Alma Mater: A College Homecoming
By P. F. Kluge
An alumnus of Kenyon College as well as a faculty member, Kluge presents a knowledgeable examination of the dynamics, character, traditions, tensions, and pretensions of the small, private, and costly school. Famous teachers include John Crowe Ransom, and famous students include E.L. Doctorow.
“I love islands. Micronesia — Saipan, Palau, Pohnpei — is full of them. Gambier, Ohio is another kind of island, a small, surrounded place where I live and teach. My alma mater, my current employer. If you live in a place, you write about it. Alma Mater is a loving, scathing, funny account of a year in the life of Kenyon College. No names have been changed. And I put myself in the way of as much experience as I could bear: trustees, hiring searches, fraternity life, dormitory grotesquerie, departmental meetings — I even moved back into the same dorm I’d occupied as a college freshman in 1960-61. For that alone I deserve Nobel Prize consideration.”