New Books Network

Éva Guillorel, “Rhythms of Revolt: European Traditions and Memories of Social Conflict in Oral Culture” (Routledge, 2018)
The culture of insurgents in early modern Europe was primarily an oral one; memories of social conflicts in the communities affected were passed on through oral forms such as songs and legends. This popular history continued to influence political choices and actions through and after the early modern period. The... Read More
Steve Zeitlin, “The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness” (Cornell UP, 2016)
This is a book of encounters. Part memoir, part essay, and partly a guide to maximizing your capacity for fulfillment and expression, The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness (Cornell University Press, 2016) taps into the artistic side of what we often take for granted: the... Read More
Kevin McGrath, “Vyāsa Redux: Narrative in Epic Mahābhārata” (Anthem Press, 2019)
In Vyāsa Redux: Narrative in Epic Mahābhārata (Anthem Press, 2019), Kevin McGrath examines the complex and enigmatic Vyāsa, both the primary creative poet of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata and a key character in the very epic he composes. In doing so McGrath focuses on what he considers the late Bronze... Read More
Martin Shaw, “Courting the Wild Twin” (Chelsea Green, 2020)
Today I interview Martin Shaw. In Shaw’s new book, Courting the Wild Twin (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020), he writes, “Here’s a secret I don’t share very often. Myths are not only to do with a long time ago. They have a promiscuous, curious, weirdly up-to-date quality. They can’t help but... Read More
Magda Teter, “Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth” (Harvard UP, 2020)
The myth of Jews killing Christian children emerged in 1144 CE, with the death of a boy named William in Norwich, England. Over the course of several centuries, this myth gained traction and became firmly rooted throughout medieval and early modern Europe. In Blood Libel: On the Trail of an... Read More
Lijun Zhang and Ziying You, “Chinese Folklore Studies Today: Discourse and Practice” (Indiana UP, 2020)
The discipline of folkloristics in the People’s Republic of China is robust and well-funded. With thousands of scholars across the country, it is surprising then that there is relatively little understanding of the research and contributions of Chinese folklorists to the discipline. This despite the fact that Chinese folklorists are... Read More
Martín Prechtel, “The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun” (North Atlantic Books, 2005)
Today I interview Martín Prechtel, whose work ranges from painting and drawing to overlooked histories and living languages to farming and blacksmithing and cooking to the six books he’s written, which cover topics so vast in genres so varied that all the short descriptions I’ve tried to give of them... Read More
Charlene Makley, “The Battle for Fortune: State-led Development, Personhood, and Power among Tibetans in China” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Rebgong, in the Northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau (China’s Qinghai Province), is in the midst of a ‘Battle for Fortune.’ That is, a battle to both accumulate as much fortune, but also a battle to decide which definitions of fortune are going to dominate Tibetan society: a material fortune... Read More