FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Date:  May 11, 2001

                                                                                      Contact:  Lezli Austen

UIS professors receive prestigious Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America

SPRINGFIELD – Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey, a book by University of Illinois at Springfield faculty members Robert Kuhn McGregor and Ethan Lewis, received a prestigious Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, presented in ceremonies held recently in New York City. Edgars are the highest award given to writers in the mystery genre. Conundrums beat three other entries to win in the Best Critical/Biographical category.

The book examines Sayers’ stories of aristocratic amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey within the context of societal changes that took place in England during “the long week-end” between World Wars I and II. Lewis noted that the First World War “literally exploded previously held beliefs of a more orderly world.”

Conundrums uses Lord Wimsey to understand the years between the wars – the crumbling of the privileged aristocracy, the rise of democracy, and the expanding struggle of women for equality,” said McGregor. Sayers, a British writer who was born in 1893 and died in 1957, created in Lord Wimsey an example of “someone who tried to put the world back together.”

McGregor, a professor of history, and Lewis, an associate professor of English, decided to write a book a few years ago after teaching a course together called The Great War and the Birth of Modern Culture. McGregor said that much of the credit for the book’s success belongs to Lewis. “It would have been much weaker and poorer without all of his good work,” he said.

Lewis called McGregor “the greatest writer I’ve ever worked with on any faculty of any university. We worked really well together,” he added.

Conundrums for the Long Weekend is published by The Kent State University Press.

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