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Booksigning in future for Emrys, Tassi
Jessica Eastburn
JMC 315
Barbara Emrys
Marguerite Tassi

After much preparation, two UNK English professors have books ready to be published this semester and hope for a campus book launch celebration soon.

Dr. Barbara Emrys, professor of creative writing and popular fiction, and Dr. Marguerite Tassi, professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, are each awaiting the launch of their newest critical works. 


While neither Dr. Emrys nor Dr. Tassi has exact publication dates set, both are hoping that their books are released before the end of the semester. “If both of our books are published before the end of the semester, we would like to do a book launch in Thomas Hall. We would talk about the books, do some reading from them, and have a book signing,” Tassi said. 


Emrys is excited because this is her first book. “I began writing in the 1970s, as a literary scholar. Part of my master’s thesis was published in the Shaw Review,” Emrys said. “I have been published in numerous journals, but this will be my first book.” 


Dr. Tassi has been writing for over 13 years. With two previous books, Dr. Tassi has been published over 20 times in journals, literary magazines and as a reviewer of play productions.


“I began writing my first book, ’The Scandal of Images: Iconoclasm, Eroticism, and Painting in Early Modern English Drama,’ after graduate school. It took seven years to complete it. Then I got another idea, a better idea, which led to my second book, which took about five years,” Tassi said.


Dr. Tassi’s second book, “Women and Revenge in Shakespeare: Gender, Genre, and Ethics” addresses many questions about women and revenge in western literature: can there be a virtue in vengeance? Can revenge do ethical work?


Dr. Emrys has been working on her book for the past ten years. The book is about two writers, each from different centuries: Wilkie Collins from the 19th century and Vera Caspary from the 20th century. 


Emrys said she is interested in the writing technique used by the two authors separated in time by almost 100 years.


“Wilkie Collins largely invented the detective novel and also the trick of having characters narrate parts of it, each only knowing some things. It makes for great suspense. “ 


Vera Caspary was a 20th century novelist and screenwriter who used Collins' technique and adapted his great casebook novel, “The Woman in White,” three different times into contemporary novels, Emrys said.  “My book is about how her doing this connects 1940s noir fiction with 1860s sensation fiction.”


Both Tassi and Emrys have used classes they teach at UNK to help with the research for the books to be published this semester. 


In a class she was teaching, Dr. Tassi had her students read some of the plays and articles she was using to research her second book.


“Scholarly writing and teaching feed each other. Although some critical writers work alone, it helps being in an academic community with the support and resources. Most critical writers are professors,” Emrys said.


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