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Ex libris: the August 2017 issue

Ex libris: the August 2017 issue

[Ex libris]

[cover graphic of Steven Heighton novel]

The evening’s last light has drained out of the sky behind the procession of dead hotels lining the beach. Up to fifteen storeys high, they were built so close together that now, their facades darkening, they merge into a single jagged silhouette, like the remains of an immense seawall or ancient coastal fortification. You can barely make out the rusted fence topped with barbed wire that separates the beach from the hotels and the ghost city behind them.

This is an excerpt from The Nightingale won’t let you sleep, by Steven Heighton, Artsci’85, MA’86. It is a passionate tale of buried secrets, the repercussions of war, and finding love in the ruins. Elias Trifannis is desperate to belong somewhere. To make his dying father happy, he joins the military – but in Afghanistan, by the time he realizes his last-minute bid for connection was a mistake, it is too late, and tragedy ensues. The novel follows Elias’s flight from Afghanistan to Cyprus to varosha, an abandoned Greek-Cypriot resort town that turns out not to be the refuge he had sought.

[cover graphic of Robert Alvo  book]Robert Alvo, Artsci’81 (Biology), is the author of Being a Bird in North America, a book 12 years in the making. “For each species,” writes Mr. Alvo, a conservation biologist, “I pick out of the literature its most interesting aspects, and combine an authoritative species account written for the layperson with a cartoon.” The book offers insight into the lives of birds, revealing the tricks they use to survive and the conservation issues they face. learn more at babina.ca.

[cover graphic of Elizabeth Milroy book]Elizabeth Milroy, Artsci’77 (Art History), is the author of The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places, 1682–1876. Focusing on the history and representation of hiladelphia’s green spaces, and making use of a wealth of primary source materials, she offers insights into the city’s political and cultural development and documents how changing attitudes toward the natural environment affected the physical appearance of Philadelphia’s landscape and the lives of its inhabitants. Dr. Milroy is professor and department head, Art and Art History, at Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

G.W. Stephen Brodsky, Arts’69 (MA, Victoria, DPhil, York, U.K.), is the author of Joseph Conrad's Polish Soul: Realms of Memory and Self. Born into a Polish szlachta (noble) family, the novelist Joseph Conrad maintained, even in exile, strong ties to his Polish heritage and culture. yet the author earned renown by writing in English, often about nautical adventures in remote parts of the world. In this work, Dr. Brodsky seeks to reclaim the essentially Polish sensibility of Conrad's groundbreaking oeuvre. He finds in Conrad's work a distinct Polonism that plays intriguingly with selfhood, freedom, and irony.

Carolyn Harris, MA’07, PhD’12 (History), has a new book: Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting. The book examines 20 sets of royal parents, from King Edgar the Peaceable of England and his queen, Elfrida, to William and Kate today. The book explores how the public has always been fascinated by royal parenting and judged royalty according to the parenting standards of the day.

Beverly Rasporich, Arts’62, a Canadian studies scholar and professor emerita at the University of Calgary, is the author of Made-in-Canada Humour: Literary, Folk and Popular Culture. The book includes celebrated Canadian writers and poets with ironic and satiric perspectives; oral storytellers of tall tales in the country and the city; newspaper print humorists; representative national and regional cartoonists; and comedians of stage, radio, and television. Dr. Rasporich lives with her husband, historian Anthony Rasporich, Arts’62, in Invermere, B.C.

[cover graphic of Julie Salverson book]Julie Salverson, Artsci’77, is the author of Lines of Flight: An Atomic Memoir. When the author discovers a link between Canada’s north and the atomic bombs that fell on Japan, she starts a 10-year journey that connects uranium, radiation, trauma, and resilience in unexpected ways. From a village outside Toronto to Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories and on to Hiroshima, she traces the radioactive trail. The book strives to answer some of the key questions of life in the 21st century: how do we live in, and think about, this terribly beautiful world? Dr.Salverson is an associate professor at the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 3, 2017]