Category Archives: Recommended Reading

If You Liked…

In our high school literature studies, we often stick to tried and true classics, which is fine. There are very good reasons why these books are classics. But what if you want to read something newer, but somehow related to a classic? What if you want to extend learning for your students and want to choose a similar book? What if your students must read a certain number of books to fulfill state objectives (Georgia’s GPS require students to read 20 books a year) and you want to steer them toward books related to others you have studied?

I provide you with ten recommendations for extension. Feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments.

Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Read it with Moby Dick by Herman Melville

What it’s about: In a small passage in his chapter, “The Symphony,” Melville’s Captain Ahab tells Starbuck about his young wife. As God fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib, so Naslund from Melville’s brief description creates Una, who begins her own narrative no less memorably than Ishmael began his: “Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last.” Una’s story is every bit as fascinating as that of her husband. She meets and rubs shoulders with such ninethenth century luminaries as Margaret Fuller, Maria Mitchell, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The book is a lush garden of literary allusion, from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene to Homer’s Odyssey.

Why students should read it: Naslund’s Una is one of the literary characters you will wish you could meet in real life. She is vibrant and real. Students will learn a great deal about mid-nineteenth century life and history from reading the book, too. The prose is gorgeous literary fiction.

A Thousand AcresA Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Read it with King Lear by William Shakespeare

What it’s about: Larry Cook, a farmer in Zebulon County, Iowa, decides to divide his thousand-acre farm among his three daughters, Ginny, Rose and Caroline, insisting he is saving them an inheritance tax. The daughters do not want him to do this, but Larry possesses a single-mindedness that will not be crossed. When Caroline objects more firmly, she is cut out of the deal. The family gradually implodes under Larry’s seeming madness, a suit to get back his land, and Ginny and Rose’s competition for the affections of neighbor’s son Jess Clark.

Why students should read it: This Pulitzer-prize winning novel closely mimics the plot of King Lear, but gives Lear’s daughters some depth — while Goneril and Regan are “unnatural hags,” Ginny and Rose have good reasons for hating their father, and Caroline is not the unflinchingly honest daughter that Cordelia is. Students will see quite clearly how Shakespeare’s timeless stories and themes still apply to readers today. Students will be fascinated by how Smiley takes a quintessentially British author’s story and makes it profoundly American.

A Lesson Before DyingA Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Read it with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What it’s about: Jefferson is a young black man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Falsely accused of murder, tried by a jury of his white “peers,” and sentenced to death by electrocution by a dismissive judge, Jefferson believes the defense attorney’s closing argument, which compares him to a “hog.” Grant Wiggins (no relation to Grant of UbD fame!), a teacher at the black school in the Quarter, is employed by Jefferson’s godmother to help Jefferson die like a man.

Why students should read it: While To Kill a Mockingbird works because a child who doesn’t understand why certain things should be reports what she sees, this novel works because a jaded, bruised, and downtrodden teacher who is all too acutely aware of the oppression of racism tells us the story of the journey to self-discovery. It’s a powerful book, and through a study with To Kill a Mockingbird would make for interesting exploration into the justice system as it existed in the 1930’s and 1940’s, as well as questions of inequity in education and living conditions. Both teach profound lessons about acceptance and love.

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

Read it with The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and/or Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

What it’s about: Gerard Freeman is an Australian librarian who lives with his mother — a clingy, obsessive woman afraid above all that Gerard will leave her. His only real friend is a pen-friend, Alice Jessell, an English woman with an injury which confines her to a wheelchair. Though the two have never met, they have been corresponding since they were 13 and eventually fall in love. Intensely curious about his mother’s past after finding short fiction written by her grandmother, Viola, Gerard travels to England to see Miss Jessell and learn more about the darkest secrets of his mother’s past.

Why students should read it: If your students thought Miss Havisham was deliciously creepy and loved the haunted Victorian feel of The Turn of the Screw, they will enjoy Harwood’s love letter to both novels. Viola’s creepy short stories are as delightful as the novel itself and would be good illustrations of the “story within a story” idea that students might encounter in other works, such as Hamlet.

The Poisonwood BibleThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Read it with Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

What it’s about: Baptist minister Nathan Price takes his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo [Democratic Republic of the Congo] to serve as missionaries right before that country’s independence from Belgium. The story is told through the viewpoint of Orleanna Price, Nathan’s wife, and each of his four daughters: Rachel, Adah, Leah, and Ruth May. Africa has a way of getting under the skin of the Price family women, each in a different way, and the book is a grim illustration of America’s own culpability in the devastation of colonialism on the African continent.

Why students should read it: The novel is rich in gorgeous prose and biblical allusion and shows readers a side of colonialism that is an interesting counterpoint to Conrad’s vision in Heart of Darkness. Kingsolver has a gift for creating vivid, realistic characters and bringing her setting into vivid relief (see also her novel The Bean Trees for an example set in America).

The Dante ClubThe Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

Read it with The Inferno by Dante and/or selections from the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the other “Fireside Poets.”

What it’s about: A murderer is stalking Boston. Strange and gruesome crime scenes appear to be coming right from the pages of Dante’s Inferno. The Dante Club, the group of poets engaged in helping Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translate Dante’s work, are the only ones who make the connection — which also makes them the likeliest suspects!

Why students should read it: Students studying Dante’s Inferno will gain an understanding of and appreciation for Dante’s work and the path scholars took to make it accessible for American readers. Pearl’s novel is also an interesting insight into literary Boston following the Civil War.

PossessionPossession by A.S. Byatt

Read it with British Victorian poets, such as Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and others.

What it’s about: The relationship between Randolph Henry Ash, a fictional Victorian poet modeled perhaps after Robert Browning, and Christabel LaMotte, is uncovered by literary scholars Roland Mitchell and Maud Bailey, who turn Victorian literary scholarship on its head with their findings.

Why students should read it: I will admit that perhaps you want to recommend this one to your most voracious and enthusiastic readers because it is not an easy read, but it is a rewarding read. Students will be fascinated to learn about the dark, seedy underworld that is literary scholarship when territorial specialists are more concerned with preserving their pet theories than with disseminating the truth about their “charges.” The love story at the center will likely appeal to the resident romantic in high school and college students.

The Thirteenth TaleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Read it with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and/or The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

What it’s about: Margaret Lea, a fan of nineteenth century fiction like Jane Eyre, turns up her nose at the popular books of Vida Winter. Until, that is, her father, a rare book dealer for whom she works, acquires a first edition of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. Margaret tears through the book, dismayed to discover the title is a ruse: the book lacks a thirteenth tale. Miss Winter, impressed by Margaret’s writing, contacts her to write her own biography, tantalizingly promising the secret of the thirteenth tale will be hers if she accepts.

Why students should read it: Setterfield clearly loves gothic fiction of the 1800’s, and I have to admit, I finally read Jane Eyre this past fall because of Setterfield’s devotion to the book as expressed through the pages of her own novel. This novel will hook students with its mystery and gothic atmosphere, while enhancing their appreciation for the gothic fiction of the nineteenth century.

WicketWicked by Gregory Maguire

Read it with The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

What it’s about: Maguire tells the famous story of Dorothy’s nemesis, the Wicked Witch of the West, through her own words and in a sympathetic light. This answer to Baum’s classic becomes a political allegory in the deft hands of Maguire, who imagines the Wicked Witch to be Elphaba, shunned and rejected from childhood, and fashions a complicated past complete with Galinda (Glinda — her college roommate and friend!), the Winkies, and the Wizard himself.

Why students should read it: Most high school and college students won’t be studying The Wizard of Oz, I suppose, but they will benefit from looking at the other side of the story and examining point of view in narrative. Students will be hooked because of what they already know of this story, but they will stay intrigued by what they learn when Elphaba shares her side.

Reading Lolita in TehranReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Read it with Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Daisy Miller by Henry James

What it’s about: Azar Nafisi was a literature professor when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and Ayatollah Khomeini became the leader of the new Islamic republic. She was fired when she refused to wear the veil, but secretly conducted a book club for female students. This book chronicles her stories teaching Western literature both in and out of a university setting. Her focus is on the four books mentioned above and her Middle Eastern students’ responses to and connection with Western literature.

Why students should read it: Not only does this memoir give Western students a different lens through which to interpret literature, but it also gives students a new and deeper appreciation for these four books of the Western canon. The trial of The Great Gatsby was particularly intriguing to me; I shared this section with my American literature Honors students when we studied Gatsby. I also read Lolita after reading this book (thank you Professor Nafisi — it was wonderful).

Do you have other recommendations for books that can be paired with classics?

Neil Gaiman: Free Book!

English teachers, here’s one to pass on to your students.  In celebration of his blog’s seventh birthday (quite impressive!), Neil Gaiman is going to post one of his books online for free for a month.  Readers vote on which book they want to see.  It might be fun for book clubs or classrooms to participate in a literature circle or perhaps even create student blogs to discuss the book.

Stuff for English Teachers

I recently started using StumbleUpon (here’s my profile) in my Firefox browser to discover new sites, and I feel stupid for not trying it before now. Poking around the Internet for the last week or so, I have “stumbled” upon some good sites (and found some on my own):

  • Read Print has online books. I like the Shakespeare section. I did notice a few typos on the site (Hamnet Shakespeare died in 1596, not 1896), but the articles were interesting.
  • I’ve probably mentioned DailyLit before, but it merits mention alongside Read Print. I don’t think I could have finished Moby Dick if not for DailyLit. I am currently reading Emma. All of us have five minutes for a book each day.
  • Guide to Grammar and Writing has some interesting grammar activities; I found it via SMART’s English/Language Arts Resources.
  • NCTE Inbox is now a blog! I missed the inception when I let my NCTE membership lapse.
  • What Should I Read Next? looks like a great tool for teachers to recommend to students who are looking for books similar to ones they already like.
  • BookMooch enables users to swap books.  It’s free (except for postage).
  • Here’s a huge collection of writing resources.

Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet

I just finished writing UbD units for Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet at the UbD Educators wiki.  As I finished writing the unit for Hamlet and saved the page, I lost half the work I had done, and I am still not sure how it happened, so I had to re-do it.  Word to the wise — when working with anything you’re doing online, save and save often.  When, oh when will I learn to do that?

Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching Hamlet and Henry IV, Part 1In order to successfully steal the Hamlet unit, you’ll need to purchase a copy of Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching Hamlet and Henry IV, Part 1.  I have the edition published in 1994, and I haven’t seen the latest edition, so if you know the difference between the two editions and would care to share in the comments for interested parties, I would appreciate it.  I think the Shakespeare Set Free series is a great resource for educators, but I don’t do all of the performance activities.

While we’re discussing good resources for teaching Shakespeare, don’t forget the Folger Shakespeare Library’s website, which has a large repository of lesson plans contributed by teachers.  If you can get them for your classroom, the Folger Shakespeare editions of the plays have pretty good explanatory notes and glossaries, too.  A Way to Teach has a great selection of Macbeth lesson plans and Tempest lesson plans.

If you are looking for Shakespeare video, you might check out Shakespeare and More over at YouTube.  They have a large selection of Shakespearean video.   Speaking of video, if you were looking at older posts about teaching Romeo and Juliet, you will have noticed the videos don’t work.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ll need to go back and revise the posts so that the video isn’t necessary, as the videos are no longer available at YouTube.

The Faculty Room

Meg Fitzpatrick, editor of of the UbD e-journal Big Ideas, invited me to contribute to both the e-journal and a new blog they are announcing today: The Faculty Room. Please come on over and join in our conversations (my first post on the blog should appear some time tomorrow). You will find other “familiar faces” over there. Also, now seems as good a time as any to remind you that the UbD Educators wiki is a good resource for you to post, share, “borrow,” and obtain or leave feedback on UbD lesson plans.

What I’m Reading

If you haven’t happened upon Nick Senger’s blog Teen Literacy Tips, you need to check it out. Nick provides valuable content in every post. I am subscribed to his RSS feed through Bloglines, and I invariably bookmark his new posts so I can return to them when I have time (what’s that?).

I recently finished Making Classroom Assessment Work by Anne Davies (read the first edition rather than the updated second, which I linked). I read it as part of Blackboard Online class I took through a local public school system. Frankly, not much new here to anyone who has read Understanding by Design. If I can be allowed to vent for a minute, the reason I took the course in the first place is that I need six more SDU’s (PLU’s or whatever you call them where you live). I submitted my transcripts and all the necessary information to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, but they would not accept anything I had done since about 2004. I suppose I can understand why they might not want to accept professional learning I have participated in at my own school, even if I thought it was a valuable experience; however, I do not understand why they wouldn’t accept Mel Levine’s Schools Attuned. I worked extremely hard to earn the 4.5 PLU’s I earned for that course. I didn’t work a tenth as hard to earn the 2 PLU’s I just earned for reading Anne Davies’ book. If I had known Georgia was not going to accept the credits, I wouldn’t have worked so hard to finish the course online last year. Lesson learned. I will simply take a two-credit course online each year to meet my recertification requirements. At least I should then be assured that my courses will count for something. I have a non-renewable certificate that is good until the end of June, by which time I will have earned those six credits.

My husband sent me an article about a Wisconsin teacher arrested for praising the Columbine shooters on a blog. First of all, I’m not sure what the teacher said constitutes a threat, but to be fair, we’ve punished students for the same type of behavior. Second, once more we have a reminder that sarcasm does not travel well on the Internet, and it would probably be best to avoid it in any situation when it can be interpreted with any ambiguity. Third, and most important, teachers who post anonymously are not really anonymous; you can and might be found, and when that happens, you might be in trouble for what you say. In my opinion, the smarter and safer route seems to be to post openly and don’t say anything that you wouldn’t print on a billboard on the local interstate highway. Aren’t we also trying to teach our students that lesson? Finally, does this incident violate freedom of speech? I contend it does. If the remark was intended to be sarcastic, it missed the mark. If it wasn’t, it was incredibly ignorant, mean-spirited, and disrespectful. But I thought we had a right to be ignorant, mean-spirited, and disrespectful out loud in America. The teacher has learned a valuable lesson: Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui. He won’t be charged with a crime, but the district where he has taught since 1994 has not yet decided what to do about his job.

Understanding by Design: “Yes, but…” and Afterword

Understanding by DesignThe final chapter of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design is a summary of the research presented in refutation of three common reasons educators give for why they do not implement UbD: 1) “We have to teach to the test”; 2) “We have too much content to cover”; and 3) “This work [backward design] is too hard and I just don’t have the time” (303, 309, 316).  I heard a few people chime in with that last one, especially.  While this last chapter may convince those who are still on the fence, I’m not sure it is wholly necessary for teachers who are already on board with UbD to read, unless they need to convince others, and I’m not sure those who are thoroughly unconvinced of the efficacy of UbD (and have remained so after reading up to this point) will become convinced.

To me, at least, the largest argument seems to be the last one, and Wiggins and McTighe suggest starting small.  Plan one unit using UbD.  Build UbD planning and peer review into professional development — give teachers the time — and you will find that over time, a large bank of unit plans exists.

In this last chapter and the Afterword, the authors suggest visiting their subscription site, UbD Exchange, and creating curriculum units for peer review.  Access to the site is not free, and indeed, is somewhat out of my personal price range, and probably that of my school (I will check).  I want to thank Grant Wiggins for his stated support of the UbD Educators’ wiki; he could easily have viewed our efforts at establishing a reading/peer review group as a threat, but instead he offered the group access to courses offered through his site Authentic Education, and even said he would build a link to the wiki on his site.  To me, that says what he truly cares about is helping teachers become better at their craft.  I really appreciated his gesture.  In case you didn’t see his supportive comment, it is reproduced here:

Great blog! And I really appreciate the time and thought that is going into your reading. Yes, ubd is not for those looking for a quick fix. Nor is it great to be lonely – I hated that as a teacher myself. But there is actually a lot you can do on your own to sustain the work. The key is to take small steps – try out a few ideas here and there; work on 1 unit a semester – especially a unit that now is so boring it bores you to teach it. Learn the various ‘moves’ but only use the ones that appeal. And, finally, avail yourselves of the various forums and resources we and others have put together to support the work. Go to for starters. Check out the ubdexchange. Go to the virtual symposium on ubd and differentiated instruction run through ascd. And write the poor authors, who rarely get this kind of lovely feedback!*

cheers, Grant

OK, I’m ready to start planning some units and getting some feedback.  This book might be the single most helpful professional development/education-related book I’ve ever read in terms of real strategies that will make me a better teacher.  I feel really excited about the opportunities before me as I begin planning for next year.

* Wiggins’ original comment did not include links; however, I found the sites he mentioned and built hyperlinks to them for the convenience of readers.

Work Cited: Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Expanded 2nd Edition. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2005.

[tags]Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, UbD, Understanding by Design, planning, backward design, curriculum, assessment, research[/tags]

Extraordinary Comebacks

Extraordinary ComebacksSome time ago, the publishers of John A. Sarkett’s book Extraordinary Comebacks, asked me if I would like an advance copy of the book. I haven’t had a chance to read it, embroiled as I was in the end-of-the-year chaos. The book contains 201 vignettes — “stories of courage, triumph, and success” — from a variety of fields. Whatever your background, at least one of these stories will speak to you and encourage you to keep going.

The vignettes are arranged according to background — for example, Walt Whitman’s story is included in the Literature section. This construction makes it easy to focus on particular areas of interest. The book can be read cover-to-cover, but the vignettes are also short, requiring perhaps five minutes of your time each, which makes the book easy to pick up during a few free moments, but just as easily put down for later; the reader can skip around according to interest.

I would think that this book might be a good addition to the teacher’s classroom library. Our students struggle with difficulties, and I believe the vignettes might inspire our students to keep going.

[tags]John A. Sarkett, Extraordinary Comebacks, book review[/tags]

Teacher-y Books

My copies of Jim Burke’s The Teacher’s Daybook, 2007-2008 and Understanding by Design, 2nd Ed. by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe arrived from Amazon today, and I’ve already begun working out my calendar in the daybook.  If you haven’t used this planner before, you might want to check it out, provided that your school doesn’t give you a planner already.  It’s a really good planner, with plenty of space for reflection and goal-setting.  I need to use those features more than I do!

I am familiar with UbD, but I wanted to read the book.  I must be crazy picking up more professional development to read when I still need to finish Jim Burke’s The English Teacher’s Companion as well as read and/or re-read the summer reading assigned to my students, especially in light of the fact that the last Harry Potter book is due this summer.

Does your school have a summer reading program?  Our students read three books (four if they are in AP Language or AP Literature).  Students are assessed on two of the books during the first weeks of school without prior discussion.  What I usually do is give students an objective test on one book and have them write a literary analysis of the other.  The third book we discuss in class prior to assessment.  If you would like to take a peek at what our school’s summer reading program is like, you can download the brochure (pdf).

The latest version of my schedule is as follows:

  • 9th College Prep. Grammar, Composition, and Literature
  • 9th College Prep. II Grammar, Composition, and Literature
  • 10th College Prep. II Writing Seminar
  • 11th College Prep. British Literature and Composition
  • 12th College Prep. Short Story and Composition (1st Sem.)/Drama and Composition (2nd Sem.)

Those of you in public school are probably putting your eyeballs back in right about now.  Yes, I have five different preps.  I had four different preps/four different classes my first year, and in each subsequent year I have had five preps/five classes.  Our schedule is a modified block schedule.  Students take eight classes each semester.  Students have six classes a day, two of which are double-blocks, four days a week.  All eight classes meet on Fridays.  Classes meet four days a week — one double block and three single blocks, with one day off each week.  It took me a solid year to learn the schedule, but some of my colleagues have been teaching at my school longer and still don’t.  What this odd schedule means is that some days are really heavy teaching days for me.  This year, Mondays were hard because I had two double-blocks and two single-blocks to teach out of the six-block schedule.  Thursdays, on the other hand, were light, as I had one double-block and two single-blocks.  After the seniors left (their classes ended earlier than those of the rest of the school), I had only one double-block and one single-block on Thursdays.  Depending on the day, I have a lot of time to plan and grade when compared to the average public school schedule.  Still, I would be lying if I said I didn’t work really hard — much harder than I’ve worked anywhere else.

[tags]professional development, English, teaching, professional reading, schedule[/tags]

Ahab’s Wife

I am cross-posting a review I wrote of Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife here because I think other English teacher geeks out there might enjoy this book.

Ahab's WifeFrom one brief mention of Ahab’s wife in Moby-Dick, in the manner that God fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib, Sena Jeter Naslund has fashioned Ahab’s Wife:

[W]hen I think of all this; only half-suspected, not so keenly known to me before—and how for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare—fit emblem of the dry nourishment of my soul!—when the poorest landsman has had fresh fruit to his daily hand, and broken the world’s fresh bread to my mouldy crusts—away, whole oceans away, from that young girl-wife I wedded past fifty, and sailed for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent in my marriage pillow—wife? wife?—rather a widow with her husband alive? Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey—more a demon than a man!… I see my wife and child in thine eye (Moby-Dick, Chapter 132 “The Symphony”).

And what sort of a woman would be a match for Captain Ahab?  Naslund’s Una Spenser is Ahab’s feminine counterpart — where Captain Ahab is consumed by vengeance, Una learns forgiveness for all; Ahab is destroyed by his hate for the white whale, while Una survives and prospers because of her love.  This, then, is a woman to marry Ahab.

You do not need to read Melville’s Moby-Dick in order to appreciate Ahab’s Wife, but I would strongly recommend that you do so, for your appreciation will be much deeper.  Una begins her story in medias res, as memorably as Melville begins Moby-Dick: “Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last.”  Una is pregnant and decides to travel to Kentucky to have her child.  She recounts the two most horrible moments of her life, then takes us into her past when she was twelve and first moved to the Lighthouse home she shared with her Aunt Agatha, Uncle Torchy, and cousin Frannie.

At the age of sixteen, Una runs away to sea as a “cabin boy,” and encounters horrors as her ship is destroyed by a whale and she is forced to survive on an open boat in the water.  She endures a disastrous marriage and is forced to use her sewing needle to support herself.  She feels immediate attraction to the elemental Ahab, and the two are happily married until Ahab encounters Moby-Dick in the Sea of Japan.

Una crosses paths with many luminaries of her age: astronomer Maria Mitchell, writer and transcendentalist Margaret Fuller, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Naslund’s many literary allusions, from The Odyssey, to Shakespeare, to The Faerie Queene, and many more will delight book lovers.

Naslund has a gift for language, and she breathes life into Una — I wished as I read that I could have really known her! — and makes her setting so real, I felt I was there.  I have read some enjoyable books, but this might be one of only a handful that transcend other literary fiction to such a degree that I feel sure it will have a place in the canon of Literature with a capital L one day.  And Una Spenser is a remarkable character and proper soulmate for Ahab.

Read other reviews:

[tags]Ahab’s Wife, Sena Jeter Naslund, Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Una Spenser, Captain Ahab[/tags]