The Arts

Fresh Ink

March 14th, 2019


The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey  by Rowan Ricardo Phillips ’98 AM, ’03 PhD (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

The ATP tennis tour starts in Australia’s January heat and finishes up eleven months later in London. Here, Phillips, an award-winning poet with two collections, Heaven and The Ground, who also writes a sports column for The Paris Review, gives readers a detailed, inside look at the 2017 season. He’s a capable, passionate, literary guide who follows the pro circuit through the major and minor tournaments, charting the reemerging rivalry between the world’s top two men’s players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, while braiding the narrative with bits of memoir and tennis history.


In Search of The Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress and a Changing World  by Lauren E. Oakes ’04 (Basic Books).

This begins as a vivid account of months spent in the remote, foggy, rain-slicked Alaskan forests of the Alexander Archipelago while Oakes, now a scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and her team document the die-off of the majestic yellow cedar (also known as the yellow cypress) due to rising temperatures. But it evolves into something more as Oakes talks to loggers, naturalists, and Native weavers, among others, about how they are coping with these changes. There is a last note of optimism, given Oakes’s sense that even with a changing climate, we can still adapt and limit the damage.


All The Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf  by Katharine Smyth ’03 (Crown).

“Perhaps there is one book for every life.” That’s the opening line of this inventive debut, a memoir that uses Woolf’s To the Lighthouse as a meditative backdrop to Smyth’s chronicle of growing up in New England, including summers in Rhode Island, her parents’ nearly fractured marriage, her British alcoholic father’s death, and the grief that followed. Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Lighthouse and she writes convincingly of Woolf’s “seemingly endless capacity to meet you wherever you happen to be.” A moving account of how one writer’s work can be a refuge in turbulent times.


Alumni Nonfiction

The Smugglers’ World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela by Jesse Cromwell ’04 (UNC)

Becoming Emily: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Krystyna Poray Goddu ’76 (Chicago Review)

Mensch-Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi―Wisdom for Untethered Times by Joshua Hammerman ’78 (HCI)

JFK, The Kennedys and Me by Lester S. Hyman ’52 (Page)

Political Survivors: The Resistance, the Cold War, and the Fight against Concentration Camps after 1945 by Emma Kuby ’03 (Cornell)

Galantière: The Lost Generation's Forgotten Man by Mark Lurie ’66 (Overlook)

Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully ’61 (Candlewick)

Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity by Jamie Metzl ’90 (Sourcebooks)

Friends of Dorothy by Dee Michel ’74 (Dark Ink)

St. Louis School Desegregation: Patterns of Progress and Peril by Hope C. Rias ’97 MAT (Palgrave Macmillan)

The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power by David J. Shields ’78 (The Ohio State University)

All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf by Katharine Smyth ’03 (Crown)

Wait, It Gets Worse by Lydia Slaby ’02 (Disruption)

The Afterlife of Reproductive Slavery: Biocapitalism and Black Feminism’s Philosophy of History by Alys Eve Weinbaum ’89 (Duke)

The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness by Diana Winston ’88 (Sounds True)


Alumni Fiction

Amazing Things Are Happening Here by Jacob M. Appel ’96, ’96 AM (Black Lawrence)

Rachel's Tomb by J. A. Bernstein ’01 (New Issues)

ONCE A LIAR by A. F. Brady (Alex Fribourg) ’04 (Park Row)

Landfall: A Novel by Thomas Mallon ’73 (Pantheon)

AERIALISTS by Mark Mayer ’06 (Bloomsbury)

Look How Happy I'm Making You: Stories by Polly Rosenwaike ’97 (Doubleday)

A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian ’02 (Algonquin)


Alumni Children’s Fiction

Ready, Set, GOrilla! by Melissa Stoller, Illustrated by Sandy Steen Bartholomew ’91 (Clear Fork)

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Related Issue
March/April 2019