Dispatches from the Sweet Life: One Family, Five Acres, and a Community’s Quest to Reinvent the World
by William Powers ’93 (New World Library)
Lured by the hope of sidestepping the hectic pace of the American Dream, Powers, a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, moved his wife and infant daughter from Manhattan to five hillside acres in a small Bolivian town at the foot of the Andes. They were looking for a slower life with a smaller carbon footprint in a community striving for self-sufficiency. While the couple had spent time in Bolivia before, actually living there turned out to be a far more complex adventure than they first imagined—complete with insect invasions and cultural clashes.
Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children
by Shelley Jackson ’94 MFA (Black Balloon)
Jane Grandison, who is 11 and stutters, has been invited to live at The Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children. In addition to being the headmistress, Joines can travel back and forth to the land of the dead. Her students, once they learn the basics of “necrophysics,” are also able to channel the voices of the dead, including Mary Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe. A grand and ambitious gothic novel with a murder at its core that’s told through letters, documents, and dispatches from the other side.
Technicolored: Reflections on Race in the Time of TV
by Ann DuCille ’91 PhD (Duke)
DuCille, an emerita professor of English at Wesleyan, writes that her latest work was “born of a year of living dangerously in front of the television set.” The result is a book that hopscotches between memoir and cultural criticism as DuCille looks back at 60 years of television through the lens of race. She finds that stereotypes of African Americans on TV, as villains and victims, are as commonplace today as they were decades ago. It becomes, she argues, yet another form of racial profiling.