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fall 2019

where great writing begins

where great writing begins
. . . Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 These Boys and Their Fathers … Don Waters

2 My Victorians … Robert Clark
3 A House on Stilts … Paula Becker

My Victorians
4 Superhero Thought Experiments … Chris Gavaler and Nathaniel Goldberg

5 The Lines … Anthony Varallo


6 Not a Thing to Comfort You … Emily Wortman-Wunder

7 Happy Like This … Ashley Wurzbacher
8 Aussie Fans … Celia Lam and Jackie Raphael, editors
9 Queerbaiting and Fandom … Joseph Brennan
10 “This Mighty Convulsion”… Christopher Sten and Tyler Hoffman, editors
11 Star Attractions … Tamar Jeffers McDonald and Lies Lanckman, editors
12 Staging Postcommunism … Vessela S. Warner and Diana Manole, editors
13 Irish on the Move … Michelle Granshaw
14 Poems of the American Empire … Jen Hedler Phillis
15 Contemporary Novelists and the Aesthetics of Twenty-First Century American Life
… Alexandra Kingston-Reese
16 Recently Published
17 General Interest Bestsellers
18 Regional Bestsellers
19 Scholarly Bestsellers
20 Recent Book Honors and Reviews
21 Index by Author
22 Indexes by Title and Subject
23 Desk and Exam Copy Policies
23 Contact Information
24 Ordering Information
25 Sales Representation The University of Iowa Press is a proud member of the

Green Press Initiative and is committed to preserving natural
resources. This catalog is printed on fsc-certified paper.
cover art: Illustration by Kathleen Lynch/Black Kat Design
(inspired by iStock).
These Boys and Their Fathers

A Memoir
by Don Waters

“Generous, scrupulously honest, and gorgeously original in its

telling, Don Waters’s These Boys and Their Fathers is an absolute
knockout of a memoir. Waters shape-shifts among genres,
voices, and eras to get at the heart of the matter, which happens
to be the hardest human matter of all: how to live at peace with
ourselves and our family, both the family we’re born into and
the family we make for ourselves. This book is one of the wisest,
most searching explorations of an individual life I have ever
encountered, one whose humanity and heart offer universal
appeal.”—Ben Fountain, author, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
In 2010, Don Waters set out to write a magazine story about D O N W AT E R S
a surfing icon who had known his absentee father. It was an at-
tempt to find a way of connecting to a man he never knew. He
didn’t imagine that the story would become a years-long quest “There is an empty space on the bookshelf
to understand a man who left behind almost nothing except for a where a search for a father belongs, and
self-absorbed autobiography for his abandoned son. Don Waters has written it. As with most
These Boys and Their Fathers touches on Waters’s early life with fathers, it is a story of filling in the gaps,
his single mother—and her string of dysfunctional men—and reliving memories and imagined memories,
his later search for and encounters with his father, but it quickly and heading to the edge of experience and
expands into a gripping account of the life of a 1930s pulp writer, truth. Heartbreaking, ambiguous, funny,
also named Don Waters, with whom Waters becomes obsessed. and wise, These Boys and Their Fathers is
This wildly original book blends memoir, investigative reporting, the book so many of us have been waiting
and fiction to sort out difficult aspects of family, masculinity, and for.”—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–
what it means to be a father. winning author, Less

Don Waters is the author of Sunland, a novel, and the two story “An extraordinarily powerful, moving,
collections The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain and Desert Gothic (Iowa, and urgent exploration of the crossroads
2007). He teaches at Lewis & Clark College, and lives in Portland, between masculinity, paternity, fantasy,
Oregon. ‘truth,’ and howling sadness.”
—David Shields, author, Reality Hunger

230 pages . 6 × 8 inches
$17.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-679-5
$17.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-680-1
fall ���� | 1
My Victorians
Lost in the Nineteenth Century
by Robert Clark

“Writing fiction or nonfiction, Robert Clark is always mesmer­

My Victorians
izing. But this small masterwork of historical exploration is
something special, moving deftly from personal obsession LOST IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

to cool historical consideration, never losing the narrative


beat. My Victorians is passionate, clear-eyed, acute in its analy-

sis. But are these Victorians? Surely he’s shown us ourselves.”
—Patricia Hampl, author, The Art of the Wasted Day

My Victorians is a hybrid in both form and content, part memoir/

extended lyric essay but also a work of biography, photography,
and cultural, literary, and art history. This is a travelogue of writer
Robert Clark’s attempt to work through a sudden and inexplicable
five-year-long obsession focused on Victorian novelists, artists,
architecture, and critics. He wends his way through England and “My Victorians is an astonishing blend
Scotland, meticulously tracking down the haunts of Charles Dick- of literary history and autobiography.
ens, George Gissing, John Millais, the Bloomsbury Group, and Alternating between frank memoir,
others, and documenting everything in ghostly photographs as rigorous research, and ecstatic ekphrasis,
he goes. Clark illuminates the griefs, uncertainties,
As Clark delves deeper into the Victorian world, he wonders: pieties, and odd hopes of his Victorians.
What can its artists offer a twenty-first century writer by way of His success is that he manages to make
insight into his own life and work? His obsession with Victoriana his infatuations ours as well, drawing
bleeds into all aspects of his life, even the seemingly incongruous us into his own idiosyncratic world that
world of online dating. My Victorians is in the spirit of Geoff Dyer’s thrums with poetry and painting and
Out of Sheer Rage and Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch. This nineteenth-century ghosts. The book is
book considers what happens when heartbreak, eros, faith, and called My Victorians, but as Clark shows,
doubt drive us to take refuge in the past. they’re very much our Victorians, too.”
—Ted Scheinman, author, Camp Austen:
Robert Clark is the author of five books of nonfiction and five My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan
novels, most recently the nonfiction book Dark Water: Flood and
Redemption in the City of Masterpieces. He lives in New York City.

184 pages . 15 b&w photos . 4 figures . 6 × 9 inches
$20.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-667-2
$20.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-668-9
memoir / literature
2 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
A House on Stilts
Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction
by Paula Becker

“Really brilliant. I often feel that addiction lies right outside

in this way. This is a remarkable book. And an utterly terrify-
ing one.”—Andrew Solomon, author, Far from the Tree: Parents,
Children and the Search for Identity

“A House on Stilts is the story of a family just like yours perhaps, or

the family next door. Through raw and authentic expression, we
come to share in this mother’s loss of dreams for her addicted
son. Paula Becker deftly shows how addiction can happen to
anyone.”—D’Anne Burwell, author, Saving Jake: When Addiction
Hits Home

A House on Stilts tells the story of one woman’s struggle to re-

claim wholeness while mothering a son addicted to opioids. Paula
Becker’s son Hunter was raised in a safe, nurturing home by his “Paula Becker pulls back the curtain and
writer/historian mom and his physician father. He was a bright, shows us what is typically only whispered
curious child. And yet, addiction found him. about: the opioid crisis among young,
More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, some white privileged kids and the effect on
half-million of these to heroin. For many of them, their drug addic- their middle-class families. Becker, in a
tion leads to lives of demoralization, homelessness, and constant fashion true to her historian roots, digs
peril. For parents, a child’s addiction upends family life, catapult- into the opioid crisis that is leaving no
ing them onto a path no longer prescribed by Dr. Spock, but by demographic untouched, and also digs
Dante’s Inferno. Within this ten-year crucible, Paula is transformed into her past, looking at her parenting
by an excruciating, inescapable truth: the difference between what for clues and wrong turns along the route
she can do and what she cannot do. to her son’s teenage years. Ultimately,
what she writes is an elegy for Hunter,
Paula Becker is the author of Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, who she finally realizes had been walking
The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I, and coauthor of The Future his own path all along.”
Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy. She lives in —Kate Carroll De Gutes, author, Objects
Seattle, Washington. In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

176 pages . 5½ × 8¾ inches
$18.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-659-7
$18.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-660-3
parenting / current events
fall ���� | 3
Superhero Thought Experiments
Comic Book Philosophy
by Chris Gavaler and Nathaniel Goldberg H ERO
“Truly amazing! In a titanic team-up, Gavaler and Goldberg pro- EXPER
vide a secret origin for superhero fans and philosophers of the
future (who may be the same people). Superhero fans will find
they’ve transformed, changed into philosophizers who under-
stand something deeper about the world. And philosophers will
look back on Superhero Thought Experiments and see the labora- PHILOSOPHY
tory where they gained their mental powers.”
—Peter M. Coogan, author, Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre

“Superhero Thought Experiments presents a novel perspective on Chris Gavaler and

both comics and philosophy, arguing that superhero comics Nathaniel Goldberg
provide a rich source of philosophical thought experiments.
Gavaler and Goldberg’s book should be required reading
both for philosophers and for fans of comics interested in how
philosophy is done.”—Roy T. Cook, author, The Art of Comics: “From the earliest issues of the original
A Philosophical Approach Superman and Batman adventures, the
writers of superhero comics have been
Examining the deep philosophical topics addressed in super- doing philosophy. This great new book
hero comics, authors Gavaler and Goldberg read plot lines for makes it clear how superheroes can help
the complex thought experiments they contain and analyze their us think about some of the most important
implications as if the comic authors were philosophers. Reading ideas we’ll ever confront. We adults ignore
superhero comic books through a philosophical lens reveals how comics to our own intellectual peril. The
they experiment with complex issues of morality, metaphysics, artwork is amazing, but so are the thought
meaning, and medium. Given comics’ ubiquity and influence experiments. So, put on your cape and
directly on (especially young) readers­—and indirectly on con- take off! It’s time for Truth, Justice, and the
sumers of superhero movies and video games—understanding Philosophical Way!”—Tom Morris, author,
these deeper meanings is in many ways essential to understanding Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and
contemporary popular culture. The result is an entertaining and the Socratic Way
enlightening look at superhero dilemmas.
“Comics can teach you about philosophy,
Chris Gavaler is associate professor of English at Washington and philosophy will help you understand
and Lee University. He is author of On the Origin of Superheroes: From comics. What is right and wrong? What
the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1 (Iowa, 2015) and comics editor is the nature of the self? Is time really
of Shenandoah. Nathaniel Goldberg is professor of philosophy at real? Superhero comics deal seriously
Washington and Lee University. He is author of Kantian Conceptual with these classic philosophical issues.”
Geography. —David Carrier, author, Aesthetics of the
Margins/The Margins of Aesthetics: Wild
Art Explained
224 pages . 12 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$22.50 paper original, 978-1-60938-655-9
$22.50 e-book, 978-1-60938-656-6
philosophy / popular culture
4 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
The Lines
A Novel
by Anthony Varallo
The Iowa Review Series in Fiction
Harilaos Stecopoulos, series editor

“Varallo’s attention to the music in the spare, lyrical voices of

his characters is enough to put this novel on your must-read
list. What he manages to create in the story of divorce in an
ordinary family is a tale about grief, alienation, and ultimately
compassion itself. Riveting.”—Stephanie Powell Watts, author,
No One is Coming to Save Us

“In The Lines, a family reckons with divorce against the backdrop

of the fuel crisis of the 1970s. Anthony Varallo renders this story
vividly and tenderly and with great nuance. The Lines is moving
and elegiac—a delight to read.”—Nathan Englander, author,
“With charming language, familiar cir­
“An intimate, often humorous, and phenomenally insightful cumstances, and a taut narrative, this
novel about the way children experience separation and divorce. book evokes that point in time when every
Anthony Varallo’s The Lines is one of the most moving portraits of child suddenly realizes the adults around
a broken family I’ve read since Judith Guest’s Ordinary People.” them don’t really know what they’re do-
—Patrick Ryan, author, The Dream Life of Astronauts ing. That is the world we inherit, the world
Varallo permits us to turn over in our
Set in the summer of 1979, when America was running out hands, landmarked with curious relics of
of gas, The Lines tells the story of a family of four—the mother, Americana wholly worth the gaze.”
the father, the girl, and the boy—in the first months of a marital —Venita Blackburn, author, Black Jesus
separation. Through alternating perspectives, we follow the family and Other Superheroes
as they explore new territory, new living arrangements, and new
complications. The mother returns to school. The father moves “I was dizzy when I put down this book,
into an apartment. The girl squares off with her mother, while the having been transported so convincingly
boy struggles to make sense of the world. The Lines explores the to the kind of life we lived before the inter-
way we are all tied to one another, and how all experience offers net, before cell phones—a time when lov-
the possibility of love and connection as much as loss and change. ers and family members floated outside
our immediate grasp, when we sometimes
Anthony Varallo is the author of four short story collections, most fumbled to reach them. And yet there is
recently Everyone Was There. He is professor of English at the Col- something timeless here, too. The terri-
lege of Charleston, where he teaches creative writing. He lives in tory this family navigates—loneliness,
Charleston, South Carolina. broken hearts, the shifting allegiances
between siblings and parents, all of it set
against the backdrop of an unsettled po-
august litical era—resonates powerfully with our
230 pages . 5½ × 8 inches own.”—Christie Hodgen, author, Elegies
$17.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-665-8 for the Brokenhearted
$17.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-666-5
fall ���� | 5
Not a Thing to Comfort You
by Emily Wortman-Wunder
Iowa Short Fiction Award Not a
“I couldn’t help but think of Andrea Barretta when I read this Thing to
collection with all its funny, inventive thing
stories in which the
natural world and humanity collide withto each other. There’s

such careful attention paid in these stories, to people and the
environment alike.”—Carmen Maria Machado, judge, 2019
Iowa Short Fiction Award you
“Populated with all manner of wild animals, endangered species, You
and flawed people, the endlessly readable stories in Not A Thing
to Comfort You remind me of campfire ranger talks, if the rangers
are Annie Proulx or Raymond Carver and the untended campfire
stories by emily wortman-wunder
burns down an entire forest. Wortman-Wunder now certainly Stories by Emily Wortman-Wunder
enters the ranks of our finest naturalist writers, yet what gives
these stories their remarkable power and depth is her lifetime
of meticulous fieldwork on the always unpredictable human “Emily Wortman-Wunder’s stunning sto-
heart.”—Justin Hocking, author, The Great Floodgates of the ries demand our attention. Graceful in
Wonderworld: A Memoir style, bountiful in their knowledge of the
natural world, they move effortlessly from
From a lightning death on an isolated peak to the in- Beethoven concertos to bear hibernacula,
trigues of a small town orchestra, the glimmering stories in this from suburban homes to rural trailers.
debut collection explore how nature—damaged, fierce, and unpre- These stories don’t mind getting their
dictable—worms its way into our lives. Here moths steal babies, hands dirty excavating secrets, but they
a creek seduces a lonely suburban mother, and the priorities of just as painstakingly illuminate lives in
a passionate conservationist are thrown into confusion after the search of love and connection. A rich and
death of her son. Over and over, the natural world reveals itself to affecting collection.”—Steven Schwartz,
be unknowable, especially to the people who study it most. These author, Madagascar: New and Selected Stories
tales of scientists, nurses, and firefighters catalog the loneliness
within families, betrayals between friends, and the recurring song “Not a Thing to Comfort You is a virtuosic
of regret and grief. debut collection of fiction.This book re-
minded me why I love short stories.”
Emily Wortman-Wunder has been published in the Kenyon Re- —Steven Church, author, I’m Just Getting
view, Vela, Nimrod, High Country News, and elsewhere. She lives in to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear, and
Denver, Colorado, and teaches scientific writing at the University Fatherhood
of Colorado.
“There’s a sleight-of-hand magic in Not a
Thing to Comfort You. Don’t come to this
book seeking sentimentality or tired
tropes. Wortman-Wunder’s voice and her
october sensibility are fresh, sometimes alarming,
148 pages . 5½ × 8¼ inches and always deeply satisfying.”
$17.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-681-8 —BK Loren, author, Theft: A Novel
$17.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-682-5
6 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
Happy Like This
by Ashley Wurzbacher
John Simmons Short Fiction Award

“I love these dark, lyrical, sinewy stories about women’s rela-

tionships with their bodies and with each other. It’s the sort of
theme that could feel irritably well trod, but that’s not the case
here at all; these stories surprised me at every turn. And the
writing is so gorgeous!”—Carmen Maria Machado, judge,
2019 John Simmons Short Fiction Award

“Equal parts graceful and astonishing, the stories in Ashley

Wurzbacher’s debut collection do the brave work of building happy ashley
upon established traditions to create worlds and languages all like this wurzbacher
their own. The result is a sweeping, insightful, and compassion-
ate portrait not only of women’s lives, losses, and loves, but of
their anger, its power, and the fierce sisterhood forged between
those who express it.”—Allie Rowbottom, author, JELL-O Girls
“Rumor has it that Alice Munro in respond-
The characters in Happy Like This are smart girls and pro- ing to the question ‘Do you consider
fessional women—social scientists, linguists, speech therapists, yourself a feminist?’, replied thusly: ‘If
plant physiologists, dancers—who search for happiness in roles you mean do I take the lives of women
and relationships that are often unscripted or unconventional. In seriously, yes.’ Ashley Wurzbacher’s won-
the midst of their ambivalence about marriage, monogamy, and derful collection of stories made me think
motherhood and their struggles to accept and love their bodies, of that writer, and that answer, repeat-
they look to other women for solidarity, stability, and validation. edly. I love this book.”—Antonya Nelson,
Sometimes they find it; sometimes they don’t. Spanning a wide author, Funny Once
range of distinct perspectives, voices, styles, and settings, the ten
shimmering stories in Happy Like This offer deeply felt, often hu- “Happy Like This is a funny, touching cata-
morous meditations on the complexity of choice and the ambiguity log of women’s generosity toward each
of happiness.  other and themselves, of the secrets we
need to keep, and the paths we must take
Ashley Wurzbacher’s writing has appeared in the Iowa Review, in order to live more fully. A powerhouse
Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, Colorado of a collection.”—Danielle Lazarin,
Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. author, Back Talk
She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and teaches creative writing
at the University of Montevallo. “What a gorgeous, varied, brilliant, and
accomplished collection of stories. On ev-
ery page, moments of truth and beauty so
perfectly, easily, and indelibly rendered in
lines to make you catch your breath and
wish to read them over and over. A must
october read!”—Gregory Spatz, author, Inukshuk
218 pages . 5½ × 8¼ inches
$17.00 paper original, 978-1-60938-683-2
$17.00 e-book, 978-1-60938-684-9
fall ���� | 7
Aussie Fans
Uniquely Placed in Global Popular Culture
by Celia Lam and Jackie Raphael, editors
Fandom & Culture
Paul Booth and Katherine Larsen, series editors

“There is little sustained discussion of media fandom in an “In Aussie Fans, Celia Lam and Jackie
Australian context, as much work coming out of the region tends Raphael have assembled a wide-
to focus on reception studies. The chapters in this collection are reaching collection of perspectives
a good starting point for a glimpse into how fandom is perceived on fans and fandom in their many
and performed in Australia and its neighboring regions.” Australian flavors. From Neighbours,
—Bertha Chin, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Offspring, and other iconic Australian
shows with their own dedicated global
Australia holds a unique place in the global scheme of followings to Australian fans of K-pop,
fandom. Much of the media consumed by Australian audiences cosplay, and, of course, Game of
originates from either the United States or the United Kingdom, Thrones, this book shows the diversity,
yet several Australian productions have also attracted international depth, and dedication of Australian
fans in their own right. This first-ever academic study of Austra- fans. This book speaks to fans, schol-
lian fandom explores the national popular culture scene through ars, and everyone else interested in
themes of localization and globalization. enjoying a national perspective on
The essays within reveal how Australian audiences often seek au- global fan phenomena!”
thentic imports and eagerly embrace different cultures, examining —Tama Leaver, Curtin University
both Hollywood’s influence on Australian fandom and Australian
fan reactions to non-Western content. By shining a spotlight on
Australian fandom, this book not only provides an important case
study for fan studies scholars, it also helps add nuance to a field
whose current literature is predominantly U.S. and U.K. focused.

Contributors: Kate Ames, Ahmet Atay, Jessica Carniel, Toija

Cinque, Ian Dixon, Leigh Edmonds, Sharon Elkind, Jacqui
Ewart, Lincoln Geraghty, Sarah Keith, Emerald L. King,
Renee Middlemost

Celia Lam is assistant professor of media and cultural studies

at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. Jackie Raphael
teaches at the University of Western Australia. They have previ-
ously coedited other books together, including Becoming Brands:
Celebrity, Activism and Politics and Personas and Places: Negotiating
Myths, Stereotypes and National Identities.

264 pages . 5 b&w photos . 6 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$55.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-657-3
$55.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-658-0
Fan Studies / Popular Culture
8 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
Queerbaiting and Fandom
Teasing Fans through Homoerotic Possibilities
by Joseph Brennan, editor
Fandom & Culture
Paul Booth and Katherine Larsen, series editors

“As the first book to analyze queerbaiting, undoubtedly a sign of “Queerbaiting and Fandom is an impor-
the times, Joseph Brennan’s edited collection makes a vital, en- tant and timely volume that belongs in
ergizing contribution to fan studies­—and beyond—by skillfully the library of every fan studies scholar.”
addressing advocacy, history, and complexity. Queerbaiting and —Megan Condis, author, Gaming
Fandom explores high-profile case studies such as Supernatural, Masculinity: Trolls, Fake Geeks, and the
Sherlock, and Harry Potter. HoYay may belong to older fan tradi- Gendered Battle for Online Culture
tions, but this is AcYay happening right here: ‘Academic bril- (Iowa, 2018)
liance, Yay!’”—Matt Hills, author, Fan Cultures

In this first-ever comprehensive examination of queerbait-

ing, fan studies scholar Joseph Brennan and his contributors ex-
amine cases that shed light on the sometimes exploitative industry
practice of teasing homoerotic possibilities that, while hinted at,
never materialize in the program narratives. Through a nuanced
approach that accounts for both the history of queer representa-
tion and older fan traditions, these essayists examine the phenom-
enon of queerbaiting across popular TV, video games, children’s
programs, and more.

Contributors: Evangeline Aguas, Christoffer Bagger,

Bridget Blodgett, Cassie Brummitt, Leyre Carcas, Jessica
Carniel, Jennifer Duggan, Monique Franklin, Divya Garg,
Danielle S. Girard, Mary Ingram-Waters, Hannah McCann,
Michael McDermott, E. J. Nielsen, Emma Nordin, Holly
Eva Katherine Randell-Moon, Emily E. Roach, Anastasia
Salter, Elisabeth Schneider, Kieran Sellars, Isabela Silva,
Guillaume Sirois, Clare Southerton

Joseph Brennan is an independent scholar residing in Sydney,


296 pages . 4 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$50.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-671-9
$50.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-672-6
Fan Studies / Popular Culture / lgbtq
fall ���� | 9
“This Mighty Convulsion”
Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War
by Christopher Sten and Tyler Hoffman, editors
Iowa Whitman Series

Unknown Civil War Soldier, Library of Congress

Ed Folsom, series editor

This is the first book exclusively devoted to the Civil War

writings of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, arguably the
most important poets of the war. The essays brought together in
this volume add significantly to recent critical appreciation of the
skill and sophistication of these poets; growing recognition of the
complexity of their views of the war; and heightened appreciation
for the anxieties they harbored about its aftermath. Both in the
ways they come together and seem mutually influenced, and in
the ways they disagree, Whitman and Melville grapple with the
casualties, complications, and anxieties of the war while high-
lighting its irresolution. This collection makes clear that rather “A critical examination of the two most
than simply and straightforwardly memorializing the events of significant Civil War poets that brings
the war, the poetry of Whitman and Melville weighs carefully all together some of the most talented and
sorts of vexing questions and considerations, even as it engages insightful Melville and Whitman schol-
a cultural politics that is never pat. ars. ‘This Mighty Convulsion’ is timely and
important.”—Randall Fuller, author,
Contributors: Kyle Barton, Peter Bellis, Adam Bradford, From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War
Jonathan A. Cook, Ian Faith, Ed Folsom, Timothy Marr, Transformed American Literature
Cody Marrs, Christopher Ohge, Vanessa Steinroetter,
Sarah L. Thwaites, Brian Yothers “Not only do these essays plumb deeply
the aesthetic, political, historical, and
Christopher Sten is professor of English and American litera- critical dimensions of Whitman’s Drum-
ture at George Washington University. He is the author of The Taps and Melville’s Battle-Pieces, viewed
Weaver-God, He Weaves: Melville and the Poetics of the Novel. He lives in both together and apart, but also they re-
Washington, DC. Tyler Hoffman is professor of English at Rutgers veal scars the war left on the poets them-
University–Camden. He is the author of Robert Frost and the Politics selves—poignant residue of ‘this mighty
of Poetry. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. convulsion’—that make their work timely
and new.”—Wyn Kelley, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology

264 pages . 14 b&w photos . 4 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$75.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-663-4
$75.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-664-1
literary criticism
10 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
Star Attractions
Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom
by Tamar Jeffers McDonald and Lies Lanckman, editors
Fandom & Culture
Paul Booth and Katherine Larsen, series editors

“This is a vitally important subject that connects cinema history

to stardom, audience reception, and fandom studies. It makes
a great teaching volume and delightful reading for a popular
audience interested in star history and fan history. I heartily
endorse this collection, and look forward to more!”
—Kathy Fuller-Seeley, author, Jack Benny and the Golden Age of
American Radio Comedy

During Hollywood’s “classic era,” from the 1920s to 1950s,

roughly twenty major fan magazines were offered each month at
American newsstands and abroad. These publications famously
fed fan obsessions with celebrities such as Mae West and Elvis “In this remarkable anthology, the history
Presley. Film studies scholars often regard these magazines with and influence of fan magazines come alive,
suspicion; perhaps due to their reputation for purveying scandal with superb essays by such luminaries
and gossip, their frequent mingling of gushing tone, and blatant as Lucy Fischer, Geneviève Sellier, Sarah
falsehood. Polley, and many others, offering a compre-
Looking at these magazines with fresh regarding eyes and treat- hensive and incisive overview of the ways
ing them as primary sources, the contributors of this collection in which these magazines drive, and often
provide unique insights into contemporary assumptions about the shape, public cultural discourse on an
relationship between fan and star, performer and viewer. In doing international scale. Essential reading.”
so, they reveal the magazines to be a huge and largely untapped —Wheeler Winston Dixon, author, A Short
resource on a wealth of subjects, including gender roles, appear- History of Film
ance and behavior, and national identity.

Contributors: Emily Chow-Kambitsch, Alissa Clarke,

Jonathan Driskell, Lucy Fischer, Ann-Marie Fleming,
Oana-Maria Mazilu, Adrienne L. McLean, Sarah Polley,
Geneviève Sellier, Michael Williams

Tamar Jeffers McDonald is a reader in film studies at the University

of Kent. She is author or editor of four books, including Doris Day
Confidential: Hollywood, Sex, and Stardom. Lies Lanckman is associate
lecturer in film studies at the University of Kent.

282 pages . 20 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$55.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-673-3
$55.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-674-0
fan studies / film studies
fall ���� | 11
Staging Postcommunism
Alternative Theatre in Eastern and
Central Europe after 1989
by Vessela S. Warner and Diana Manole, editors
Studies in Theatre History and Culture
Heather S. Nathans, series editor

“Staging Postcommunism opens the door on an area of the world

where theatre vibrantly looks to answer the sociological, politi-
cal, and personal issues of identity that emerged following the

Courtesy Angelina Roşca

breakup of the Soviet Union.”—Marc Robinson, St. Olaf College

Theatre in Eastern and Central Europe was never the

same after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In the transition to a
postcommunist world, “alternative theatre” found ways to grapple
with political chaos, corruption, and aggressive implementation
of a market economy. Three decades later, this volume is the first
comprehensive examination of alternative theatre in ten former “Staging Postcommunism makes an impor-
communist countries. The essays focus on companies and artists tant contribution to the field in a number
that radically changed the language and organization of theatre of dynamic modes. This fills a significant
in the countries formerly known as the Eastern European bloc. gap in the scholarship, addressing a wide
This collection investigates the ways in which postcommunist range of nations and cultures in Eastern
alternative theatre negotiated and embodied change not only lo- and Central Europe, whose extensive and
cally but globally as well. influential theatre histories of the twen-
tieth century to the present day are still
Contributors: Dennis Barnett, Dennis C. Beck, Violeta woefully underrepresented in English-
Decheva, Luule Epner, John Freedman, Barry Freeman, language scholarship. I read the book with
Margarita Kompelmakher, Jaak Rahesoo, Angelina Roşca, great enthusiasm.”—Bryce Lease, author,
Baņuta Rubess, Christopher Silsby, Andrea Tompa, After ’89: Polish Theatre and the Political
S. E. Wilmer

Vessela S. Warner is associate professor of theatre history, dra-

matic literature, and dramaturgy at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham. Diana Manole is an instructor of drama and litera-
ture at Trent University in Canada. Manole has published nine
collections of poems and plays.

january 2020
298 pages . 12 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$90.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-677-1
$90.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-678-8
12 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
Irish on the Move
Performing Mobility in American Variety Theatre
by Michelle Granshaw
Studies in Theatre History and Culture
Heather S. Nathans, series editor

“While much has been written previously about some of the “In Irish on the Move, the journey of the
variety theatre that Granshaw explores, no one has done what immigrant to claim the right to be here,
she has done. She is introducing a revelatory new voice to the which is resisted by the dominant culture,
literature, one that expands previous understandings of ante- results in a kind of dance that changes
bellum theatre and performance and at the same time contrib- both the immigrant and the local popula-
utes to contemporary research in the humanities about power tion. Granshaw’s research is impressive
and migration.”—Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, Miami University and this book makes an important contri-
bution to Irish American history.”
“Granshaw’s new book is an imaginative, incisive examination of —Tice Miller, author, Entertaining the
Irish American mobility in popular theater, showing how popu- Nation: American Drama in the Eighteenth
lar culture and revolutionary politics shaped each other.” and Nineteenth Centuries
—M. Alison Kibler, author, Censoring Racial Ridicule: Irish, Jewish,
and African American Struggles over Race and Representation “Irish on the Move shows how the acts of
stage tramps, variety shows, and even
“Both timely and relevant, Irish on the Move is an important competitive pedestrians shaped the lives
contribution to theater historiography, but the book will also and perceptions of America’s mobile and
interest readers seeking to understand the historical roots networked Irish, while contributing
of nationalist, anti-immigrant, white supremacist discourse to America’s distinctive theatre culture.”
in the contemporary United States.”—Amy E. Hughes, —Peter P. Reed, author, Rogue Perfor­
author, Spectacles of Reform: Theater and Activism in Nineteenth- mances: Staging the Underclasses in Early
Century America American Theatre Culture

A little over a century ago, the Irish in America were

the targets of intense xenophobic anxiety. Much of that anxiety
centered on their mobility, whether that was traveling across the
ocean to the U.S., searching for employment in urban centers,
mixing with other ethnic groups, or forming communities of their
own. Granshaw argues that American variety theatre, a precursor
to vaudeville, was a crucial battleground for these anxieties, as it
appealed to both the fears and the fantasies that accompanied the
rapid economic and social changes of the Gilded Age.

Michelle Granshaw is assistant professor of theatre arts at the

University of Pittsburgh.

288 pages . 15 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$90.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-669-6
$90.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-670-2
fall ���� | 13
Poems of the American Empire
The Lyric Form in the Long Twentieth Century
by Jen Hedler Phillis
The New American Canon
The Iowa Series in Contemporary Literature and Culture
Samuel Cohen, series editor

“Poems of the American Empire makes a substantially new claim “Lukács famously leaves no room for lyric
about the relationship between lyric and epic as constitutive in his history of signal literary forms;
parts of a hybrid poetic form developed by Pound and Williams Phillis begs to differ. In this superb and
and revised significantly by a handful of contemporary poets. subtle study, Poems of the American Empire
It is a book worth reading and will certainly make its mark on offers and enters into the poetry of
the field of twentieth-century American poetry.”—Paul Stasi, America’s long twentieth century, argu-
author, Modernism, Imperialism, and the Historical Sense ing that ‘we need a lyric theory that can
capture this era’s new style of time.’ But
Poems of the American Empire argues that careful attention to a partic- the book is after something more, trying
ular strain of twentieth-century lyric poetry yields a counter-history to grasp how lyric, taking its force and
of American global power. The period that Phillis covers—from fire from its tension with the persistence
Ezra Pound’s A Draft of XXX Cantos in 1930 to Cathy Park Hong’s of epic, can open onto something like
Engine Empire in 2012—roughly matches what some consider the revolutionary time that can leave this
ascent and decline of the American empire. The diverse poems era behind. Phillis’s work is ambitious,
that appear in this book are united by their use of epic forms in the variegated, and revelatory; lyrical in its
lyric poem, a combination that violates a fundamental framework insights and epic in its vision.”—Joshua
of both genres’ relationship to time. Clover, University of California, Davis
This book makes a groundbreaking intervention by insisting
that lyric time is key to understanding the genre. These poems
demonstrate the lyric form’s ability to represent the totality of
history, making American imperial power visible in its fullness.
Neither strictly an empty celebration of American exceptionalism
nor a catalog of atrocities, Poems of the American Empire allows us
to see both.

Jen Hedler Phillis is an independent writer who lives in Chicago,


226 pages . 6 × 9 inches
$75.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-661-0
$75.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-662-7
literary criticism
14 University of Iowa Press | fall ����
Contemporary Novelists and the Aesthetics
of Twenty-First Century American Life
by Alexandra Kingston-Reese
The New American Canon
The Iowa Series in Contemporary Literature and Culture
Samuel Cohen, series editor

Contemporary Novelists and the Aesthetics of Twenty-First Century Ameri- “This striking, intellectually bracing book
can Life gives us a new way to view contemporary art novels, asking shows how contem­porary writers are en-
the key question: How do contemporary writers imagine aesthetic gaging with the politics of visual aesthet-
experience? Examining the works of some of the most popular ics in order to rethink the very anatomy
names in contemporary fiction and art criticism, including Zadie of the novel form. Alexandra Kingston-
Smith, Teju Cole, Siri Hustvedt, Ben Lerner, Rachel Kushner, and Reese presents a scrupulously researched
others, Alexandra Kingston-Reese finds that contemporary art argument about interartistic dynamics
novels are seeking to reconcile the negative feelings of contempo- in twenty-first century literary culture
rary life through a concerted critical realignment in understanding that enriches the critical practice of read-
artistic sensibility, literary form, and the function of the aesthetic. ing for intermediality.”—David James,
Kingston-Reese reveals how contemporary writers refract and author, Modernist Futures: Innovation and
problematize aesthetic experience, illuminating an uneasiness Inheritance in the Contemporary Novel
with failure: firstly, about the failure of aesthetic experiences to
solve and save; and secondly, the literary inability to articulate
the emotional dissonance caused by aesthetic experiences now.

Alexandra Kingston-Reese is a lecturer in modern and contem-

porary literature at the University of York.

january 2020
190 pages . 6 b&w figures . 6 × 9 inches
$80.00s paper original, 978-1-60938-675-7
$80.00s e-book, 978-1-60938-676-4
literary criticism
fall ���� | 15
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IN THE 1970S

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In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps

“Rob Schlegel’s In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps is dominated by three of the
most remarkable long poems I’ve read in years, but it is especially ‘Novella’ that has
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quietly elicits a great clamor of feeling.”—Shane McCrae, author and National Schlegel
Book Award finalist, In the Language of My Captor

“Precise and nuanced, this lyric journey is at once fable, field guide, confession, and
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Rob Schlegel

and wordsmithery. I feel known, caught out, believed in, vulnerable, when I read
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with calm abandon , Rob Schlegel stands among the

genderless trees to shake notions of masculinity and fatherhood.
Schlegel incorporates the visionary into everyday life, inhabiting
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maggie schenk

process is forever changed when he becomes something new to

someone else. “The meaning I’m trying to protect is,” Schlegel
writes, “the heart is neither boy, nor girl.” In the Tree Where the
Double Sex Sleeps is a tender search for the mother in the father,
the poet in the parent, the forest in the human.
rob schlegel is the author of The Lesser Fields and
January Machine. He lives and teaches in Washington state.

University of Iowa Press ISBN-13: 978-1-60938-645-0

cover art: Detail from a letterpress print by Sara Langworthy,

Fixed Stars, included in the print portfolio Hanji Edition (2018).

The Year of the Femme In the Tree Where the Austentatious

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16 University of Iowa Press | fall ����

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fall ���� | 17

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18 University of Iowa Press | fall ����

. . . Scholarly Bestsellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A Place for Humility examines the links

C h r i s t i n e g e r h a r Dt
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Literary Criticism / Poetics
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A Place for Humility

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No ecocritic, not even leaders in the field, brings a stronger comprehension of
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best poetry of the day, and no other scholar draws a stronger connection between
two poets often considered polar opposites —Whitman and Dickinson — their and the

mutual ecopoetics (and surprisingly even their gender politics) proving here a
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fall ���� | 19

. . . Recent Book Honors and Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What Counts as Love

For Single by Marian Crotty

❉ 2018 Winner of the Janet Heidinger
Kafka Prize

as T�ain For Single Mothers Working as
Train Conductors
Conductors by Laura Esther Wolfson
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Laura Esther Wolfson

The Water Diviner and Other Stories

Tales from an by Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer
❉ 2018 Longlist for the Story Prize

Tales from an Uncertain World

by L. S. Gardiner
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Can Teach Us International (ALSI) CHOICE
About Climate award for a popular book related
to atmospheric science
L. S. G A R D I N E R

20 University of Iowa Press | fall ����

. . . Index by Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 BECKER, PAULA … A House on Stilts

These 9 BRENNAN, JOSEPH … Queerbaiting and Fandom

2 CLARK, ROBERT … My Victorians
Boys 4 GAVALER, CHRIS … Superhero Thought Experiments
and 4 GOLDBERG, NATHANIEL … Superhero Thought Experiments
13 GRANSHAW, MICHELLE … Irish on the Move
Their 10 HOFFMAN, TYLER … “This Mighty Convulsion”

Fathers 11 JEFFERS MCDONALD, TAMAR … Star Attractions

15 KINGSTON-REESE, ALEXANDRA … Contemporary Novelists and
D O N W AT E R S   the Aesthetics of Twenty-First Century American Life
8 LAM, CELIA … Aussie Fans
11 LANCKMAN, LIES … Star Attractions
12 MANOLE, DIANA … Staging Postcommunism
14 PHILLIS, JEN HEDLER … Poems of the American Empire
EXPER 10 STEN, CHRISTOPHER … “This Mighty Convulsion”
12 WARNER, VESSELA S. … Staging Postcommunism
1 WATERS, DON … These Boys and Their Fathers
6 WORTMAN-WUNDER, EMILY … Not a Thing to Comfort You
Chris Gavaler and
Nathaniel Goldberg 7 WURZBACHER, ASHLEY … Happy Like This

fall ���� | 21

. . . Index by Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8 Aussie Fans
Not a 15 Contemporary Novelists and the Aesthetics of
Twenty-First Century American Life
Thing to 7 Happy Like This
3 A House on Stilts
Comfort 13 Irish on the Move
5 The Lines
You 2 My Victorians
6 Not a Thing to Comfort You
Stories by Emily Wortman-Wunder 14 Poems of the American Empire
9 Queerbaiting and Fandom
12 Staging Postcommunism
11 Star Attractions
4 Superhero Thought Experiments
1 These Boys and Their Fathers
10 “This Mighty Convulsion”

. . . Index by Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 Current Events
8–9, 11 Fan Studies
5–7 Fiction
11 Film Studies
10, 14–15 Literary Criticism
2 Literature

happy ashley 1–2 Memoir

like this wurzbacher
3 Parenting
4 Philosophy
4, 8–9 Popular Culture
12–13 Theatre

22 University of Iowa Press | fall ����

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fall ���� | 23

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24 University of Iowa Press | fall ����

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