UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Spring|Summer 2003
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Recent Books by Alumni Authors

Matrix book cover  
The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real
Edited by William Irwin, Ph.D. 1996
Open Court Publishing, 2002

The editor, assistant professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, again presents essays by professional philosophers who draw philosophical insights from a work of popular culture. Here they analyze the film The Matrix from many angles-metaphysical, epistemological, ethical and aesthetic. "William Irwin has done it yet again," writes Kimberly A. Blessing of Siena Heights University. "But this time with even more philosophical substance than in his previously edited works on Seinfeld and Philosophy and The Simpsons and Philosophy. Instructors will be delighted to find a sensible strategy for using popular culture to encourage undergraduates to encounter philosophy in their own medium." The Matrix and Philosophy is dedicated to Peter H. Hare, SUNY Distinguished Professor who recently retired from the UB Department of Philosophy.

Transcommunality book cover  
Transcommunality: From the Politics of Conversion to the Ethics of Respect
By John Brown Childs, Ph.D. 1975
Temple University Press, 2003

Emphasizing the positive affiliations that are fostered through diversity, the author, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, offers insights into some of the central problems facing communities, social movements and people who desire social change. The theme of transcommunality is explored in depth in a chapter about the Haudenosaunee tribe, which celebrates the autonomy of distinct groups while emphasizing cooperation and affiliation among the same participants. In addition to his own exegesis, the author also presents commentaries by 12 scholars and thinkers from all walks of life.

Obscenities book cover  
By Michael Casey, M.A.H. 1973
Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002

As part of its "Classic Contemporary" series, Carnegie Mellon University Press has reprinted this collection, first published in 1972 and the winner of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. According to the author, most of the poems in this collection were written while he was a UB student. Drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Casey served as a military policeman in Missouri and in the Quang Ngai Province; the latter is the setting for this collection. "There is accomplished art concealed in Mr. Casey's seemingly off-hand sketches," wrote Daniel Hoffman in the New York Times. "Readers in search of authentic gut poetry need search no further," added Publishers Weekly.

Tilt book cover  
Tilt: Every Family Spins on Its Own Axis
By Elizabeth Burns, Ph.D. 1995
Sourcebooks, 2003

In this first novel, Bridget Fox struggles to maintain her sanity, even as her young daughter is diagnosed with autism and her husband suffers the effects of bipolar disorder, among other family difficulties and searing losses. "The things that happen to Bridget Fox could make Job weep," writes Publishers Weekly, "but Bridget is funny on every page, and equally poignant." "A surprisingly open account of what parents of special needs children have to go through," adds a Chicago reviewer for Amazon.com, "but still funny enough to make it enjoyable."

Healthy Dependency book cover  
Healthy Dependency: Leaning on Others Without Losing Yourself
By Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D. 1986 and Mary A. Languirand, Ph.D. 1987
Newmarket Press, 2003

The authors, husband and wife psychologists who live and work in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-he as a professor at Gettysburg College, she as a practitioner in private practice-argue that when it comes to relationships, too much independence can be as damaging and detrimental as overdependence. They advocate what they call "healthy dependency" as the relationship to aim for. Using real-life examples, case studies, anecdotes and questionnaires, the authors give readers not only the rationale, but also the skill-building tools to help them change the way they think about themselves and others. "A truly clear and accessible book that provides solid information, as well as techniques, on the basics of balancing intimacy and autonomy so that it leads to 'healthy dependency,'" writes Harold Cook, professor emeritus of psychology, Education Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dona Julia book cover  
Doña Julia and Other Selected Poems
By Alberto O. Cappas, B.A. 1972
1st Books Library, 2002

In the poems presented in this volume, the author portrays the struggle of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic newcomers to the United States. "Cappas is a relentless observer and commentator on what happens when a people leave their homeland, or forget where they come from, to pursue the uncertainties of the American Dream," wrote Jara Placide, author of the novel Fresh Girl. The author has been widely published in magazines, journals and is the author of Echolalia: Verse & Vibration; Disintegration of the Puerto Ricans and The Pledge: A Guide for Everyday Living. He is a recipient of the New York City Urban League's Charles Evans Hughes Award for Creative Writing.

Attention Alumni Authors-
UB Today publishes notices on recent books by alumni authors. Send brief, factual descriptions of the book, along with copies of the publisher's blurb and critical reviews, if desired. Include the full name of the publishing house, year of publication and the author's UB degree (s) and the year(s) received. Indicate where the author now lives and any current credentials that relate to the subject matter of the book.

To accompany each listing, camera-ready book jacket art, or the book itself, may be sent to UB Today, 330 Crofts Bldg., Buffalo, NY 14260, and will be returned if requested. High-resolution digital book cover art (scanned at 300 dpi) is preferred and may be sent, along with a description of the book, to whitcher@buffalo.edu. Preference is given to titles of wide general interest. All submissions are subject to editing for length and clarity. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification.

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