Amherst Magazine

Short Takes

Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05

Azaleas: A Book of Poems. By Kim Sowol; translated by David R. McCann ’66. New York City: Columbia University Press, 2007. 200 pp. $19.50 paperback.
Azaleas is the only collection by the Korean poet Kim Sowol (1902-1934), whose verses are shaped by the tones and rhythms of his country’s folk music and by French Symbolist poetry. McCann, the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature at Harvard, has translated the works of numerous Korean poets and has published his own poetry collection.

Dressed for Conversation. Music by Pete and J (Peter Harper ’05 and Jason Blynn ’04). Gloucester, Mass.: Pete and J and Bradley Royds, 2006. 45 minutes. $12 CD, or listen at www.peteandj.com.
Pete and J, whom critics have likened to Simon & Garfunkel, were named finalists in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter cat­egory of the 2007 Independent Music Awards. The band
also in­cludes Richard Hammond and Catherine Popper.

The Enemy. By Rafael Campo ’87. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2007. 99 pp. $17.95 paperback.
In his fifth collection of poems, Campo, a doctor and award-winning poet, explores the experience of being “the enemy” in military, political and social conflicts. Campo practices internal medicine at two hospitals and teaches creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Back­packing Across America. By Francis Tapon ’92. Burlingame, Calif.: SonicTrek, 2006. 351 pp. $24.95 hardcover.
Unfulfilled in Silicon Valley, Tapon traversed the Appalachian Trail. Hike Your Own Hike includes a narrative and photos of the trek and guides readers toward safer hiking and more adventurous lives. The author plans to donate half of his royalties to three U.S. trails.

Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860-1920. By Thomas R. Metcalf ’55. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2007. 264 pp. $39.95 hardcover.
Metcalf, an emeritus professor of history at Berkeley, presents a counterpoint to the Eurocentric understanding of the British Empire. He examines the roles that India played in different regions of the empire, from Malaya to Mesopotamia to East Africa.

Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology and Sciences of Mind. By Evan Thompson ’83. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007. 543 pp. $45 hardcover.
Thompson’s book addresses what he sees as a failure to fully recognize and study the links between the processes of body and brain and the experience of consciousness. Thompson is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto.

Modern Passings: Death Rites, Politics and Social Change in Imperial Japan. By Andrew Bernstein ’90. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2006. 256 pp. $39 cloth.
In the decades after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Japanese clung to old local customs and Buddhist rituals o cope with death. But as Japan changed, so did its handling of the inevitable. Bernstein is an associate professor of history at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

Philosophy and Politics. By Leonard Meeker ’37. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2007. 468 pp. $24.99 paperback; $34.99 cloth.
Meeker’s career has taken him through the federal government and the U.S. Army; he has served as U.S. ambassador to Romania, as director of the International Project at the Center for Law and Social Policy and as director of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Philosophy and Politics looks at neurological and cognitive processes, ancient philosophical questions and American foreign policy.

The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend. Edited by Brooke Kamin Rapaport ’84. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007, in association with The Jewish Museum in New York City. 238 pp. $55 paperback.
Coinciding with an exhibition at The Jewish Museum, this collection includes 177 photographs and several scholarly essays. Nevelson (1899-1988) was a Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant to the United States renowned for her modern sculptures and room-sized public installations. Rapaport, a curator and writer, contributes a preface and an essay.

Slow and Steady Parenting: Active Child-Raising for the Long Haul (Birth to Age Three). By Catherine A. Sanderson, associate professor of psychology. Lanham, Md.: M. Evans, 2007. 172 pp. $15.95 paperback.
In a guide that is grounded in the latest scientific research, Sanderson, the mother of three, tackles topics such as eating habits (allow kids to choose from a range of healthful foods, she advises) and “The Great Thumb-Sucking versus Pacifier Debate” (“Your baby needs to suck,” preferably on his thumb).

What Are You? Music by Mara Levi ’99. Washington, D.C.: Mara Levi, 2006. 51 minutes. $15 CD, or listen at www.maralevi.com.
At Amherst, Levi studied jazz composition, played bass in the rock band Kid Sampson and sang in a choir and an a cappella group. Levi’s eclectic second album includes one song based on the work of Johannes Brahms and others with elements of bluegrass and improvisational jazz.