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Dig Deeper: 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Hua Hsu

Hua Hsu. Photo: Devlin Claro.

Last week, Hua Hsu was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his memoir Stay True.

The narrative centers around Hsu and his friendship with University of California, Berkeley classmate, Ken. Two different identities, Ken, whose family had been in the United States for generations, represented everything that Hsu, a first-generation Taiwanese American, defined himself against—mainstream America. The two became friends, both agreeing that despite their differences, “American culture didn’t seem to have a place for either of them.”

Three years after their initial meeting, Ken is killed in carjacking in Vallejo, Calif., in July 1998, after a party in Berkeley. “Determined to hold on to all that was left of his best friend-his memories-Hsu turned to writing…A coming-of-age story that details both the ordinary and extraordinary, Stay True is a bracing memoir about growing up, and about moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging.”

Hua Hsu is the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific. A staff writer at The New Yorker, Hsu’s work has been published in Artforum, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Wire. A former fellow at the New American Foundation and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, Hsu is a professor of Literature at Bard College. He received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from Harvard University.

For more information on Hsu, dig deeper and explore the links below:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.




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Dig Deeper: The Coronation of King Charles III

Image of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

King Charles and Queen Camilla. PHOTO: CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY

The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. London time (6 a.m. ET). Most major networks in the U.S. are expected to broadcast the coronation live. Viewers can also live stream the event for free on and BBC News Channel. Coverage on BBC will begin at 7:30 a.m. London time (2:30 a.m. ET).

The first ceremonial crowning of a British monarch in 70 years, the Coronation of King Charles III will be the second-ever to be broadcast (the first being Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953). The ceremonial traditions dating back 1,000 years are mostly for theatre as King Charles III immediately ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022. “A coronation is both the symbolic religious ceremony during which a sovereign is crowned and the physical act of placing a crown on a monarch’s head. It formalizes the monarch’s role as the head of the Church of England and marks the transfer of their title and powers” (BBC).

King Charles III and Queen Camilla will process from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey (Britain’s coronation church since 1066) before the coronation. The coronation will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “While there have been efforts to modernize, the core elements of the historic coronation rite — the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture and crowning, enthronement and homage — all still remain. It is during some of these key moments that the coronation regalia — powerful symbols of the monarchy amassed by Kings and Queens throughout history — will be presented to Charles” (CNN) [For a full breakdown of coronation rituals click here]. After the completion of the ceremony, King Charles III and Queen Camilla will process from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. Later in the day they will wave to crowds from the palace balcony during a scheduled flyover.

Saturday’s crowds will be filled with cheers and protests, as the coronation provides both an opportunity to “celebrate being British,” and to “question the legitimacy of the Monarchy” (PBS). King Charles III, while more progressive and modern than prior monarchs, must navigate a new era…one in which British support for the monarchy is dwindling. “There are more questions hanging over the new monarch and indeed the Windsor family itself than at any point in living memory” (PBS). Time will tell what this reign will bring.

Dig deeper and explore the links curated by Merrill Stein, Political Science Librarian.

The previous coronation:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. She studied abroad in London in 2012 (the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II). 





Dig Deeper: Donika Kelly

By Julia Wagner

Photo courtesy of

Villanova University’s 2023 Literary Festival will be featuring poet Donika Kelly, author of The Renunciations (Graywolf) and Bestiary (Graywolf), for a reading and talk on Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m. in Falvey Library’s Speakers’ Corner. Kelly was born in Los Angeles, Calif., and earned an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University. She currently resides in Iowa City with her wife.

The Renunciations is a winner of the Anisfield-Wolf book award in poetry, and Bestiary is a winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Kelly’s poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review. She is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the collective Poets at the End of the World. She has also received a Lannan Residency Fellowship and a summer workshop fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center. Her work has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, and longlisted for the National Book Award.

This ACS-approved event—co-sponsored by the English Department, the Creative Writing Program, the Honors Program, Africana Studies, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for Irish Studies, and Falvey Library—is free and open to the public.

Dig deeper and explore the links below for more on Kelly’s work:

Julia Wagner ‘26 CLAS is a Communication major from New Hampshire (Go Patriots!). She works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant at Falvey Library.

“I am personally so excited that The Renunciations is part of my Moderns curriculum, and I can’t wait to hear Kelly speak!”




Dig Deeper: Tsering Yangzom Lama

Photo credit: Paige Critcher.

Villanova University’s 2023 Literary Festival will be featuring Tsering Yangzom Lama, who will read from selections of her works on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner. Tsering Yangzom Lama was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and earned an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Creative Writing and International Relations from The University of British Columbia. She currently resides in Vancouver, Canada.

Her debut novel, We Measure The Earth With Our Bodies (Bloomsbury, 2022) is a New York Times Summer Reads Pick and a finalist for The Scotiabank Giller Prize. It is also longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and The Toronto Book Award. She is a co-founder of Lhakar Diaries, an English-language blog for Tibetan youth in exile. Her other works have made appearances in The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Grain, Kenyon Review, Vela, LaLit, and Himal Southasian. She is also a 2018 Tin House Novel Scholar.

Dig deeper and explore the links below for more on her work:

Julia Wagner ‘26 CLAS is a Communication major from New Hampshire (Go Patriots!). She works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey Library.





Dig Deeper: 2,409—A Historic Milestone and an Unbreakable Bond

Maddy Siegrist. Photo courtesy of Villanova Athletics.

Maddy Siegrist. Photo courtesy of Villanova Athletics.

2,409…That’s the number of points needed to break Villanova’s basketball all-time leading scoring record. Shelly Pennefather, now Sister Rose Marie of the Queen of Angels, since becoming a cloistered nun in 1994, has held the record since 1987. She was the school’s all-time leading scorer for both women and men with a career total of 2,408 points. Villanova senior forward Maddy Siegrist scored 23 points on Friday, Jan. 20, at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., surpassing Sister Rose Marie, for a career total of 2,571 points (as of Feb. 14, 2023).

2,409…A unique number, but a quick search using VUFind [a library resource portal designed and developed by Falvey Library’s Technology team] yielded an interesting note on that exact numeral. Harley 2409 is a manuscript written in the first half of the fifteenth century. It contains the longest version of “The Cleanness of Sowle,” which has been attributed to the spiritual teachings of St. Catherine of Siena. Cleanness, as Jennifer N. Brown states, is “St. Catherine’s spiritual beliefs in a nutshell.” In Harley 2409, “The Cleanness of Sowle begins with God’s voice directing the listener, clearly a woman (‘my daughter’) that he will lead her to the cleanness that she desires if she follows his teaching.”

Serendipitously stumbling upon the spiritual connection of this historic moment seems fitting. As Mike Jensen writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Siegrist’s own faith is important to her…[She] feels a bond [with Sister Rose Marie] beyond their points. She’ll get a letter in Villanova’s basketball office, return address, the convent. Sister Rose Marie often will include a prayer card.” In St. Catherine’s definitive work, her “Dialogue” (which includes over 400 letters and prayers), she speaks of her “conversations between God and the soul.” St. Catherine shares her revelations from God with her readers—with all of God’s daughters. “We can read God’s communications to [Catherine] with detached awe or we can receive His messages to us through her writings” (Tan Books, 2010).

2,409…A seemingly random number at first glance, is now a historic milestone and an unbreakable bond.

Dig deeper and explore the links below:

More milestones achieved:

Maddy Siegrist scored 50 points on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ., breaking the program’s single game record. Sister Rose Marie held the record for 38 years, scoring 44 points in a single game. With her 50 point performance, Siegrist became the new all-time leading scorer in Big East Women’s Basketball history for regular season conference games. 

Save the date: 

Join us on Monday, April 24, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Room 205 of Falvey Library for the StCatherine of Siena Research Award Symposium. The StCatherine of Siena Undergraduate Peace and Justice Research Award is awarded annually to an undergraduate student for a research project relevant to peace and justice issues. Submitted papers are evaluated by CPJE affiliated faculty. The top three students, including the winner, present their work on a panel with a faculty respondent to a University-wide audience. This event, co-sponsored by the Center for Peace and Justice Education and Falvey Library, is free and open to the public.

Works Cited:

Brown, Jennifer N. “The Many Misattributions of Catherine of Siena: Beyond The Orchard in England.” Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, vol. 41, no. 1, 2015, pp. 67–84. JSTOR,

Catherine, o. S. (2010). Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena: A conversation with God on living your spiritual life to the fullest (New and abridged edition.). Tan Books.

Jensen (Staff Writer), M. (2023, January 22). Siegrist has formed bond with ex-’Nova great. Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA), p. C9. Available from NewsBank: Access World News:

Schultze, D. (2018). Spiritual Teachings by Catherine of Siena in BL Harley 2409: An Edition. Anglia: Zeitschrift für Englische Philologie/Journal of English Philology, 136(2), 296-325.

Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist explodes for 50 points, shatters multiple records | (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2023, from

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.





Cat in the Stax: LEGO HQ

By Ethan Shea

"Enfield, CT Lego"

Massive Lego bricks in Enfield, CT

In last week’s “Peek at the Week” blog, Annie pointed out that Saturday, Jan. 28, was National LEGO Day. To prolong celebration of the holiday a bit longer, this installment of “Cat in the Stax” will explore the history of this world-renowned toy.

I was quite literally raised in the shadow of LEGO, as the company’s North American branch is headquartered in Enfield, Connecticut, the town I grew up in. The soccer field I played at was called LEGO Field, and I would routinely drive by the three massive LEGO bricks shown above.

"The Cult of LEGO"

The Cult of Lego by John Baichtal

However, LEGO recently announced that they will be moving their HQ from Enfield to Boston. This move will not be complete until 2026, but as a former resident of Enfield, it stings a little.

How did LEGO end up in a run-of-the-mill town like Enfield anyways? Don’t get me wrong, I love my hometown. But I have always wondered why a massive company like LEGO would choose Enfield over a city like New York or Boston. I guess LEGO was thinking the same thing…

Anyways, after a bit of research, I learned why LEGO has been in Connecticut for so long.

In 1961, the Shwayder family, known for luggage manufacturing, was authorized to produce and sell LEGO in the United States. At the time, they were based in Brookfield, Connecticut.

Since the Shwayder family was mostly familiar with the luggage business, LEGO sales began to fall. To remedy the situation, they brought in a man named Jack Sullivan. They collectively decided headquartering in Brookfield was part of the problem and eventually chose Enfield to be the new home of LEGO simply because it is located near the midpoint between New York and Boston. Sullivan also lived in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, just a hop, skip and jump away from Enfield.

If you would like to learn less hyper-localized facts about LEGO, there are plenty of resources available through Falvey. Here are a few I recommend checking out:

Lastly, I hope you enjoy this photo of the LEGO creations my roommate and I recently put together. We have grown to love the Botanical Collection, so our plastic garden is blooming!

A growing LEGO garden

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a second-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


Dig Deeper: Sidney Poitier

Falvey Memorial Library’s Dig Deeper series explores topics of importance in our society and the news. It connects these subjects with resources available through the Library, so our faculty, students, and staff can explore and learn more, potentially sparking new research and scholarship.

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Sidney Poitier, the first ever African American actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor (lead), was an iconic figure in both film history and Black history, which is celebrated each year in February.

Sidney Poitier’s story is still one that has been revered as a success-story of hard work and exceptionalism against the constraints of a Hollywood landscape that was by no means welcoming to Black actors. As detailed in Goudsouzian’s biography Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon, after moving to America, Poitier was mocked at his first theater audition in Harlem for his strong Bahamanian accent and difficulty reading. Fueled by this reaction, he reportedly picked up a few newspapers that day and taught himself to read and speak without his accent.

His determination, hard work, and new Americanized self-made persona landed him several successful auditions, and eventually, after securing his first lead role in Blackboard Jungle, Poitier was one of the most notable Black actors working in Hollywood in the 1950s and 60s, a time when Black film-making and acting in Hollywood reached a particular low point.

Poitier received his first Academy Award nomination for his role in 1958’s The Defiant Ones. His historic Academy Award victory came a few years later for his role in Lilies of the Field (1963). By 1967, he proved to have the biggest box office draw in Hollywood, with his films In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, and To Sir, With Love.

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Nicknamed the “Ebony Saint,” the majority of his roles were double-edged swords, depictions of Black exceptionalism to the extreme, leading to his persona facing criticisms. Namely, Black critics argued that his roles did not represent the social reality of Black people in America, as detailed by Arthur Knight.

Ultimately, with the coinciding rise of Black power politics and the Blaxploitation film cycle in the early 1970s, the pendulum swung the other way, and Black actors began to play action-hero roles rife with vengeful masculinity and overt sexuality.

Some saw Poitier for his individual exceptionalism and self-made success, an image of hope that the American Dream was real and integration was possible. Others saw him in relation to what he was up against, a Black star at the whims of white Hollywood elites, a man tasked with being one of the sole representations of Blackness in Hollywood.

Yet, Poitier’s dramatic talent is something that fans and critics alike largely agree upon. Sidney Poitier was an actor by trade and talent, and he was able to masterfully portray the characters he was given. And, as Knight argues, despite the restrictiveness of his roles, Poitier was even able to subtly rebel in his acting, adding in glimpses of pleasure.

Thus, even a year after his death, Poitier is still revered by many for his work. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, one of Poitier’s famous films, even just got its third iteration, with You People starring, among others, Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill.

Dig deeper and explore the links below for more on Sidney Poitier.

Find resources on Sidney Poitier at Falvey:

Other resources on Poitier:

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.



Dig Deeper: the Rev. Jim Wallis, 2023 MLK Keynote Speaker

The Rev. Jim Wallis. Image courtesy of Georgetown University.

The Rev. Jim Wallis will deliver the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Lecture at Villanova University on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center.

Born in Detroit, Wallis was raised by an Evangelical family in Redford Township, a small suburb of Detroit. During this time Wallis “questioned the racial segregation in his church and community and later became involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements at Michigan State University.” He attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In 1971, Wallis, along with his fellow seminarians, founded the People’s Christian Coalition in Chicago. He also founded a Christian magazine named Post American that same year. The People’s Christian Coalition moved to Washington D.C. in 1975 and adopted the name Sojourners (Post American became Sojourners magazine.) Sojourners’ ministries “are a committed group of Christians who work together to live a gospel life that integrates spiritual renewal and social justice.”

A bestselling author, Wallis served on President Obama’s White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. He is currently serving as the first Chair in Faith and Justice, and leader of the Center on Faith and Justice in the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Prior to his current role, Wallis was a research fellow at the Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. He taught courses at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Georgetown University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Georgetown University in 2007. Produced by Georgetown University’s Center on Faith and Justice, Wallis hosts The Soul of the Nation, a bi-weekly podcast with more than 15,000 listeners. In 2022, Wallis was named one of Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People by the Washingtonian staff.

Dig deeper and explore the links below to learn more about Wallis before his visit to campus:

Wallis’ Books Available at Falvey Library:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.





About Jim Wallis. (n.d.). Center on Faith +Justice. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from

Jim Wallis. (2012, November 1). Sojourners.

Jim Wallis | Biography & Facts | Britannica. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2022, from

Obama Announces White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. (n.d.). The White House. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from



Dig Deeper: 3D Donut Cat

A 3D ornament of a cat on a donut.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager.

If you look closely, you’ll spot “Donut Cat” on the Christmas tree displayed on Falvey Library’s first floor. “Donut Cat” was created by Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager, in the Idea Lab as a way to celebrate “Falvey Library’s Semi-Annual Stress Busting Event: Donut Worry About Finals” on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 12-2 p.m. in front of Falvey’s Holy Grounds.

Fitting in beautifully with the “Wildcat” blue décor on Falvey’s tree, Proctor shared his process for making the ornament:

“Over the summer, I learned how to 3D print from Assistant Director Stephen Green. I’ve always been curious–how can someone make something and a machine creates it layer by layer? You’re only limited by the size and technical limits of the machine, but there’s an incredible number of things that can be created within those perimeters. Robots, tools, articulated slugs. Most of all, I learned 3D printing is as much art as it is science (often, a small problem completely ruins a print) but when it works…(chef’s kiss) magic.”

Interested in printing your own project? The Maker Lab (located in the Idea Lab on Falvey’s ground floor) “is equipped with a plethora of tools (3D printers, laser cutter, sewing machine, drill press, Cricut, wrenches, etc.).” Everyone is welcome in the Idea Lab and no prior 3D printing experience is required. Just stop by and the staff will assist you in bringing your idea to fruition.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.




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Dig Deeper: Reproductive Rights in a Post-Roe v. Wade America 

Falvey Memorial Library’s Dig Deeper series explores topics of importance in our society and the news. It connects these subjects with resources available through the Library, so our faculty, students, and staff can explore and learn more, potentially sparking new research and scholarship. 

In June, the US Supreme Court reversed its prior 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade, the decision that provided a “constitutional right to abortion,” according to one National Public Radio report. Abortion rights in nearly half the states have been “rolled back.” And the issue, debated across the country long before the Roe v. Wade case, has returned as a top political and legislative subject. 

The Library possesses many resources for anyone who wishes to learn more about the history of abortion or the Roe v. Wade decision as well as the many facets of reproductive rights and the impact of the Supreme Court’s June decision. 

The midterm elections show that in every state where abortion was explicitly on the ballot voters came out to support the right to choice.

We invite you to peruse Falvey Library’s relevant resources, curated by Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for the departments of English Literature, Theatre and and Romance Languages and Literature, here:

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Last Modified: December 7, 2022

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