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March 29, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

English professors edit storytelling book

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ­–Nancy Barta-Smith and Danette DiMarco, Slippery Rock University professors of English, served as editors and contributing authors to a new book on storytelling, “Inhabited by Stories: Critical Essays on Tales Retold.”

The professors reinterpreted the way in which literary critics discuss adaptation.

“Rather than thinking in terms of master text and derivative tale, we emphasize how stories continue to live in us and influence readers and writers ­­– influencing the experience of reading and writing,” Barta-Smith said. “They create depth to a story for informed readers who hear the echoes of the intertextual references resonate. Sometimes stories are so powerful that they come to inhabit a writer and continue to live in her body of literary work.”

Barta-Smith contributed the essay “On the Edge Between Hope and Despair: Lear as Guide and Consolation in the Life and Work of Wendell Berry.” DiMarco wrote the chapter “Blakean Intertexts in the Year of the Flood.”

The professors’ book, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, is available at

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