Disturbing Calculations: The Economics of Identity in Postcolonial Southern Literature, 1912-2002

By Melanie R. Benson | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book has been an absolute joy from start to finish, and for that I thank the many individuals who have directly or indirectly contributed to that experience. Since this project began as a dissertation at Boston University, my first and deepest gratitude goes to Jack Matthews, my incomparable dissertation advisor. People never seem to tire of saying that Jack has a nearly supernatural capacity to know with stunning clarity what you are trying to say (but had no idea you were), and then to help you to say it in words you never imagined you had. My long-winded drafts and addiction to adjectives and adverbs may have been the greatest challenge yet to his magic, but he never complained or discouraged in any way. For that alone, and for every ounce of wisdom and insight along the way, the insecure, fish-out-of-water graduate student in me is eternally grateful; neither this book nor my career would have happened without him. My second reader, Anita Patterson, was an unwavering model of confidence, encouragement, and good advice; and Bill Carroll, who directed the Graduate Studies Program during my time at Boston University, was a fairy godfather who somehow provided me with intellectual and financial support at critical moments. He even gave me my very first computer, without which I would probably still be typing footnotes on a dusty electric typewriter.

The editors and staff at the University of Georgia Press (who I am sure are grateful that I at least have a computer, even if I haven’t learned to use it very well) have been extraordinarily kind, patient, and generous with their time and advice, especially to a naive first-timer. I was fortunate to have the help of outstanding copyeditors, Courtney Denney and Deborah Oliver, who improved this manuscript with great precision (and had infinite patience with my own occasional lack thereof). In particular, Nancy Grayson has

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