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English

Winter 2009

Nöel Riley Fitch ’65, ’69—At Julia’s table

As a graduate student at Washington State University in the late 1960s, Noël Riley Fitch found her calling in an issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. A two-page story about Sylvia Beach and her little bookshop called Shakespeare and Company in Paris in the 1920s sparked her interest.

Her professor, John Elwood, encouraged her to pursue Beach as a subject for her master’s thesis. Elwood had long had a love for French café society. When he was in the armed services in World War II, he met writer and critic Gertrude Stein in Paris. He loved that period of literary history, says Riley Fitch.

She enjoyed … » More …

Summer 2004

Stories about growing up

Pamela Smith Hill isn’t one to forget her roots.

Born and raised in Missouri, Smith Hill set one of her novels, A Voice from the Border, in the Show-Me state, and another, Ghost Horses, in South Dakota, where she lived and worked for nearly a decade.

And her early training as a newspaper reporter-long ago in Springfield, Missouri-is part of the reason for her success today as a writer of award-winning books and short stories for young women and girls, she says. “As a reporter, I had the chance to listen to people, to the way they talk, and to observe details of their own … » More …

Spring 2006

Words on words

Mark Twain is rumored to have said that he had no respect for a man who could spell a word in just one way. Many college students wish that their English professors shared this view. Yes, it’s true that conventional spelling promotes effective communication—no one denies it—but at the same time there’s always a loss when capitulation to conformity extends too far. A good example is vocabulary usage, particularly in academic settings. Am I the only person in the University who’s heard the words “benchmarking” and “networking” a few times too often? Somehow I doubt it. In my own field of study, English literature, I’ve … » More …