Literature professor Rob Wilson's book Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted: An American Poetics (Harvard University Press) has been selected as one of Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009.
Choice is considered the most important publication geared towards academic libraries in the United States, reviewing hundreds of academic works from a range of disciplines.
Of the more than 25,000 books that were submitted to the magazine for consideration as an Outstanding Title, only 652 were selected.
Wilson's book explores the topic of spiritual and religious conversion, and the prominent role it plays in American literature, history and culture.
He focuses on people such as Henry Opukaha'ia, the first Hawaiian convert to Christianity, and folksinger Bob Dylan, who has undergone numerous religious conversions over the years.
"I take heart from this Choice pick as 35,000 librarians will ponder these selections as recommendations for undergraduate libraries," Wilson noted.
He added that his book was selected as a top pick in the humanities "perhaps because it cuts across some of the usual disciplinary divides and offers what the Choice reviewer calls a 'synergistic kaleidoscope'.the approach aims to be hopeful, life-activating, creative.and deals with trickster-like figures from American pop culture like Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Jimi Hendrix, and even Madonna, while burrowing into the deeper literary philosophical domains of figures like Emerson, James, Blake, Jesus, and Buddha as figures of the 'beatitude' quest."