UI Press releases two new books in paperback
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The University of Iowa Press has made two books available in paperback: Othello and Interpretive Traditions by Edward Pechter in the Studies in Theatre History and Culture Series and John Simmons Short Fiction Award-winner My Body to You by Elizabeth Searle.
During the past two decades, Othello has become the Shakespearean tragedy that speaks most powerfully to contemporary concerns. Focusing on race and gender (and on class, ethnicity, sexuality, and nationality), the play talks about what audiences want to talk about. Yet at the same time, as refracted through Iago, it forces them to hear what they do not want to hear—like the characters in the play, audiences become trapped in their own prejudicial malice and guilt.
Pechter, who teaches English at Concordia University in Montreal, describes the play's design and effects in a way that accounts for its extraordinary power to engage the interests of audiences and readers not just in our time but throughout history. Going back to the play's earliest productions, he argues Othello is unique in that it divides the central space of its action equally between protagonist and antagonist. This design has made strenuous demands on theatrical productions; the stage history of the play may be plotted as a continuous refusal or inability to allow for Othello's and Iago's equivalent attractive power.
In the 13 stories of My Body to You, 13 women or girls pilot their own bodies through a shifting universe of lovers old and young, parents devoted and destructive, siblings of different sexes, children and adults living in the mysterious world of autism. All these characters share keen powers of observations and a heightened sensuality. In a wild variety of settings, they struggle to control—or dare to abandon themselves to—their intensely private passions.
Gloria Naylor commented, “These stories are brutal and lean, a frightening glimpse of the razor-thin difference between the sane and the insane, the keepers and the kept.”
Searle is author of four books of fiction and two works of theater. Her most recent novel is Girl Held in Home, and her previous books include Celebrities in Disgrace and A Four-Sided Bed. Her theater works have been featured in stories on Good Morning America, CBS, CNN, NPR, and the AP.
The books are available at bookstores or from the UI Press, 800-621-2736 or www.uiowapress.org. Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at www.eurospanbookstore.com.