Shakespeare's Wife - Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer has taken on the “bardolaters” in Shakespeare’s Wife (Harper Perennial, $14.99), her exquisitely researched book about Ann Hathaway, Shakespeare’s oft misrepresented spouse. Greer counters the frequent assumptions that Shakespeare hated his wife; that she, an older woman, used pregnancy to manipulate him into marriage; and that she was a plain, boring woman with no skills or interests of her own. Greer’s meticulous research fails to prove anything definitive about Hathaway and Shakespeare’s relationship except that the work of Shakespearean academicians has left “a wife-sized hole” in his biography, one often filled with baseless conjectures and misogynistic presumptions. In examining Hathaway’s life, Greer elaborates on wider Elizabethan customs and social mores and allows us to fill in the gaps regarding the couple’s relationship. Shakespearean scholars aren’t the only ones who will love this book; anyone looking for a thorough account of women’s lives in Elizabethan England will find it engrossing.

Shakespeare's Wife By Germaine Greer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061537165
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 17th, 2009

PHOTO:BOX - Roberto Koch

Roberto Koch’s Photo Box (Abrams, $29.95) is a collection of photography that ranges from contemporary work one might see in the Hirshhorn Museum to antiquated pieces from the earliest days of the medium. The collection moves through groupings of photos by subject rather than chronologically, a choice that neatly and cleverly defines the boundaries of each genre. I spent more time with this book than I expected, reflecting on iconic photos, such as a Joe Rosenthal’s “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” and less culturally celebrated portraits, like Lauren Greenfield’s “Girl Culture.” The power of Photo Box lies in the multiple viewpoints (it presents more than 200 different pictures) rather than offering a traditional compendium of photography structured by era or movement.

No Small Matter - Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides

Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whiteside’s No Small Matter (Harvard Univ., $35) is a breathtakingly poetic book that approaches the big ideas of existence, such as love, life, and death from a scientific perspective. Each photograph of something on a nano- or microscale—the cell in silhouette, MRIs of brain activity, the nano transistors that compose the Internet—is discussed alongside “big” ideas that frame human existence and lead us to question the workings of our world. Beneath our different surfaces, we all share the same basic structures of life: atoms, electrons, and the tiniest nucleus around which everything in the universe revolves. As Frankel and Whiteside beautifully state, this “is all there is, and all we are.” Small things, in fact, do matter. Lacey Dunham

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale By Felice C. Frankel, George M. Whitesides Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674035669
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Belknap Press - November 9th, 2009