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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


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February 23, 2024

Recently published professor to host book signing


Carolyn Baugh, Ph.D., an assistant professor of history, is releasing a book that showcases her knowledge of Muslim culture and Pennsylvania at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Gannon University Bookstore.

The novel, titled “Quick Sand,” covers the mysteries and suspense the main character, an Egyptian American policewoman, encounters while working undercover in Philadelphia.

Baugh said she drew on her experiences of being immersed in Egyptian culture and then her life in Philadelphia during graduate school.  She dedicated the book to her daughter Aya.

“I foresaw some of the tensions that she would have with her father, my Egyptian ex-husband, as she negotiated her own identity in light of the ideas that he has for her about who she should be,” Baugh said.

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As for the story itself, Baugh said it deals with things like meth, prostitutes, gang violence, rape, sex trafficking, racism and rebelling against one’s father. She added that these themes might entice Gannon students to read “Quick Sand.”

“My protagonist is someone who is sorting herself out,” Baugh said.

“[She is] trying to be the best she can be in a context of assault on her integrity from both her work environment ­­­— because of her race and her religion — and her home environment — because of her gender.”

Baugh said she wrote the book in early 2012 after a bummer job interview.

“[I] thought, well, I’m never going to be a professor so I might as well use the one other skill set I have, which is creative writing, and try to get another book written,” Baugh said.

“Also, I cared a lot about the issue of sex trafficking and I had constructed Nora, the protagonist, in my head and wanted to give her a little life and see what she could do if unleashed on the planet.”

Baugh said students might get out of it that sex trafficking is a global and domestic issue worth their time and energy to combat, or that we still have a long way to go to defeat racism in the United States.

“They might get out of it that Nora’s kind of cool and different as heroines go,” Baugh said.  “But I wouldn’t presume to try to control the take-away.”

Baugh will be available to sign books at the bookstore event and refreshments will be provided.

Baugh said the book signing is just a launch party that the publicist arranged and she looks forward to hanging out with friends and getting the word out about the book.

Abrar Rahman, a biology graduate student, said he would interested in reading the book.

“It’s a window to an issue that doesn’t get a lot of legitimacy,” Rahman said.

“We don’t know a lot about it, because journalists and novelists in the Western world are not covering [these things]. It would be a good way to find out more about the Middle East.”

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