As America enters another presidential election year, conservative Republicans dominate Congress, and in the once Solid South, Democrats now belong on the endangered species list. With Democratic defection and dissolution a national trend, native New Yorker Leonard Kriegel, still retains his loyalty, and in his latest VQRessay, he discusses the reasons why he is a “might-have-been conservative” whom Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh helped to “see the light and keep the [liberal] faith.”
Growing up in the Bronx during and after World War II, Mr. Kriegel is the son of immigrant parents who came to this country in the 1920’s. At age 11, he was crippled by polio and has had to deal with its after effects ever since. One of his books, Falling Into Life (North-point 1991) is a collection of autobiographical essays about being a polio victim. He has written six other books and is now working on a novel and has a collection of non-fiction essays ready for publication. The recipient of three different Fulbright scholarships to lecture abroad, Mr. Kriegel has published essays in a variety of journals including Sewanee Review and American Scholar.
Sanford Pinsker’s latest VQR essay is one from a collection of his articles about race that will be published under the title Worrying About Race, 1985—1995: Reflections During a Troubled Time. The collection will be published by Westin Publishing later this year. The prolific and multi-talented Mr. Pinsker also has a book of poetry due out later this year from the Mellon Poetry Press entitled Oedipus Meets the Press and Other Tragic Comedies of Our Time. A member of the English department at Franklin & Marshall College since 1967, Mr. Pinsker became a full professor in 1984, the year in which he also was appointed a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Belgium. He is a native of Pennsylvania who received his B.A. degree from Washington Jefferson College and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. His many books include The Languages of Joseph Conrad; Still Life and Other Poems; Philip Roth: Critical Essay;and Memory Breaks Off and Other Poems. He has written scores of articles for such journals as the Southern Review, Georgia Review, The Journal of Modern Literature, and American Book Review.
Paul R. Lilly, Jr. teaches American literature at SUNY Oneonta. He is the author of Words in Search of Victims: The Achievement of Jerzy Kasinski. His fiction has appeared in the New England Journal, the Chattahoochee Review, and Oxford Magazine. A member of the English department at the University of Virginia in the late 1970’s, Mr. Lilly recalls that his first publication was an anonymous book review he did for VQR’s “Notes on Current Books” section.
A native Virginian, Tucker Carrington grew up in Richmond and is a graduate of St. Christopher’s School there. He later received a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. degree from Hollins College. He was a teacher at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee for several years before resigning to attend law school at the University of Tennessee. He has lived in France and traveled through Africa.
Alyson Hagy is a native of Franklin County, Virginia. The author of Madonna on Her Back and Hardware River, she has published fiction in a number of journals and magazines including VQR. The story “Sharking” is part of a book set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A former lecturer at the University of Virginia, Ms. Hagy now teaches at the University of Michigan.
David Kirby is the author of, among other critical books, Herman Melville (Continuum), Grace King (Twayne), The Portrait of a Lady and the Turn of the Screw: Henry James and Melodrama (Macmillan) and Mark Strand and the Poet’s Place in Contemporary Culture (Missouri). His poetry collections include Saving the Young Men of Vienna (Wisconsin) which won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, and Big-Leg Music (Orchises). He is the W. Guy McKenzie Professor of English at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Nicole Cooley has published her work in numerous magazines. Her first book length collection of poems, Resurrection, was chosen from more than 900 entries for the 1995 Walt Whitman Award and will be published this spring by Louisiana. She is completing her Ph. D. in English at Emory University and working on a novel.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1991 for his volume Heaven and Earth, Albert Goldbarth recently published a collection of essays Great Topics of the World with Godine. His most recent collection of poetry Across the Layers: Poems Old and Newwas published by Georgia. He is a member of the faculty at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.
Stephen Dobyns’ ninth collection of poems, Common Carnage, will be published shortly by Viking. He is also the author of the Saratoga series of detective novels, the most recent of which, Saratoga Fleshpot, was published by Norton last summer.
Mark Svenvold has published poems in a variety of magazines including AGNI, Atlantic Monthly, and Ploughshares. A 10-poem sequence from his manuscript appeared in the anthology Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets.
John McKernan teaches at Marshall University. Recent poems appeared in Prairie Schooner, Asylum, Parting Gifts, Artemis, and Paris Review.
Charles Simic is both a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He teaches at the University of New Hampshire.
Historian Frances Leary has lived for many years in Paris with his wife, Simone. Mr. Leary has written extensively about the past in France, notably under the Ancien Regime. His essay about Robespierre, however, proved a difficult challenge. “Not only is the French Revolution extremely complex,” Mr. Leary writes, “but Robespierre has left a black memory which has erased the admirable qualities displayed in previous years before he fell victim to overweening hubris. He might have become the saviour of France that he imagined himself to be, but for his inability to identify with men as he did with Mankind and the blood-drenched Revolution.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Floyd Skloot now lives “on twenty hilly acres in rural western Oregon in the heart of the state’s wine country.” His novel Summer Blue was published by Story Line Press in 1995, a press which also brought out his first novel, Pilgrim’s Harbor, in 1992. Music Appreciation, a collection of his poetry, was published last October by Florida. He has recent work in the Best American Essays of 1993, Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review, American Scholar, and The Atlantic Monthly.
A native of southwest Virginia, Mariflo Stephens now lives in Charlottesville where she is married to a local attorney and is the mother of two children. She recently completed a novel, The Lady With the Alligator Purse, which is being circulated among publishers by her New York agent. A former newspaper reporter, she served on the staff of the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville and the Bergen Record in New Jersey. Her stories and articles have appeared in a variety of publications including the Charlottesville Observer, Washington Post, and VQR.
A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee and veteran of World War II, Martin Ochs graduated from Princeton in 1948 and subsequently joined the staff of The New York Times serving as a correspondent in London, Paris and West Berlin. He later became editor of the Chattanooga Times, during the turbulent years of the civil rights movement. He also taught for 10 years at the American University of Cairo where he also earned his Ph. D. degree from Cairo University and wrote a book about the Third World press.
Robert Zaretsky is the author of a book about the city of Nimes and the department of Gard under Vichy in World War II and spent the past summer researching a book about bullfighting in the Camargue region of France. He teaches history in the Honors College at the University of Houston.
David Wyatt is the editor of new essays on Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, published by Cambridge in 1990. He is also the author of the Fall into Eden: Landscape and Imagination in California, a part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture series. He is a professor of English at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Robert Mason spent most of his career as a newspaperman with The Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, where he was managing editor and then editor for 17 years before retiring to his native North Carolina in the mid-1970’s. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and has written extensively on naval as well as Norfolk topics.
Thomas Filbin is a writer and book critic whose reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, and the Hudson Review. He lives in Massachusetts.
Now retired, John Kuehl taught English at Princeton and New York University for nearly 30 years. He is the author/editor of 11 books including most recently, Alternate Worlds: A Study of Post-modern Antirealistic American Fiction and F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Study of the Short Fiction.
Though he now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hugh Murray was a civil rights activist in his native New Orleans during the 1950’s and 60’s.
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