Must-reads

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

By Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat

For decades, Michael Bornstein saw footage of himself at 4 years old being carried out of Auschwitz. He never stepped forward to identify himself because he didn’t remember much of what happened. When a document in Israel revealed a surprising detail about his survival, he knew he had to share his story. Together with his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat, AB ’96, he shares what happened to him and his family.

The Invention of Robert Bresson: The Auteur and His Market

By Colin Burnett

Robert Bresson, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles — in the film world, these directors are called ­“auteurs,” genius filmmakers who ­answered to no one but their work. ­Challenging that idea — at least in Bresson’s case — is Colin Burnett, ­assistant professor of film and media studies, with his new book, The Invention of Robert Bresson. Bresson was an elusive filmmaker in France, but the book reveals he was still heavily influenced by the cultural forces of his time.

F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature

By WIlliam Maxwell

Winner of a 2016 ­American Book Award, F.B. Eyes has been praised as “a bold, provocative study” ­(Publisher’s Weekly) of ­African-American literat­ure. William Maxwell, professor in the English and African and African-American studies departments, draws on 14,000 pages of recently released FBI files to show how the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, monitored and shaped public perception of African-American literature from 1919 to 1972.

Contrary Motion

By Andy Mozina

“If you’ve ever been trapped in a refrigerator only to have the door flung open just before you black out, you have some sense of what Chicago spring feels like,” writes Andy Mozina, MA ’94, PhD ’98, in the novel Contrary Motion. With charm and humor, Mozina relates the story of harpist Matt Grzbc, who has failed a lot in life. But now he has the chance to fulfill a lifelong ambition with an upcoming audition for the St. Louis Symphony. Can Grzbc rise to the ­occasion, or will his fears of failure pan out?

A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities: A Collection of Puzzles, Oddities, Riddles and Dilemmas

By Roy Sorensen

Did you know that Voltaire set himself up for life by exploiting a logical fallacy in the Parisian lottery? Logic also helped bankers sidestep 16th-century usury laws and General ­Benjamin Butler protect runaway slaves. These stories, along with riddles, puzzles and paradoxes, make up A ­Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities, by Roy Sorensen, professor of philosophy. The book brings to life many of logic’s classic problems and best anecdotes.

Message to Our Folks: The Art Ensemble of Chicago

By Paul Steinbeck

Formed in 1966, the Art Ensemble of Chicago was a groundbreaking act and the flagship group of the ­Association for the ­Advancement of Creative Musicians. Members pushed the idea of what jazz was by performing in face paint, reciting poetry, wearing masks and donning traditional African and Asian dress. Now Paul ­Steinbeck, assistant professor of theory and composition, combines musical analysis and historical inquiry to ­present an in-depth study of this influential group.

Regulating Style: Intellectual Property Law and the Business of Fashion in Guatemala

By Kedron Thomas

Kedron Thomas, assistant professor of anthropology, takes a new look at the fashion industry by studying the indigenous Maya people of Guatemala, many of whom make fashion knockoffs of name-brand styles. Thomas studies why people want to wear these popular brands (even fakes) and how criminalizing the production of these goods affects lives. She also answers the larger question of how style is regulated and why.

Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap

By Ben Westhoff

Ben Westhoff, AB ’99, former music editor for L.A. Weekly, spent five years researching his book Original Gangstas. The resulting book is “stunning” and “required reading” according to the New York Daily News. Westhoff not only reveals fascinating details about the members of the rap group N.W.A., he also guesses the most logical theory as to who killed Tupac Shakur. Plus, he covers the terrifying rise of Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records, who used violence to keep his recording artists in line.

Thief in the Interior

According to The Best American Poetry, Phillip B.
Williams, MFA ’14, “sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the ­human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace.” His talent recently won him a 2017 Whiting Award, and his first full-length collection of poems, Thief in the Interior, has racked up a host of accolades including an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding literary work in poetry.

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