by Arnold Silver
Published by Strawberry Hill Press
Buy it online
No Shortchanging on Silver's Novel
Reviewed by Linda L. Richards
It is the unnamed but perhaps not-too-distant future and all of the American left's good intentions have run amok. Or so it seems to me. It does not, however, seem so to Shortchangers' hero, Jonas Trelawny who believes in cultural diversity and equal opportunities for all to the depths of his waspy core.
He remembered the bitter battle three years ago with the Women's Studies Department's insistence that most "man" and "men" syllables words be banned -- as in manufacture, salesmanship, manuscript, mental, penmanship, and four hundred other words. Only a handful of words -- like maniac, manslaughter and semen -- were to be allowed. Jonas and his friend Virginia Solotaria of Women's Studies finally resolved the crisis by recommending that the letter "I" replace the "a" and the "e," and soon everyone on campus had memorized the perfect sentence: "Miny showmin and minagers have different regimins and minners."
Shortchangers is a delightful book. Author Arnold Silver has taught at universities in the United States, Canada and Germany and is currently based at the University of Massachusetts: he knows a thing or two about universities, and this familiarity with the culture and politics at a modern American facility of higher learning brings a certain authenticity to this fantastical tale.
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of the Madeline Carter novels: Mad Money, The Next Ex and Calculated Loss.