Roanoke College

Schultz to read from newly released novel The Madhouse Nudes


SALEM, Va. - The Madhouse Nudes, a novel by Roanoke College's Dr. Robert Schultz, has been released by Loess Hills Books. Schultz will read from the novel on Wednesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. at the Art Museum of Western Virginia - in front of John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Mrs. George Gribble (Norah). Reservations are recommended for the reading and available by contacting the Art Museum of Western Virginia at (540) 342-5762 or e-mail by Monday, December 4.

The central character of The Madhouse Nudes is a painter, John Ordway, who moves from New York City to a small Iowa town. When Ordway hires two local women as models, and his work and life deepen and complicate in unforeseen ways, probing the question: What does it mean for a man to see a woman truly? Subtly conceived and artfully executed, The Madhouse Nudes is part love story, part mystery-a brave exploration of guilt and innocence.

Ordway is an artist working in the tradition of the female nude. In New York City, that preoccupation merely aroused the ire of feminist art critics, but now that he and his girlfriend, Jamie, a potter and weaver, have retreated to tiny Delphi, Iowa, he finds himself the object of more pointed suspicion.

Jamie leaves him, and one of his local models is attacked. Surrounded by judgment and no longer able to view his work with detachment, he is forced to question the impulses that drive him to it. As events approach their crisis, he must answer questions of urgent personal importance: What is the fate of a body in the world? And what does it mean for a man to see a woman truly?

Art collides with life, painfully and revealingly, in this evocative first novel, which brings a poet's sensibility to the charged question of women's bodies and men's desires.

About the Author: Robert Schultz is the John P. Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College. Schultz's books include two collections of poetry, Vein Along the Fault and Winter in Eden, as well as his novel, The Madhouse Nudes. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Award in fiction, Cornell University's Corson Bishop Poetry Prize, and, from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry. He has been a finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Prize and the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. A native Iowan, he attended Luther College and pursued his graduate studies at Cornell University. He taught at Luther for 19 years and also has taught at Cornell and the University of Virginia.

The Madhouse Nudes was published in a cloth edition by Simon & Schuster in 1997, the film option was purchased by Wild Card Productions of San Francisco & New York, and on the basis of the novel Robert Schultz received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction. Loess Hills Books is pleased to issue the trade paperback edition. Loess Hills Books is a not-for-profit fine arts literary press. It publishes poetry, fiction and literary nonfiction. Copies of the book are available at the Roanoke College bookstore and through independent local booksellers.

Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 1,970 students represent 40 states across the U.S. and 26 foreign countries.

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.