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By Kristen LaRue-Sandler — November 3, 2023

Covers of books by Brandon Blue, Jean Brink, Erika Cleveland et al, and Peter Lehman

Four faculty members and three students in the ASU Department of English announce new books recently launched or forthcoming this fall. Works include a poetry chapbook, two editions of historical works by women, a biography and a critical study. Topics cover shapeshifting narratives, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century romances, Latin American literati, and an American film auteur.

‘Snap.Shot’ (Finishing Line Press, 2023)

Publication of Brandon Blue’s poetry chapbook is set for November. From the publisher:

  • “Confronting held narratives of black queer life, ‘Snap.Shot’ strives to answer questions of belonging, identity, and survival. In poems directed by personal narrative, engagement with art, and the erotic, ‘Snap.Shot’ grounds the reader in a fragmented speaker in order to create a self resilient enough to brave devastation. From sword swallower to bug, mother to dominatrix, these poems shapeshift and ask the reader to trace their own moments of tribulation and triumph to reflect on how they came together to make something entirely new, a ‘Snap.Shot’ of a life.”

Blue is a student in the Department of English’s MFA in creative writing program.

‘Rivall Friendship by Bridget Manningham’ (ACMRS Press, 2023)

Jean R. Brink’s edition of a formerly anonymous manuscript is open access and was released in October. From the publisher:

  • “The manuscript for ‘Rivall Friendship’ was first acquired by the Newberry Library in 1937. At the time of the acquisition, the author of this seventeenth-century romance was anonymous. Scholar Jean R. Brink now suggests, based on dating of the manuscript and her analysis of its feminist themes, that the author was a woman. Specifically, Brink attributes the text to Bridget Manningham, who was the older sister of Thomas Manningham, a Jacobean and Caroline bishop, and the granddaughter of John Manningham, a diarist who recorded performances of Shakespeare’s plays.

    ‘Rivall Friendship’ is a post–English Civil War romance that examines proto-feminist issues, such as patriarchal dominance in the family and marriage. Manningham is scrupulous about maintaining verisimilitude, and unlike more fantastical romances of the period that feature monsters, giants, and magic, this text aspires to a level of probability in its historical and geographical details. The text of ‘Rivall Friendship’ is accessible to most modern readers, particularly to students and scholars accustomed to working with seventeenth-century texts.”

Brink is a professor emeritus of English.

‘Artless Tales: or, Romantic Effusions of the Heart by Anna Maria Porter’ (Juvenilia Press, 2023)

This book of short stories, edited by Erika Cleveland, Devoney Looser, Claire McCarville and A. J. Otero, is released by a press that specializes in faculty-student collaborations. From the publisher:

  • “’Artless Tales: or, Romantic Effusions of the Heart’ was the second book of short stories (both called ‘Artless Tales’) that Anna Maria Porter published. With surprising sophistication, she creates brave, risk-taking heroines, who face loss and danger on the road to love and marriage to worthy heroes. Porter (1778–1832), who started her publishing career at age fourteen, became a celebrated and prolific novelist.

Cleveland is a student in the Department of English’s MAS in film and media studies program, as well as an alum, having earned a BA in English (literature) in 2013 and an MA in English in 2022. She is currently a staff member in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU.

Looser is Regents Professor in the Department of English’s literature program.

McCarville is a student in the Department of English’s BA in English (literature) program.

‘Mistral, Una Vida: Solo Me Halla Quien Me Ama’ (Penguin /Lumen, 2023)

Elizabeth Horan’s Spanish-language biography of Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral was released to fanfare in the Chilean press. From the publisher (in English version adapted from Google translate):

  • “'Mistral, a Life: Only Those Who Love Me Find Me’ exhaustively and critically reviews the first thirty years of the life of one of the essential poets of the Spanish language.

    Elizabeth Horan, a world-renowned specialist in the poet, reconstructs the steps of the Nobel Prize winner based on years of study and the lucid review of the Mistralian archive, where an impressive correspondence allows her to appreciate the poet's wanderings, pains and passions, but above all all her unique character. Mistral in these pages is revealed above all as an iron will, as someone who knew how to move with cunning and firmness in an adverse world to become who he set out to be.

    Her childhood in Elqui, her affections and key alliances, her years as a teacher in different cities in Chile, her intimate relationship with Laura Rodig, her early contact with Neruda and other prominent Chilean writers and politicians and her links with Argentina are exposed in detail in this book -first part of a colossal thought project in three volumes - until the moment in which the poet leaves the country for Mexico in 1922. These are the endearing years of formation of an irreducible and always astonishing intellectual figure.”

Horan is a professor in the Department of English’s literature program.

‘Blake Edwards: Film Director as Multitalented Auteur’ (Wiley, 2023)

Peter Lehman and co-author William Luhr released this study in the press’s Contemporary Film Directors in America series. From the publisher:

  • "’Blake Edwards: Film Director as Multitalented Auteur’ is the first critical analysis to focus on the dramatic works of Blake Edwards. Best known for successful comedies such as The Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers, Blake Edwards wrote, produced, and directed serious works in radio, television, film, and theater for seven decades. Although hit films such as ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘10’ remain popular, many of Edwards’s dramas have been forgotten or marginalized.

    In this unique book, William Luhr and Peter Lehman draw on original research from numerous set visits and personal interviews with Edwards and many of his creative and business collaborators to explore his dramas, radio and television work, theatrical productions, one-man art shows, and unproduced screenplays. In-depth chapters analyze non-comedic films including ‘Experiment in Terror,’ ‘Days of Wine and Roses,’ and ‘The Tamarind Seed,’ the theatrical feature film Gunn and the made-for-television film ‘Peter Gunn,’ the musical adaptation of ‘Victor/Victoria,’ and lesser-known films written but not directed by Edwards, such as ‘Drive a Crooked Road.’

    Throughout the book, the authors apply contemporary film theory to auteur criticism of different works while sharing original insights into how Edwards worked creatively in disparate genres and media using composition, editing, sound, and visual motifs to shape his films and radio and television series.

    A one-of-a-kind examination of one of the most influential film directors of his generation, ‘Blake Edwards: Film Director as Multitalented Auteur’ is an excellent supplementary text for university courses in American cinema, genres, auteurs, and film criticism, and a must-read for critics, scholars, and general readers interested in the works of Blake Edwards.”

Lehman is a professor emeritus in the Department of English’s film and media studies program.