This academic satire is about two professors and their families. Howard Belsey is a white secular liberal, a specialist in Rembrandt, who is engaged in ideological warfare with a visiting professor, Monty Kippes, a conservative Christian scholar from Trinidad. Each character in the story is undermined by his or her self-deceptions.
This is a satisfying sampler of Robert Siegel’s work: scenes from farm life; stories from scripture; a series of poems about fishing; poems about bats, turtles, alligators, mussels, rats and moles; the best poem that has ever been written about the poetic line; and a long poem recapturing memories of his father—all in inimitable Siegel style.
In 2001 Barbara Ehrenreich opened people’s eyes to the life of America’s working poor with her provocative bestseller Nickel and Dimed. The author, journalist and speaker had gone under cover as a low-wage worker taking positions as different as Wal-Mart cashier and cleaning woman.