Publishing clearinghouse: ‘Authors and Anecdotes’; ‘Intimate Economy’; and ‘Family Violence’


“Authors and Anecdotes” Book Club, featuring Ross Gay
Noon, Sept. 17. Virtual

Ross Gay will discuss his new book-length poem, “Be Holding” (University of Pittsburgh Press)a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving who dominated courts in the 1970s and ‘80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia ‘76ers. Gay connects Dr. J’s famously impossible move from the 1980 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to pick-up basketball and the flying Igbo and the Middle Passage, to photography and surveillance and state violence, to music and personal histories of flight and familial love. To buy the book, go to the Pitt Press website. Register through the University calendar.


“Can This Marriage Be Saved?” (University of Missouri Press, September 2020), by Nancy McCabe, professor of writing at Pitt–Bradford
Multiple events, see below

In a new memoir, McCabe re-examines her ill-advised marriage at the age of 20 through a series of essays. “The book is a series of chapters using extended metaphors and borrowed forms (a women’s magazine, quiz, an instruction manual, a school curriculum guide, notes for a Bible study),” McCabe says. “The book examines my marriage and the events that led to it, including growing up in a neighborhood terrorized by a serial killer and the influence of a fundamentalist Christian upbringing.”

Upcoming online events, all free and open to the public, include the following:

7 p.m. Sept. 24: Carmichael’s Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Louisville, Ky., will host a conversation with McCabe and writer Michele Morano.

7 p.m. Oct 1: McCabe and St. Marys native Rob Simbeck, a fellow author, will discuss their work in a virtual event sponsored by the Bradford Area Public Library.

7 p.m. Oct. 15: Pittsburgh’s White Whale Bookstore will host a conversation between McCabe and Lori Jakiela, professor of English and Creative Writing at Pitt–Greensburg.


“An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America's Domestic Slave Trade” (UNC Press, August 2020) by Alexandra J. Finley, assistant professor of History, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences

Alexandra Finley adds crucial new dimensions to the boisterous debate over the relationship between slavery and capitalism by placing women's labor at the center of the antebellum slave trade, focusing particularly on slave traders' ability to profit from enslaved women's domestic, reproductive and sexual labor. Finley shows how women’s work was necessary to the functioning of the slave trade, and thus to the spread of slavery and the expansion of cotton production. Through the personal histories of four enslaved women, Finley explores the intangible costs of the slave market, moving beyond ledgers, bills of sales, and statements of profit and loss to consider the often incalculable but nevertheless invaluable place of women's emotional, sexual and domestic labor in the economy.


“Dynamics of Family and Intimate Partner Violence” (Springer, 2020) by Christina Newhill, professor in the School of Social Work; Irene Frieze, professor emeritus of Psychology; and Rachel Fusco, who was an associate professor of Social Work until 2018 and now is at the University of Georgia

This book provides a research-based analysis of the dynamics of several types of violence in families and close relationships, as well as a discussion of theories relating to the experiences of victims. Drawing on recent research data and case studies from the authors’ experiences, they examine causes, experiences and interventions related to violence in various forms of relationships including children, elders and dating or married couples. The topics covered include: 1. causal factors in aggression and violence; 2. theories of survivor coping and reactions to victimization; 3. interventions for abused women and children; 4. other forms of family violence: elder abuse, sibling abuse, and animal cruelty; and 5. societal responses to abuse in the family.