Red sweatshirts, tailgate parties, Badger mania, beautiful lake Mendota, State Street, and lots of beer. Some people experienced the University of Wisconsin-Madison this way. Not African American Ph.D. student Maddie Hawkins; her experience is colored by a marathon of deadlines, endless lab hours, competition, neglect, and walking through ill-lit parking lots in the dead of night. Maddie enters the male-dominated field of Plant Breeding to find new genes for disease resistance and to vindicate a daring research hypothesis. She thinks graduate school is a level playing field. She thinks she has what it takes. She is naïve. The political world of academia is a minefield of sexism, racism and egoism. During her three year hurdle-race to get her Ph.D. the disturbing presence of blue-eyed graduate student John Pitts provides the adrenaline. Like an irksome burr, he is everything she disapproves of: a cocky genius, an individualist and a total party animal. On the other hand Craig Berry, the president of the Black Student Caucus, is a fine, righteous brother. The characters in their world are the professors, both the feudal and the enlightened; the grad students, messed up and die-hard, and "the system," entrenched yet evolving. The heart leads where reason would forbid. This face-off of race, class and even religion threatens a bitter harvest. But "when the fire of love is ablaze" it burns "to ashes The Harvest of Reason."
About Rhea Harmsen
See more books from this Author
Published March 12, 2011
Romance, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy.