Reading in the Sunshine
I have to agree with a summer reading choice of Quiara Hudes ’04 MFA, who selected Haruki Murakami, among others (“Beach Reads,” July/August). For some reason Murakami is the perfect summer read for me, and he has a really large catalog, so you can keep going back to the library for more.
Also, if you haven’t read for pleasure in a while but want something for the beach, try a book of short stories! I recommend A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor or Where I’m Coming From by Raymond Carver. Both are really good for spending ten minutes reading a story and then lying in the sun and contemplating for a bit.
I enjoyed reading these authors’ perspectives and learning about some books I wasn’t aware of. Thanks!
Kudos to Brown alumni authors for their summer reading predilections, and for sharing their love of literature with others. The selections were most interesting and varied, and they proved that fascinating, compelling books always provide the enjoyable experience of an untamable imagination.
In addition, we all know that good, engaging books have a great impact far beyond summer reading.
So many enticing new possibilities. I am currently consumed by The Ibis Trilogy of Amitav Ghosh so will have to defer delving into one of the ten titles I jotted down.
Tribute to a Poet
Thank you so much for this tribute by Anthony Walton ’87 AM (“Too Big a Heart,” July/August). Professor of Literary Arts Michael S. Harper was my mentor senior year and also served on my dissertation committee in 1999 after I met him by chance on the streets of Philly. He was one of the biggest influences in my life, both personally and professionally. I still strive to be like him to this day. He truly had a giant, generous heart.
There are no true and adequate words to express how heartbroken I was to learn of Professor Harper’s death. When I called his son, Roland, to wish him a happy birthday (his birthday is the day after my younger son’s), Roland told me, “It’s been tough since my Dad died.” I’ve yet to sit quietly and celebrate Michael’s life and our loss of him. I owe Michael S. Harper more than I can ever hope to repay. Walking into one of the first Alumni College programs at List, I was stopped still as I wandered into Michael’s reading of “A Love Supreme” (without musical accompanist). The room was mostly darkened, but Michael stood with his back to those big windows, the podium in front of him. Backlit, he loomed larger than his actual self. Calm, soothing, resonating like a reeded instrument, his voice rose up and over, through that dark. I knew I was in a sacred place. Some time later, having been a returned undergraduate at URI, I had thought I’d move on to earn a JD degree. I was mistaken. Instead, I applied to the Brown graduate writing program in poetry. The memory of that day at List was part of my decision. Then came the years living in the same downtown Providence neighborhood near the Harper family. Thank you, Professor Michael S. Harper. Your race is run.
Anthony Walton’s lovely remembrance of Michael Harper reminded me that I interviewed Professor Harper for The Brown Daily Herald while I was an undergrad. Poetry was—and still is—rather intimidating to me, so I doubt I did Prof. Harper the justice he deserved.
Watching Chicago Med
It’s always nice to see fellow alumnae excelling, especially in the arts.
He Provided the Beer
Stuart J. Aaronson ’66 was a former classmate, and I have fond memories of him (Obituaries, July/August).
Though he wore a suit and tie most of the time (common in those years for all male students) he had a kooky, bon vivant streak. He figured out that the interior air conditioner grill of his father’s Cadillac could be repurposed to open beer bottles.
It was during the summer of 1966, I think, that he and a few others of us put that discovery to good use. And Aaronson even provided the beer—which, as I recall, was Löwenbräu. He also did a show for WBRU called Music Your Mother Won’t Like.
The correct date for the death of Esther Ferster Lardent ’68 is April 4, 2016, and not August 6, 2015, as was erroneously reported in the July/August Obituaries.