Chicago, Susan Hahn has new work forthcoming in Boulevard, Shenendoah, Pequod, Poetry, and Poetry East.

Joy Manesiotis’ poems appear in The American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, The Threepenny Review, Denver Quarterly, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals.

A graduate of Vassar College, M. Wyrebek holds an M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College.

Paulette Roeske teaches at the College of Lake County in Crayslake, Illinois. Her most recent collection of poems has been a finalist in numerous national competitions. A section of that book was selected by Maura Stanton to be published as a chapbook entitled Divine Attention by the Illinois Writers, Inc.

Marvin Bell teaches at the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. His most recent collection will appear soon from Copper Canyon Press.

The Poet Laureate of Maryland, Linda Pastan, recently came out with her eighth book of poetry, Heroes in Disguise, published by Norton.

John J. Clayton has published two books of fiction, a novel, What Are Friends For? (Little, Brown, 1979), and a collection of short fiction, Bodies of the Rich (Illinois, 1984). His stories have appeared in numerous periodicals including Agni, Esquire, Playboy, Trt-Quarterly, Shenandoah, Ploughshares, Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and VQR. They have been reprinted in O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories and have been anthologized.

Though he spent his career as a newspaperman in North Carolina and Virginia, Robert Mason did interrupt that career to serve in the U. S. Navy in World War II. He recounts his experiences in that war a half century ago in his latest VQR contribution. A native North Carolinian, Mr. Masonserved as Sunday editor, managing editor, and editor of The Norfolk Virginian Pilot before retiring in the late 1970’s. He now lives in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he devotes his time to writing and fishing.

This is how Robert Kelsey describes what he calls “my current circumstances: I am serving a three- and-a-half to ten-and-a-half year sentence for manslaughter 2nd degree. In September 1989 while driving very intoxicated, I found myself on the wrong side of the road under an elevated subway in Queens, New York. My headlights had failed, and a young boy darted in front of me. I hit the brakes, slowing down and missing him, but his eight-year-old brother ran out from behind the supporting post for the ‘el’, and I hit him, killing him. I stopped, ran back on foot, seeing what I had done. I ran away—shock, fear, disbelief, but I purposefully left my van which identified me. I was at large a few days before I turned myself in to the police.”

After receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia in the early 1950’s, and after teaching three years at Hollins College, where he met his wife, Betty, Irby Cauthen returned to his alma mater in 1954, joining Virginia’s English faculty. In 1962, he became dean of Virginia’s College of Arts and Sciences, and in his 15-year tenure in that office he helped transform the college from a small men’s school to a large coeducational, multiracial, multicultural institution.

A graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia, Kathleen Bocan Thomason is both a writer and a pilot, having completed both the first chapters of her first novel and her requirements for her pilot’s license last year. Her VQR story “Celebration” is part of a collection of related short stories about Appalachia entitled The Hidden People.

David K. Dunaway is an associate professor of English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He is the author of How Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger and of Huxley in Hollywood.

A prolific author and prestigious scholar, Kenneth W. Thompson is the J. Wilson Newman Professor of Government at the University of Virginia as well as director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs there.

Sanford Pinsker is a frequent VQR contributor, his essay on “Conspiracy Theory in America” having been VQR’s lead article last fall. He is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.

Robert Zaretsky’s manuscript. One River, Many Currents: Politics, Religion, and Public Opinion in the Department of the Card, 1938—1944, is under consideration for publication at Penn State Press. His local study of the Vichy era was originally his doctoral thesis for which he received a Ph. D. from the University of Virginia. Mr. Zaretsky is now teaching at the University of Houston.

Michael Vincent teaches French literature and civilization at Wichita State University and specializes in 17th-century French literature. His book on La Fontaine, Figures of the Text: Reading and Writing (in) La Fontaine was published last year.

A specialist in American Literature and modern drama and a professor of English at New York University, John Kuehl is the author or editor of several books including The Apprentice Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1909—1917; Write and Rewrite: A Study of the Creative Process (with Jackson R. Dryer); Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzger-ald-Perkins Correspondence, and F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Study of the Short Fiction.

Eric J. Sundquist is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. His latest book. To Wake the Nations: Race in American Literature and Culture 1830—1930, is to be published by Harvard this year.

THE VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEWStaige D.BlackfordEditorGregoryOrrPoetry Consultant

Advisory EditorsEdward L. AyersRichard M. RortyLorna MartensJ. C. LevensonKenneth W. ThompsonPatricia Meyer SpacksG. Edward WhiteRobert H. KretsingerCharlee Pawlina, Business Manager

A National Journal of Literature and Discussion published since 1925 in January, April, July, and October. Individual subscriptions $18.00 one year, $25.00 two years, $33.00 three years; Institutions $22.00 one year, $30.00 two years, $50.00 three years. Outside U.S. (individual and institution) add $6.00 per year. Single copies $5.00 each. Title page and annual index available in November.

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