Current Issue

Oct.22, 2008

Vol. 109, No. 3

book shorts

A Fish in the Moonlight: Growing Up in the Bone Marrow Unit

By Sidney Homan '60
Published in the October22, 2008, issue


(Purdue University Press)

The author recounts his experience sharing his childhood stories — about fighting with his brother over a “baby-blue” girl’s bike and eating steamed cabbage at a neighbor’s house, among other tales — with children in a bone marrow unit during his term as an artist-in-residence at a hospital. Woven into the narrative are the cancer patients’ responses to the stories and to the storyteller. Homan is an English professor at the University of Florida.

The Darker Mask: Heroes From the Shadows

By Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers ’82, editors
Published in the October22, 2008, issue


(Tor)

In this collection of illustrated original stories, the writers offer new interpretations of what it means to be a superhero. Their heroes range from a house cleaner to civil servants and refugees. In Chambers’ story, “Avatar,” the superhero, an orphan from southern Sudan, confronts Chinese officials who are providing money to the Sudanese government. Other contributors include Lorenzo Carcaterra and Walter Mosely. Chambers is a professor of journalism at Georgetown University’s School of Liberal and Continuing Studies.

The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces

By Frank Wilczek *75
Published in the October22, 2008, issue


(Basic Books)

The author, the winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 2004, explains the search for what scientists call the Unified Field Theory, which remains illusive and aims to describe the structure of physical life. Along the way, he surveys everything in the universe from protons and the origin of mass to quarks and black holes. Publishers Weekly said this book “will be a hit with hard-core science buffs.” Wilczek is a physics professor at M.I.T.

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