David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

A Shout-Out to Johns Hopkins Alumni

'Paradox in Oz' by Edward EinhornWhile I was at WorldCon a few weeks ago, I was pleased to run into an acquaintance of mine from my days at Johns Hopkins. Edward Einhorn was there hanging out in the dealer’s room signing books just like me. Ed, I discovered, is the author of not one, but two books in the venerable Oz series: The Living House of Oz and Paradox in Oz. If you’ve got a soft spot for the Oz books, like I do, do yourself a favor and check these out; they’re beautiful books, illustrated in classic Oz style by a fellow named Eric Shanower (who was also at WorldCon).

Seeing a fellow Johns Hopkins alumnus as a published author inspired me to do a little Googling to see if other fellow Johns Hopkins undergraduates from 1989 to 1993 have professionally published works. I’ve come up with six eight so far:

  • Andrew Benjamin Ackerman. Andrew and I were the same year, but somehow we avoided meeting one another at JHU. But Andrew has just published what looks like a very amusing book called Pornification. The website certainly made me laugh.
  • Jami Attenberg. Her book Instant Love has gotten praise from O Magazine (which put her book on the “What You’re Really Going to Want to Read This Summer” list), Publishers Weekly (a “funny, perceptive debut”), and the Baltimore City Paper, among others.
  • Edward Einhorn. As mentioned above, author of two Oz books, Paradox in Oz and The Living House of Oz. Edward is also author of several plays and director of New York’s Untitled Theater Company #61.
  • Barbara Fischer. I think many people in the Hopkins undergraduate Writing Seminars program saw Barbara as the most talented story writer of our class. I certainly did. So I’m very pleased to see through the magic of Google that she’s had some poems published in Western Humanities and Paris Review, written a number of articles on poetry for the Boston Review, and has a critical study of poetry called Museum Mediations available on Amazon. (Okay, I assume this is the same Barbara Fischer I knew at Hopkins, but I could be mistaken.) Update: See Barbara’s comment below.
  • Matthew Jarpe. Not a Homewood undergraduate student, but a graduate student about the same time as me. I’m currently reading (and highly enjoying) his forthcoming debut science fiction/rock ‘n roll novel Radio Freefall in manuscript. Website pending, designed by, um, me!
  • Cortright McMeel. I always wondered what happened to Cort, a wildly talented writer in the Hemingway/Bukowski mold. Now I see that he’s putting together a magazine called Murdaland: Crime Fiction for the New Century. For their inaugural issue, due out this month, they’ve got contributions from Mary Gaitskill and Richard Bausch, among others.
  • Ethan “Juice” Skolnick. Ethan was once the sports editor, and later the news editor, for the Johns Hopkins News-Letter when I was editor-in-chief. He’s now writing sports columns for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Don’t ask me if he’s got a lot of insight into the world of sports, because I haven’t the slightest idea. But man, can this guy write.
  • Kevin Smokler. Kevin walked into the News-Letter offices as a freshman on my first day as Arts Editor in 1991 and charmed his way into becoming the paper’s best movie critic. He’s since edited a book of essays on the state of literature called Bookmark Now! (with contributions by Neal Pollack, Tracy Chevalier, and Nicola Griffith, among others) and become a much sought-out speaker on the state of literacy today. He also has a very amusing and insightful blog and website.

Okay, so who am I missing? If you know of any other alumni from the same timeframe (1989-1993) with active professional writing careers, e-mail me and I’ll add ’em here.

Updated 9/22/06. Added Andrew Ackerman and Matthew Jarpe to the list.

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  1. Matt Jarpe on September 12, 2006 at 11:46 am  Chain link

    Hey, David. I was at Hopkins from ’88 to ’93, but not at the Homewood campus. I was in graduate school down at the East Baltimore campus. I lived on Guilford street and took the shuttle bus from the Homewood campus to the medical school. I probably sat next to you at the Charles Village Pub or the Homewood Deli a few times.

    By the way, I left the website space blank because I don’t have one. Wonder why that is? :)

  2. David Louis Edelman on September 12, 2006 at 1:16 pm  Chain link

    Yes, Mr. Jarpe, author extraordinaire of the forthcoming novel from Tor, Radio Freefall. Remind me when that lazy bastard of a webmaster finally gets his act together and gets your book website done, and I’ll link it here.

    Oh wait… that lazy bastard of a webmaster is me. Gulp.

  3. Edward Einhorn on September 13, 2006 at 10:50 am  Chain link

    Hey, I just decided to check out what you had on your blog, and what did I find? Me! A pleasant surprise, thanks so much. By the way, fellow alumnus (and my good friend) Doug Barre doesn’t have books out, but he has been doing a lot with comics, most recently writing something called Myth Stalkers after working on a series called Defiance.

    Also, I just finished your book which I enjoyed a lot–which is saying something for me, because I’m pretty picky. I’m looking forward to the sequels! It sounds like you’re getting great reviews, which it deserves. Congratulations.

  4. Cat Rambo on September 14, 2006 at 4:20 pm  Chain link

    Hey, I remember Barb Fischer! Thanks for tracking down names like this.

  5. Ethan J. Skolnick on September 18, 2006 at 1:39 am  Chain link

    Hey, Dave.

    A friend passed this onto me, and I appreciate the shoutout.

    Hope you’re doing well.


  6. Andrew Benjamin Ackerman on September 19, 2006 at 4:20 pm  Chain link

    I had no idea you were at Hopkins. Ironically, I was there too AND I just published a book AND I was going thru the MySpace questions (different post).

    The announcement was in the most recent JHU mag.

    Andrew Benjamin Ackerman (A&S ’93)

    Pornification (www.pornifythis.com) is under the pen name “Andrew Benjamin”. My wife insisted. :-)

  7. Kevin Smokler on October 1, 2006 at 3:05 am  Chain link

    Much appreciated Dave. What a neat post.

  8. info on October 8, 2006 at 11:04 am  Chain link

    More info about Edward Einhorn

  9. Barbara Fischer on March 7, 2007 at 8:06 am  Chain link

    How nice to be remembered in this way. I am indeed the author of the poetry criticism you mention. I’m currently finishing a poetry manuscript, and I’m getting back to fiction writing for the first time in 15 years (after a long digression involving a PhD and 3 kids…) I’m living and writing in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

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