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Riveting Reads

Recent works by our faculty, staff and alumni.

Key Changes book cover

KEY CHANGES


BY HOWIE SINGER ’74

In the book, Key Changes: The Ten Times Technology Transformed The Music Industry (published by Oxford University Press), Howie Singer74 (together with Bill Rosenblatt) explores how technological developments have changed music, how it is produced, and who creates it, over and over again, in the last 100 years. According to Singer, the true story of the music industry is not about one great shift due to technology in the 1990s but, rather, of a whole series of equally dramatic shifts in finances, format, and distribution over the last century.  

Singer is an expert on music industry technologies. At Warner Music Group, he served as senior vice president and chief strategic technologist analyzing new business models and services. Since 2018, he has taught a graduate class on “Data Analysis in the Music Industry” at New York University. Singer spent the first part of his career at Bell Labs and AT&T where he co-founded a2b music, an early digital music start-up.

Book Cover, an elegant corpse

AN ELEGANT CORPSE


BY HELEN HARRISON

Helen Harrison, director, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, continues her “Art is Murder” mystery series with An Elegant Corpse.

Set at the palatial Hamptons estate of wealthy artist Alfonso Ossorio, the owner of Jackson Pollock’s masterpiece, Lavender Mist, the crown jewel in a fabled collection of modern art. When Ossorio’s decision to sell the painting to finance his obsessive landscaping projects proves fatal, suspicion falls on members of his circle, among them Pollock’s widow, Lee Krasner, who has made no secret of her opposition to the sale. Number one on the list, however, is Ted Dragon, a former dancer who gave up his career to become Ossorio’s companion. He stands to inherit everything, including Lavender Mist.

Using her extensive knowledge of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner and the Hamptons art scene, Harrison spins a tale weaving fact and fiction to create a compelling mystery.

The global frontier book cover

THE GLOBAL FRONTIER


BY ERIC STRAND ’98

After World War II, the Western frontier of self-reinvention and spatial expansion opened up through the explosion of the global travel industry. In The Global Frontier: Postwar Travel in American Literature (University of Iowa Press), Eric Strand, MA ’98, currently an associate professor of English at Sophia University in Tokyo, details how a variety of postwar literary travelers sought personal freedom and cultural enrichment outside their nation’s borders, including Black, female and queer writers. He argues that capitalist globalization has enabled creative expression for marginalized identities, and that present-day humanists are the descendants of writers such as William S. Burroughs, Saul Bellow, Richard Wright and Elizabeth Bishop.

book cover, Stone Guest

LEGACIES OF THE STONE GUEST:
THE DON JUAN LEGEND IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE


BY ALEXANDER BURRY ’93

The story of Don Juan first appeared in writing in seventeenth-century Spain, reaching Russia about a century later. Its real impact, however, was delayed until Russia’s most famous poet, Alexander Pushkin, put his own unique spin on the tale. Published in 1830, The Stone Guest is now recognized, with other Pushkin masterpieces, as part of the Russian literary canon. In Legacies of the Stone Guest (University of Wisconsin Press), Alexander Burry ’93 traces the influence of Pushkin’s brilliant innovations to the legend, which he shows have proven repeatedly fruitful through successive ages of Russian literature, from the Realist to the Silver Age, Soviet and contemporary periods. Burry demonstrates how, rather than simply retelling an originally religious tale about a sinful, consummate seducer, Pushkin offered open-ended scenes, reenvisioned characters, and new, nuanced motifs that became recursive and productive parts of Russian literature, in ways that even Pushkin himself could never have predicted.

Burry, an associate professor of Slavic and East European languages and cultures at The Ohio State University, is also the author of Multi-mediated Dostoevsky: Transposing Novels into Opera, Film, and Drama.

Coupling book cover

COUPLING


BY WILLIAM “BILL” JUSTICE BRUEHL

Bill Bruehl, retired professor, prolific playwright and one-time chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, recently released his sixth book of literary fiction entitled Coupling, a collection of interrelated short stories exploring a marriage. Coupling is a novelistic portrait of a couple united by love, pain, intimacy, anger and transcendence. Turning his playwright’s skills to narrative fiction, Bill has published the short story collections and is now working on a second novel. Find out more about Bruehl’s work since retiring from Stony Brook on his website.


Brookmarks welcomes submissions of books, albums or films by SBU faculty, students, staff or alumni that have recently debuted or will debut within the year. Email with the details: SBUMagazine@stonybrook.edu.