Thursday, September 27, 2007
Aztec Authors - Fall 2007
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“Cemeteries of San Diego”
by Seth Mallios
Since who can remember, San Diego has been growing too fast to acknowledge its rich past. Some of the city’s oldest cemeteries now pass as community parks, and headstones that could shed light on local history have gone missing. In 2002, SDSU Anthropology Professor Seth Mallios set out to study and record gravestone art and information before redevelopment and neglect claimed more of this precious real estate. “Cemeteries of San Diego” (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) documents the history of San Diego as the headstones tell it, revealing a city dominated by power shifts and constantly propelled forward by its own multicultural vibrancy.
“Luncheon of the Boating Party”
by Susan Vreeland
In “Luncheon of the Boating Party” (The Viking Press, 2007), New York Times bestselling author and SDSU alumna Susan Vreeland crafts another fascinating story of the art world. This time, the city is Paris; the year, 1880. Auguste Renoir, irked by some bad press courtesy of novelist Emile Zola, attempts to redeem the scorned Impressionist movement by creating a masterpiece before the “good light” fades. At the suggestion of an innkeeper’s daughter, Renoir assembles a cast of subjects from all walks of life on the hotel’s terrace. The complicated entanglements that ensue both threaten the completion of Renoir’s masterwork and determine its greatness.
“W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet”
by Edward Blum
Famed novelist, sociologist and poet W.E.B. Du Bois was a foremost African-American intellectual of the 20th century. But, for as often as he is studied, quoted and cited, aspects of his life remain misunderstood. In the nonfiction Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, “W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet” (University of Pennsylvania Press 2007), SDSU history Professor Edward Blum recasts Du Bois’s central works and exposes the deep spirituality that guided his influential writings on Marxism, pan-Africanism, nuclear disarmament and white supremacy. Blum finds that Du Bois was not the atheist depicted by historians; rather, his religious beliefs informed some of his greatest scholarly achievements.
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