Creative License — Reviews

Creative License


Books

Aging in the Right Place, Stephen M. Golant

Aging in the Right Place

Health Professions Press

With age comes wisdom — but also increased health risks, as well as grief and stress because of loss of friends, community, and identity. In Aging in the Right Place, UF geographer and gerontologist Stephen M. Golant combines sociological, historical, and anecdotal data with legal and policy analysis to explore potential solutions to unhappiness among senior citizens by addressing a key problem: where to live and how to retain a sense of home. The book is more than a how-to guide for senior citizens and their families. It offers insights and data for scientists, housing providers, and policymakers.

See on Amazon.

Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning

Nation Books

In this National Book Foundation-honored text, Ibram X. Kendi, professor of African American studies, examines the words and actions of American powerhouses, such as Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, and Barack Obama, throughout our country’s history to illustrate how deeply ingrained and complex racist thought is in the United States. The book illustrates the roles of three rhetorical groups — the segregationists, the assimilationists, and the anti-racists — in the continuation of institutional and casual racism in the United States.

See on Amazon.

The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, Tom Diaz ’62

The Last Gun

The New Press

The Last Gun combines semantic analysis of news and policy with a review of peer-reviewed studies to craft a comprehensive portrait of gun violence in the United States. Tom Diaz examines the American form of gun violence in the context of current and proposed regulation (or deregulation), political rhetoric, and law enforcement reports. Each page compares and corroborates excerpts from the dialogue about gun violence, both national and international, to create a verifiable analysis of the US’ overlapping gun issues. Diaz uses this portfolio of primary sources to counter the rhetorical effects of pro- and anti-gun punditry and media sensationalism and instead focus on the commonplace problems of domestic disputes, veteran suicides, and accidental firearm discharges that constitute the bulk of American gun deaths. Diaz reframes and demystifies the gun violence problem.

See on Amazon.

Chica Lit, Tace Hedrick

Chica Lit

University of Pittsburgh Press

Tace Hedrick, associate professor of English, examines how the archetypes and tropes of the beach-read romance novel, or “chick lit,” are imported into a genre of romance geared towards Latina women: “chica lit.” Each page is packed with examples drawn from select novels Hedrick analyzes; Hedrick also ropes in various blog posts and ethnographic writings to explain the role of chica lit in multi-ethnic American countries. Hedrick shows how chica lit offers guidance in how “ethnic” to be and differs from typical chick lit in that it is exceptionally didactic, full of factoids about Latin culture. Not dissimilar from the novels it discusses, Chica Lit is a juicy read, packed with insightful ethnographic and literary commentary.

See on Amazon.

Gone Again, James Grippando ’80, JD’82

Gone Again

Harper Collins

James Grippando, creator of criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck, offers a compelling detective novel about the effort to spare a death-row inmate after his alleged victim’s mother claims the dead girl has been calling her. Grippando earned his BA in political science from UF and also studied under English professor Sid Homan. His powerful one-two of legal knowledge and adept writing gives him a winning formula: the tough-guy yet accessible hero Swyteck navigating murder mysteries. With his finger on the pulse of current sociopolitical issues, Grippando’s experience as a trial lawyer is palpable in his thrillers, which introduce key legal concepts through tongue-in-cheek dialogue and twisty plots about human nature.

See on Amazon.


Music

Genius Boy Music, Chuck Martin

Genius Boy Music

Charles “Chuck” Martin, distinguished professor of chemistry at UF, is also a musician. The title of his fifth studio album refers to his band. His self-described “funk-filled” album represents his wide range of musical stylings, from the swing-dance worthy “Heppest Cat” to the Beatles-esque “Love Springs,” concluding with a low-key, wistful country rock song “Best Days.” Among the lighter-hearted songs on the album is the ode to his beloved cat, “Me and Stella,” a lyrically quirky crowd-pleaser packed with self-referential humor and, when performed live, accompanied by a toy replica of Stella. Martin says the album “packs a mammoth slice of Americana and more – R&B, show tunes, rock, jazz, pop, country – mixed, matched and minced into 12 three-minute songs.” His next album, Dragonfly, will be released in late 2016.

See on Bandcamp.

Film

Cojot, Director Boaz Dvir, Producer Gayle Zachmann

Michel Cojot Goldberg

Cojot offers a “micro-history” of issues facing European Jews since WWII through the life story of Michel Cojot Goldberg, whose extraordinary achievements ranged from negotiating the release of hostages held by Palestinian nationalists in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976 to confronting his father’s killer, a Nazi named Klaus Barbie who stood trial in 1987. In this collaboration between UF Jewish studies professor Gayle Zachmann and filmmaker Boas Dvir, they have interviewed over two dozen people to illuminate the effects of “the Jewish Question” as exemplified by Cojot. The documentary, which will be released on PBS in 2017, combines interviews with archival footage, Cojot family photos, and historical graphics to chart the story between Cojot’s negotiation with the Entebbe terrorists and the trial of Klaus Barbie. Zachmann, who serves as historical consultant and co-producer on the film, says, “France did not recognize this man as a hero.” This film, however, will.

Each issue of Ytori will cover creative works by faculty and alumni. Please submit suggestions to gigimarino@ufl.edu.