In 1904, Ernst Eggers is a first-year seminary student in St. Louis. His life is clearly marked out for him as a pastor in the hidebound, German-speaking Lutheran church body in which he has been raised. But Ernst has secrets. His blazing fastball has already brought him to the attention of the newly formed St. Louis Browns who want to lure him away from the ministry. He practices with a Negro baseball team, frowned upon in segregated St. Louis. And he loves a girl he has never met, the sister of his troubled classmate, Arthur Carre.
In 1904, beautiful Otillie Carre is engaged to a wealthy lawyer, Julius Kloepper, in Akron, Ohio. Her life also seems to be laid out in a predictable way— marriage, children, and a mansion in East Akron. But life plays tricks. A picture of Tillie on her brother’s desk has captured the imagination of Ernst Eggers. When he eventually accompanies Arthur back to Akron one summer, fantasy and reality, life and love intersect, and the future become’s anyone’s guess.
Based on a true story, Ernst and Tillie unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of the dawning twentieth century— a time that witnessed the wonders and oddities of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, as well as the racial strife evident in towns big and small. There’s lots of baseball, lots of train travel, lots of folks who either love or hate the new horseless carriages. And there’s Ernst and Tillie, coming of age, weighing life’s big decisions, struggling to free themselves from the religious and cultural strictures of their parents’ generation, and eager to reap the promise of the new era.
“Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’ is a remarkable book by a remarkable author. Jane Ellen Ibur’s poems are a genuine labor of love, a tribute to the woman who cared for her in her troubled youth and became substitute mother, mentor, teacher, and companion. In return, Jane offered her own loving care for the last eleven years of her friend’s life, when she was sick and helpless. The poems are heartfelt and moving and memorialize a rare and selfless relationship that transcended age, race, and social class.” – Lynn Sharon Schwartz, Author of The Writing on the Wall and Disturbances in the Field.
Living True: Lesbian Women Share Stories of Faith is an anthology of essays about Catholic Spirituality from women who identify as lesbian or bisexual. The collection celebrates the courage of women who’ve not only “come out,” but who’ve come into an understanding and owning of self that offers the possibility of living authentically. The essays, contributed from women around the U.S., give voice to a verity whose expression is long overdue.
With the masterful translation of Morada al sur, Shapiro unlocks, for English-speaking readers, the haunting world of Aurelio Arturo, one of Columbia’s most inspiring poets. Exiled in the north of the country, Arturo writes longingly of his beloved home in the south. The elegance and lyrical quality of his poetry conjures a nostalgic re-creation— magical and mythic— of southwestern Columbia. A mysterious figure who yet looms large over Columbia’s poetic landscape, Arturo’s single volume is consistently regarded as one of the most influential works in the twentieth century Latin America.
In God’s Acres, six-year old Bud tells the story, set in the 1950s, of his family’s relocation from St. Joseph, Missouri, to a small farm just outside the town. That twelve-acre homestead represents the idyllic life for Bud’s mother, the story’s central figure— a woman driven by unwavering religious beliefs and a rigid work ethic— but it turns out to be the source of much heartache. With an endearing earnestness and bits of laugh-out-loud humor, Bud intertwines signal developments in the lives of his family members with key world events— all of which seem to be of equal importance from his perspective as a child. At the start of each chapter, an adult Bud speaks from the present, closing the circle on a complex tale of family relationships.
In The Voice of Water T. L. Jamieson unfolds an album of memories to bring us along on his journey to adulthood. His chronological vignettes reveal a childhood marred by family discord— conflict characterized by abuse and alcoholism. Jamieson describes how he finds, in the natural beauty of the Ozarks, a healing balm for emotional pain. Water is a particular source for of solace for him. And it’s by means of the calming property of water, the physical act of running– the vehicle by which he experiences the rural landscape, and the life lessons he acquires through several key relationships that he is able to mend old wounds and restore broken bonds.
Saint Louis as a literary hub? Surprisingly so, shows author Catherine Rankovic in Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis. Using skills honed as a journalist, Rankovic takes readers into the minds behind the works of thirteen acclaimed writers whose paths somehow intersected with the Gateway City. These “literary greats of the future,” as Rankovic predicts, include novelist/ critic Harper Barnes, memoirist Kathleen Finneran, poet/playwright/novelist Ntozake Shange, essayist Gerard Early, poet/novelist Qiu Xiaolong, and others. The book also includes biographical sketches and samples of work of each of the interviewees. Rankovic’s laid back interview style makes readers feel as if they are sitting on a sofa next to her subjects. A delightful, thought-provoking, sure to please anyone who enjoys the craft.
In this collection of 21 essays, women from around the country recount their individual efforts to access and receive quality health care within the formidable structure of the U.S. health care system. Their many voices speak with clarity, poignancy, and humor about situations familiar to all who have entered a health care setting on behalf of themselves or loved ones. These penetrating stories cover a spectrum of health care conditions, but they unify around the themes of strong self-advocacy and personal empowerment. The book is an enlightening read not only for the health consuming public, but also for health care professionals and for health policymakers.