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The Green Room, Spring 2002

ISSUE:  Spring 2002

Since September 11, 2001, millions of words worldwide have been written about the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center. But Sanford Pinsker has taken a unique approach to that tragedy. He puts The Education of Henry Adams in the context of Ground Zero.

“The horrific events of September 11th only deepened my conviction that there must be an even stronger relationship between the literature I teach and the very new and often strange world we now live in. My rumination of Henry Adams and Ground Zero was an attempt to join my students in thinking about how much changed in a matter of minutes and the shape that the 21st century is likely to take.”

An English professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and one of VQR’s most prolific contributors, Sanford Pinsker is currently at work on an essay that will reread Hemingway in the aftermath of September 11th, “one that will look once again at the new, modern century. . .as well as very different attitudes about courage, honor, and valor expressed by Frederic Henry of A Farewell to Arms and Robert Jordan of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

As historian Jack Fischel looks back on the road that led to September 11th, he finds the year 1979 to be pivotal, the year in which three events took place that led to the tragic events of that late summer morning. The events are: the Iranian revolution, the successful conclusion of the Camp David meeting between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.Mr. Fischel is chairman of the history department at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. He received his doctorate from the University of Delaware. He is the editor of Congress Monthly, the publication of the American Jewish Congress. He has authored books on the Holocaust and Jewish history and culture, and published hundreds of articles and reviews on Middle East and Jewish affairs in a variety of publications.

Kent Nelson has been contributing short stories to VQR for more than a quarter of a century. Indeed, his story, “The Humpbacked Bird,” won the Emily Clark Balch Prize in 1975. His VQR stories, Mr. Nelson writes, “have won prizes, have been included in anthologies of one kind or another, and were in all four of my short story collections. VQR is my history.” His new book, Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still, will be published next year by Viking Penguin. The athletic Mr. Nelson had shoulder surgery last year which hindered his squash playing, but he did do the Pikes Peak Marathon in August— 26.3 miles and 7815 feet of elevation gain. “It was hard work,” he says, in one of the understatements of the year.

Lewis Bogaty is the editor of the Americans With Disabilities Act Workplace Report. He has a law degree from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review, and a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University. He has practiced law with major New York law firms and has written for various law publications. He has also published fiction in literary journals including VQR and the Kansas Quarterly in which his story won a best-of-the-volume award.

Edward A. Purcell Jr. holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and he is currently Joseph Solomon Distinguished Professor at New York Law School He has also taught at Harvard, Wellesley, Missouri, and UC at Berkeley. His most recent book, Brandeis and the Progressive Constitution, was published by Yale in 2000 and was awarded the Erwin N. Griswold Prize of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

M. C. Allan is a graduate of Hollins University’s creative writing program. She is a D.C.-area writer and artist whose work has appeared most recently in the Potomac Review. Born in Pakistan, she has lived in Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Australia. She currently works as an editor for The Humane Society of the U.S.

Christopher Clausen, professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University, is the author most recently of Faded Mosaic: The Emergence of Post-Cultural America published by Ivan R. Dee in 2000.

Andrew Feld’s poetry has recently appeared in The Nation, The New England Review, The Yale Review, and other journals, and is forthcoming in Agni, The American Scholar, and Triquarterly. His is a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Renate Wood has published two collections of poems, The Patience of Ice (Northwestern, 2000) and Raised Underground (Carnegie Mellon, 1991). She holds a Ph. D. from Stanford University and teaches in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Debra Nystrom’s new book, Torn Sky, will be published next year by Sarabande Books. Her work has appeared recently in The Yale Review, Shenandoah, The Greensboro Review and Seneca Review. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia.

Bill Christophersen is a freelance copy editor and writer living in New York City. His reviews have appeared in Poetry, Newsweek, and The New York Times Book Review. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry, The Antioch Review, The Yale Review, and The Texas Review. The Texas Review.

Carol Henrie’s most recent work has appeared in Field, Poetry Northwest, The Nation, The Beloit Poetry journal, and The Salt Ml Journal among other publications.

Charles Harper Webb’s book of poems, Liver, won the 1999 Felix Pollak Prize and was published by Wisconsin. His new book, Tulip Farms and Leper Colonies, was published in 2001, and he teaches at Cal State in Long Beach.

Gerry Lafemina teaches at Kirtland Community College and is the author of Zarathustra in Love, a collection of prose poems.

Ali Yuce has published 13 books of poetry in Turkey. The VQR poems are from Voice Lock Puppet: Selected Poems published by Orchises Press.

Bruce Guernsey is a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois where he received the university’s Distinguished Professor Award last year. He did graduate work (M. A. ‘67) at the University of Virginia where he worked with Faulkner biographer, Joseph Blotner.

Elizabeth Denton’s first collection of stories, Kneeling on Rice, was published in 1995. She has just finished a collection called Still Life with Children. Some of these stories have appeared or will appear soon in Kenyan Review, Massachusetts Review, and The Yale Review. Her VQR story, “Taco Bell,” is also in this collection.

Harold Kolb Jr. is Professor Emeritus of American Literature and American Studies at the University of Virginia. He grew up in Massachusetts where he was a student of the remarkable teacher that he profiles in “Mr. Crockett.”

Karl Iagnemma is a post-doctoral researcher in robotics at M.I.T. His short stories have received Playboy’s College Fiction Award and The Paris Review Discovery Prize. His short story collection, On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction, including this VQR story, will be published next fall by The Dial Press. Mr. Iagnemma lives in Cambridge, MA.

The late Robert Mason was editor emeritus of the Norfolk Virginian Pilot and a consummate newspaperman. So consummate that he sent off his VQR review just hours before he died of a heart attack at age 89 in Southern Pines, NC in early September, 2001.

A native of Wales, Richard Jones is the author of four novels, including The Three Cities and Supper with the Borges, both published in the U.S. He was employed for many years by the Reuter’s News Agency and the B.B.C. He now resides in London.

Roberta Silman is the author of Blood Relations, a story collection, and three novels, Boundaries, The Dream Dredger, and Beginning the World Again. She has just completed a fourth called A Country of Their Own. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and many other magazines, including VQR.

Stephen J. Whitfield holds the Max Richter Chair in American Civilization at Brandeis University and is the author of The Culture of the Cold War, a revised and expanded edition of which appeared in 1996.

A longtime New Yorker, Edward T. Chase served as editor-in-chief of The New York Times Books and as an editor at Putnam’s, Scribner’s, and MacMillan. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, and The New York Times Magazine.

An associate professor of history at the University of Akron, Lesley J. Gordon is the author of General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend (North Carolina, 1998) and co-editor of Intimate Strategies of the Civil War: Military Commanders and Their Wives (Oxford, 2001).

A member of the English department at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, David Havird is currently serving as associate dean of the college. He holds a Ph. D. degree from the University of Virginia.

Cover Design: Thomas McDaniel and Richard Zaparzony Picture Credits: Peter Bennett/Ambient Images

THE VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEWStaige D.BlackfordEditorGregoryOrrPoetry Consultant


Advisory EditorsEdward L. AyersG. Edward WhiteLorna MartensPaul Baholsky, ChairmanKenneth W. ThompsonPatricia Meyer SpacksStephen B. CushmanRobert H. KretsingerJanna Olson Gies, Business ManagerCandace Pugh, Circulation Director


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. The journal is distributed by B. DeBoer Inc. and Ubiquity Distributors.

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