A Singer sewing machine, prosthetic limb, chainsaw, curling iron and several other gadgets reveal important truths about women’s lives in the collection of essays “From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines.” Contributing writers Hiram College Professor Emerita of English Joyce Dyer, who also is one of the anthology’s three editors; alumnae Jen Hirt ’97 and Diana Salman ‘11; Mary Quade, an associate professor of English at Hiram; editor Jennifer Cognard-Black; and Monica Berlin will read excerpts from their essays. These readings will take place Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Pritchard Room in the Hiram College Library, 11694 Hayden St, Hiram.
In all, In all, the anthology contains 23 essays, including those from Hiram alumna Elizabeth MacLeod Walls ’96 and her sister Jennifer Cognard-Black, both of whom edited the book with Dyer. Cognard-Black and Monica Berlin also will be part of the Hiram reading.
“It’s a unique collection because it’s all about women and their machines, which we tend to think of as masculine,” says John S. Kenyon Professor of English Kirsten Parkinson, director of Hiram’s Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature, which is hosting the event.
In the anthology, contributing essayists share their personal life experiences as they relate to particular machines, such as Dyer’s mother’s Singer sewing machine, Quade’s fascination with steam engines and Salman’s grandfather’s portable radio on which she discovered Nizar Qabbani’s poetry.
“For each writer, the device moves beyond the functional to become a symbolic extension of the writer’s own mind, altering and deepening each woman’s concept of herself,” according to a press release from the book publisher, Michigan State University Press.
Presenting essayists will sign books, which will be available for purchase at the Sept. 29 reading or in advance from Amazon.com. For more information about the event, which is free to the public, call 330-569-6118 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.