In his novel, The Marriage Plot (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Pulitzer-Prize winner and creative writing professor JEFFREY EUGENIDES “revives the coming-of-age novel for a new generation,” wrote Publishers Weekly. The three main characters graduate from Brown in 1982: An English major who is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot ends up in a relationship with a charismatic loner, while another student also is attracted to her and travels the world to get her off his mind. The novel follows them from college into post-university life.

PAUL STARR, a professor of sociology and public affairs, traces health-care reform in the United States in Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform (Yale University Press). Starr, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a 1982 book on American medicine, shows how and why health care became such a polarizing issue and what the ideological deadlock means for the economy and for Americans’ health

In Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America’s Heartland (Princeton University Press), ROBERT WUTHNOW, a native of Kansas, examines the history of religion and politics in his home state and describes why Kansas has become a conservative stronghold. Wuthnow is chairman of the sociology department and director of the Center for the Study of Religion. 

SIMONE MARCHESI *02, associate professor of French and Italian, has translated ROBERT HOLLANDER ’55’s commentary on Dante’s The Divine Comedy into Italian. La Commedia Di Dante Alighieri (Olschki) is the first American or British commentary on Dante’s masterpiece to be translated into Italian and published in Italy. Hollander, a professor of European literature and French and Italian emeritus, also has written what he calls a “little grammar book”: The Elements of Grammar in Ninety Minutes (Dover Publications).

Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality — or a combination of these? That is a question that has driven Jewish thought since the 18th century, argues LEORA BATNITZKY in How Judaism Became a ­Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton University Press). The chairwoman of the religion department, Batnitzky tells how Judaism was defined as a religion in the modern period and why Jewish thinkers have defended and resisted the idea.

In Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Faber and Faber), DAVID BELLOS examines what translation “has done in the past and does today” and explores the “role of translation in cultural, social, and human issues of many kinds.” Bellos is director of the program in translation and intercultural communication and a professor of French and Italian and comparative literature.