Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sean Lovelace Recommends “Coming into the Country” by John McPhee

In the latest installment of our Recommended Reads series Professor Sean Lovelace recommends Coming into the Country by John McPhee.

Author John McPhee is a technician, from the micro to the macro. He is a meticulous architect, with a keen emphasis on structure, but he’s the type of designer that bends the boundaries, a Frank Lloyd Wright, even more a Zaha Hadid, or a Gehry. McPhee once wrote an entire book about oranges, using the fruit itself—from seeds to flesh to unraveling rind—as his structure. He later wrote an essay on Atlantic City; using a Monopoly board as his scaffolding (the streets and railroads of Monopoly are actually located in New Jersey). So I recommend the nonfiction text, Coming Into the Country, not only for its majestic subject (Alaska), but for its technical mastery.

McPhee divides Alaska into three sections, using geography as his structural cue. The first section is titled, “The Northern Tree Line,” and explores the truly wild (as in unpopulated by humans) rivers (McPhee is an avid canoeist and tends to find his way onto the water for most of his books) that meander below the Arctic Circle, the Brooks Range. The second section is “In Urban Alaska,” an examination of Anchorage, Juneau, and all of the nasty, political machinations behind the sudden influence of oil, oil money, and a 1974 debate on relocating the capital (It remains in Juneau, as we know). The final section, “In the Bush,” conjures up the mythical Alaska, the Yukon, gold fever, sled dogs, Eskimos, an Alaska we are supposed to recognize (though, of course, we know little to nothing).

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Feature Film Showing: Sideways

Creative Writing is hosting an upcoming event, the showing of Sideways. This event will be open to the public and will take place on September 18, 2013 in LB 125. The feature film will be shown from 5:00-7:30 PM and afterward from 8:00-9:00 PM there will be a live Q & A video conference with Rex Pickett, the author of the novel, Sideways.

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New Faculty Profile: Eva Snider

In the fall of 2012, the Ball State English Department began a short series to celebrate and profile our newest faculty members. This week, the department continues the series of new faculty profiles by featuring Eva Snider, who joined our department full-time last year. Continue reading below to see Eva Snider’s interview conducted by English department intern Nakkia Patrick and don’t forget to see past profiles featuring Dr. Susanna Benko,  Dr. Miranda NeslerDr. Maria Windell, Prof. Liz Whiteacre, Prof. John King, Dr. Andrea Wolfe, and Dr. Jason Gladstone.

*Photo Provided by Eva Snider

*Photo Provided by Eva Snider

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