Turning her doctoral dissertation into an award-winning book, Christine Henseler ’99 recently released Contemporary Spanish Women’s Narrative and the Publishing Industry, published by the University of Illinois Press. The book, which came out in May, was chosen as an “Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice, the American Library Association’s journal for academic and research libraries.
“Outstanding Academic Titles,” according to the ALA website, “reflect the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and bring … extraordinary recognition to the academic library community.” Nearly 6,600 books are reviewed by the journal each year and only 10 percent are labeled “outstanding.”
Henseler wrote her dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Emeritus John Kronik, romance studies. “[There is] always a great deal of work to be done to see if a good dissertation can become an acceptable book,” Kronik said. He helped Henseler revise her dissertation and turn it into a manuscript fit for publication. Kronik said he advises all his students to “get into the mindset of what a book should look like while writing their dissertations.” The advice appears to work — more than half of the 30 dissertations supervised by Kronik have been published.
Contemporary Spanish Women’s Narrative and the Publishing Industry studies the mass appeal of Spanish women’s literature during the 1990s. It researches “why and how books written by Spanish women writers saturate the marketplace,” Henseler explained. In addition to a discussion of narrative theory and the visual appeal of these women’s books, Henseler’s work “provides a series of interviews and correspondence in which contemporary women writers reveal their experiences vis-