09 May 2001 |

Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya
The Nabokov-Wilson letters, 1940-1971

Edited by Simon Karlinsky

Simon Karlinsky, professor emeritus of Slavic languages and literatures, has substantially expanded and revised the first edition of correspondence between Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson, outlining the mutual affection and closeness of the two writers, as well as the slow crescendo of mutual resentment, mistrust and rejection.

This new edition includes 59 letters discovered since the original publication of this work in 1979, as well as new scholarship on Nabokov and Wilson.

“There is a lot of interesting talk about money, illness, jobs, writing projects, editorial policy at The New Yorker, books, persons and butterflies,” said Leonard Michaels in The Nation. Disagreements between the two men, he said, “give fascinating complexity to the drama of the Nabokov-Wilson letters and the disastrous friendship.”

Wrote John Updike in The New Yorker: “It is good to have … this ample record of a former friendship between two polymathic, intensely committed minds and drolly stubborn, cagey personalities… Both the correspondents, tireless devotees of linguistic fine points, would have relished their editor’s scrupulous rigor.”
University of California Press
398 pages

Pearl’s Secret: A Black Man’s Search for His White Family
By Neil Henry

“As a journalist, I hate unanswered questions,” says Associate Professor of Journalism Neil Henry, as he sets out to piece together the story of the white branch of his family. His account combines elements of autobiography, family history, history, investigative reporting, personal narrative and true-to-life mystery.

A former national and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, Henry deploys all of his journalistic skills in pursuit of the blood relations who have lived for more than a century on the opposite side of the color line, and of “larger lessons about race and racism in America if I could find them,” as he puts it.

“Henry is a dogged, civilized sleuth,” writes author John Lahr. “What he finds is revealing, ugly, and fascinating. ‘Pearl’s Secret’ deals with the racial divide not as the subject for a treatise on hate but for one on healing. That, in itself, is news.”
University of California Press
321 pages

Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know
Edited by Roy Gutman and David Rieff

In this new book, journalists, television reporters and photographers collaborated with leading legal scholars and military law experts to define the major war crimes in an A-to-Z format. “Crimes of War” also takes a fresh look at nine recent wars, using the framework of international humanitarian law.

“The Geneva Conventions of 1949… specify that both civilians and combatants who are sick and wounded should be treated equally, and that neither should be given different treatment,” writes Eric Stover, director of the campus’s Human Rights Center, in a piece on the sick and wounded. But history is replete, he says “with the accounts of sick and wounded combatants and civilians who have been physically and psychologically abused by their captors.”

The book’s many contributors also include Gilles Peress, a photographer with The New Yorker and a senior research associate at the Human Rights Center; Richard Goldstone, a distinguished visiting lecturer at the center in 1997; and Theodor Meron, a visiting scholar at the School of Law and the Human Rights Center in spring, 2000. Contributors Michael Ignatieff and Larence Weschler have lectured on human rights at Berkeley on numerous occasions.

“Crimes in War” is in part a result of an April 1997 campus conference, “Reporting from the Killing Fields,” which gave the project legs and initial funding.

Writes Aryeh Neier, author of “War Crimes” and former director of Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union: “This collaboration between top war correspondents and leading authorities on the laws of war provides a clear, compelling, and insightful guide to the dramatic implications of the accelerating trend to hold accountable those responsible for the conduct of armed conflicts worldwide.”
W.W. Norton
399 pages


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