Alumni Services

March 2014

This month's eclectic bookshelf includes a study of the Virginia Woolf, an analysis of the complex concepts of parliament and congress, a look at Tahiti's oral traditions, and one woman's experience as she cycled from Dorset to Dundee.

Enid Fookes

Author Enid Fookes (nee Moir)
Edinburgh degree Geography 1974
Bookt a Time - Tales from the Saddle on the Road from One Day at a Time - Tales from the Saddle on the Road from Dorset to Dundee

In her 60th year, Enid Fookes decided to cycle back to Dundee where she was born, from Dorset where she lives now. Her 1000 mile route took in friends and family along the way and she raised £1500 for Cancer Research. The book describes her journey, undertaken during the wettest June on record in England (2012) and how she overcame the physical and mental challenges this presented to her.

Interwoven into this trip is another journey, that of Enid's life: from growing up in Dundee, attending University in Edinburgh, to her time spent working in Botswana and in communitiues in Ladakh and Romania.

Sir William McKay

Author Sir William McKay
Edinburgh degree History 1961
Book Parliament and Congress: representation and scrutiny in the twenty-first century

Parliament and Congress describes and compares the constitutional background and procedures of these two legislative bodies. Currently unsolved problems often have much in common, in vexed areas such as ethics requirements or how procedural rules permit minorities fair access to legislative time before majorities prevail. British successes include the enhanced authority and effectiveness of select committees and the acquisition of more debating time by the creation of a parallel Chamber. Unsolved problems at Westminster begin with the powers and status of the Lords, and go on through the search for more effective review of EU activities, adapting parliamentary scrutiny to more sophisticated government financial information, and making better use of legislative time without diminishing back-bench rights. Co-authored by Charles W. Johnson.

David Meyer

Author David Meyer
Edinburgh degree PhD Linguistics 2011
Book Early Tahitian Poetics. Boston and Berlin: DeGruyter Mouton

Tahiti has a rich history of oral tradition. Early visitors to the island transcribed recitations of myth, battle address, and land description. Until now their poetic organization has remained unexplored. From a computationally assisted analysis, this book describes early use of meter and parallelism and speculates on manner of composition. It sheds light on a poetic style unanticipated for Polynesia and remarkable among world poetries.

Eric Sandberg

Author Eric Sandberg
Edinburgh degree PhD English Literature 2010
Book Virginia Woolf: Experiments in Character

This book offers the first full-length reading of Virginia Woolf’s career-long experimentation in character. It examines her early journalism, from her short reviews of contemporary literature to more substantial essays on Gissing and Dostoyevsky, for indications of her engagement with questions of characterization, and links this interest to her later fictional writings. In The Voyage Out she establishes a continuum of levels of characterization, a key element of which is the Theophrastan type, an alternative form of characterization that corresponds to a way of knowing real people, while in Jacob’s Room she seeks to represent an elusive ‘essence’ that may exist outside of the structuring forms of social life, and which is accessible through speculative identification.