Illinois State is proud to be able to acknowledge the work of graduates who are successful authors.

If you’ve written a book that has been released by a publishing house within the past decade, submit it for review by Professor Emerita of English JoAnna Stephens Mink ’73, M.S. ’75, D.A. ’85.

All books authored by alums will be added to a collection of work by other graduates on display in the Alumni Center. Autographed copies are especially appreciated.

Please send your book to Illinois State editor Susan Blystone at Illinois State Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main Street, Normal, IL 61790. Inquiries can be sent to

The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader

By Ricia Anne Chansky and Emily Hipchen. New York and London: Routledge Literature Readers series, 2016. 374pp.

Summary: The genesis of this book occurred on a trip that Ricia Chansky and Eric Lamore took with Illinois State University English Professors Cynthia Huff and Joel Haefner. The question arose as to why there was no reader in auto/biography theory. After all, this field of literary study goes back to 1985, the scholarly journal a/b: Auto/Biography Studies was launched 30 years ago, and auto/biography courses are taught in many university English departments. Chansky and Emily Hipchen’s book helps to rectify the pedagogical void.

The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader joins the Routledge Literature Readers series in providing for scholars and graduate students fairly short selections from longer essays and monographs previously published by prominent critics in the field. The second selection, Georg Misch’s “Conception and Origin of Autobiography,” provides background for the topic and underpins the remaining essays. He explains, “The significance of autobiography should therefore be sought beyond truth and falsity, as those are conceived by simple common sense. It is unquestionably a document about a life … But it is also a work of art.” (27)

Chansky and Hipchen have divided their anthology into three primary parts addressing aspects of the field: Foundations, Transformations, and Futures. Each section opens with an introduction by Chansky that frames the focus of the section. The book’s 45 selections include a works cited, enabling readers to readily research about the focus of that piece. Additionally, an extensively detailed index at the end guides the reader to the various mini-essays about a particular topic.

Auto/Biography Studies Reader shares the high standards and quality presentation one expects of a Routledge publication. The paperback copy uses high-quality paper, is tightly bound, and with ample margins. In other words, it can withstand multiple uses as readers reach for it again and again to further their research in auto/biography. The book is also available in hardcover.

About the Editor: Ricia Ann Chansky Sancinito, Ph.D. ’09, is an associate professor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagűez. The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies Reader is her first book. Forthcoming in the series and co-edited by Chansky are Auto/Biography in the Americas: Relationship Lives and Auto/Biography across the Americas: Transnational Lives. She is the general editor of the scholarly journal a/b: Auto/Biography Studies. She is married to Eric D. Lamore, M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’07.

Life with a Laryngectomee: A Remembrance

By Charles McKelvy. Harbert, Michigan: The Dunery Press, 2015. 120pp.

Summary: Life with a Laryngectomee is Charley McKelvy’s remembrance of his late father, James S. McKelvy. In case this term is unfamiliar, a laryngectomee is someone who has undergone a laryngectomy. This is the removal of the larynx and separation of the airway from the mouth, nose, and esophagus. In a total laryngectomy, the entire larynx is removed versus in a partial laryngectomy, which involves removing only a portion. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck known as a stoma (Wikipedia).

When McKelvy was about 6 years old, his father underwent a total laryngectomy. No longer would little Charley hear his father read him a goodnight story. Compounding the situation was his father’s increasing alcoholism: “Dad was a binge drinker who drank between binges,” especially at Christmas.

These events had a profound effect on McKelvy. The self-published Life with a Laryngectomee was written as a way to explain and come to terms with his familial relationships. The first-person memoir describes how the McKelvy family dealt with the situation. Although the narrator is clearly the adult Charley, McKelvy attempts the illusion of a small boy’s perspective by the rather rambling style—incorporating details a child would notice, but with an adult’s frame of reference.

Dunery Press was started by Charley and Natalie McKelvy in order to publish their books. It still does publish on a subscription basis, according to the website. Their works include short stories, children’s books, and novels. This memoir is promised to speak to you if you grew up with an alcoholic parent—or two—as Charley did (

About the Author: Charles McKelvy ’72 served in the U.S. Navy in public affairs and was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and the suburban edition of The Chicago Tribune. He is an oblate of Saint Benedict of Holy Cross Monastery in Chicago. He retreats there every month and writes often of Benedictine spirituality.

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name: Hymn Arrangements for Organ

By Ken Williams. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and Frog Music Press, 2015. 116 pp.

Summary: Ken Williams created organ arrangements for 12 hymns. All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name includes the following hymns:

“All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
“Come Christians, Join to Sing”
“Crown Him with Many Crowns”
“God of Our Fathers”
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”
“Good Christian Men, Rejoice”
“Jesus Shall Reign”
“Joy to the world”
“My Country, ’Tis of Thee”
“O Come, All Yet Faithful”
“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks”
“Standin’ in the Need of Prayer”

There is no introduction or textual explanations, hence the brevity of this summary. The book is not spiral bound, and does not lay flat for easy playing.

About the Author: Ken Williams ’66 has served as organist at St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville since 1990. He is president of KLW Enterprises in Swansea, which provides financial training programs to more than 5,000 churches in the U.S. and Canada.