Gottschall describes his most recent book as partly a memoir of the three years he spent trying to learn to fight, partly a nonfiction version of Fight Club, and partly a tour of the science and history of violence. When a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym moved in across the street from his office, Gottschall — pushing 40, out of shape, disenchanted with his work as an adjunct English instructor — sees a challenge and joins. He eventually finds the nerve to train for a real cage fight, using the experience to answer his long-burning questions of why men fight and why decent people want to watch.
Kaschak, a professor emerita at San Jose State University in California and editor of the journal Women and Therapy, discusses the realities of race, gender and sexual orientation from the perspective of the blind. Through interviews and case studies, she reveals how the visually impaired create meaning out of cultural norms and how those norms inform our interactions with others, regardless of our ability to see. The book teaches the reader about privilege, compassion and our powerful search for belonging.
In the summer of 1980, teenage brothers Sebastian and James Savage climb one of the highest mountains in Alaska to prove to their demeaning father that they are tough and courageous young men. Inspired by true events, Savage Mountain is a touching story of two brothers who test their limits and learn that the way their father treats them is not their fault, and that no matter how different they might be from each other, the strongest bond of all is brotherhood.
As the American automobile industry has declined, so has its home base in Detroit, Michigan. Apel, an art historian, explores a variety of images of this troubled city, showing the underlying pessimistic narratives that all hope for progress is lost and that even worse times may be ahead. She warns that it is easy to blame the city for such widespread devastation while absolving the real culprits — corporate disinvestment and globalization. Apel is professor and W. Hawkins Ferry Endowed Chair in modern and contemporary art history at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Sandovici describes Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches as a young woman’s journey from Bucharest to New York, Cancun and Paris in the pursuit of the love that has eluded her. Alina Ionescu inhabits a hostile world where dangers lurk at every turn, men are indifferent and elusive, and relationships between women are full of hurt feelings and malicious gestures. Sandovici, an associate professor of political science at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, is also an artist. She blogs at havewatercolorswilltravel.blogspot.com.