Peru, home of the Incas, is one of the oldest civilizations in the Americas, but its capital, Lima, reminds Russell Fraser of present-day Detroit—”nice residential quarters on the city’s outskirts, big hotels in the center, in between a vacuum waiting to be filled.”
Not long after he finished his essay on Peru, the peripatetic Mr. Fraser took off from his home in Honolulu for a trip to China. When not traveling to faraway places, he commutes, “sort of,” between Hawaii and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he is the Austin Warren Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Michigan. His ability to evoke the past into the present was most notably exhibited in his book, The Three Romes— “Rome of the Caesars, Constantinople of the Emperors, Moscow of the Tsars.” He is the author of 14 other books as well, the most recent being Young Shakespeare published by Columbia in 1988. The second volume of his Shakespeare biography is due out next January and will be called, “if I have my way,” Shakespeare: Greatness and Death.
After his essay on Elizabeth Bowen was accepted last spring, New Englander GEORGE GREENE, a resident of Northborough, Massachusetts, responded by asking:
“Would any right-minded New Englander refuse Mr. Jefferson’s invitation to drink sherry in Charlottesville after a winter of hot rum to stave off sciatica in Cotton Mather Country?”
Living in rural New England 40 miles west of Cambridge gives Mr. Greene “access to the Widener Library at Harvard— without getting rammed in the Harvard Square (Hong Kong Harbor at high noon) traffic.” Mr. Greene’s essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Colorado Quarterly, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Queens Quarterly, Texas Quarterly, and elsewhere. Nowadays, he reports, “a fair number of hours are consumed trying to communicate with two abandoned cats, by now feral, who recently found refuge in our barn. They prove a fiercely independent audience. My study has become a hobbyist’s carpentry shop where I saw and drill and sandpaper occasional essays and stories to see if I can at least make them stand properly anchored to the floor. Shaker skills lie beyond my reach.”
Novelist and short story writer, William Hoffman, is the author of nine novels including God Fires and The Land That Drank the Rain. His latest collection of short stories By Land By Sea was published by Louisiana in 1988. His story, “Sweet Armageddon,” which appeared in VQR in the summer of 1988, later received the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Fiction that year.
Francis Leary is a graduate of Princeton and has an M.A. from Yale in history. He has lived a considerable time in Paris, with his French wife Simone. His books include three novels, This Dark Monarchy, The Swan and the Rose, and Fire and Morning, as well as a nonfiction work, The Golden Longing. The first novel deals with a famous case in mid-Victorian England, while the three other books are concerned with turbulent times in 15th-century France and England. Mr. Leary has also recently completed a new novel about a scandal in 17th-century France.
Cary Holladay, a resident of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania is making her debut as a VQR fiction writer. Her collection The People Down South was published by Illinois in 1989. She is the writer-in-residence at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
Charlie Smith is both a novelist and poet. His most recent collection of poems, Indistinguishable from the Darkness, was published by Norton last year, and he has another collection forthcoming, The Palms, in early 1992. He lives in New York City. His latest fiction is Crystal River, a collection of short novels published by Simon & Schuster.
Michael McFee was visiting poet at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990—91. A second book of poems, Vanishing Acts, was published by Gnomom Press in 1989. He has recently published work in Poetry, Hudson Review, and Southern Review.
Beckian Fritz Goldberg teaches at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Her first collection of poems, Body Betrayer, was published by Cleveland State this year.
Currently a doctoral student studying American literature at the University of Connecticut, Katherine Rodier has had poems in Poetry Northwest, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, Antioch Review, and elsewhere.
John Whalen lives in Ithaca, New York and has published poems recently in Swamproot, Grand Street, and River Styx.
Edward Kleinschmidt won the 1989 Juniper Prize from the University of Massachusetts Press for his second collection of poems, First Language. He teaches creative writing at Santa Clara University in California.
A member of the faculty at City College in New York City, William Matthews is both an essayist and a poet. His most recent books are Blues If You Want (poems published by Houghton Mifflin), and Curiosities (essays published by Michigan).
Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Maryland in College Park, Morris Freedman has published several articles relating to Milton and Dryden in PMLA, The Huntington Library Quarterly, and other journals. He is also the author of two books on modern drama, The Moral Impulse and American Drama in Social Context. Lately he has been writing essays and newspaper columns on higher education.
Jay Neugeboren is the author of ten books, most recently Poli: A Mexican Boy in Early Texas (Corona, 1989). Other books include Before My Life Began, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Memorial Prize for the Best Novel of 1985, and The Stolen Jew, which was awarded the Present Tense Prize of the American Jewish Committee for Best Novel of 1981. His stories have appeared widely in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, Triquarterly, The Georgia Review, and in several dozen anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.
No stranger to VQR readers, Samuel F. Pickering, Jr. is a consummate essayist as well as a professor of English at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Collections of his essays have resulted in three books: A Continuing Education, The Right Distance, and May Days. Mr. Pickering was also the model for the teacher in Dead Poets Society, the screen play having been written by his former prep school student, Tom Schulman.
Robert B. Zaretsky is now preparing for publication his doctoral dissertation on the city of Nîmes and the Department of the Gard under Vichy in World War II. He teaches history in the Honors Program at the University of Houston.
The Merle Curti Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Paul Boyer is also a senior member of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at Wisconsin. He received his Ph. D. from Harvard in 1966 and is the author or editor of a number of books, including Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America, Notable American Women 1600—1950 (coeditor), and Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (co-author). Salem Possessed, published in 1974, won the John H. Dunning prize of the American Historical Association and was nominated for a National Book Award in history.
Kenneth W. Thompson is executive director of the White Burkett Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia and a chaired professor in that University’s government and foreign affairs department.
Hardy C. Wilcoxon, Jr. taught at Bowdoin College, Amherst College, and the U.S. Naval Academy before going to China as a Fulbright Lecturer at Beijing Foreign Studies University. After his Chinese experience, Mr. Wilcoxon decided to stay in Asia, where he and his English wife have settled in Hong Kong and he is a lecturer of English at the Chinese University as well as coordinator of a two-year writing program for the English majors.
Harold H. Kolb, Jr. is a professor of English at the University of Virginia and director of that institution’s Center for Liberal Arts.
Bruce Steele is associate professor of English at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the editor of Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays. He is now completing work on D.H. Lawrence’s England, My England and Other Stories, and Kangaroo for the Cambridge University Press edition of the Works of D.H. Lawrence. He has published several articles on Lawrence.
Martin Lebowitz recently moved from Tucson, Arizona to Rochester, Minnesota and is a free-lance essayist and reviewer.
Paul Roazen has edited Helene Deutsch’s Psychoanalysis of the Sexual Functions of Women, Victor Tausk’s Sexuality, War, and Schizophrenia: Collected Psychoanalytic Papers, and Louis Hartz’ The Necessity of Choice: Nineteenth Century Political Thought. He is a professor of political and social science at York University in Toronto.
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