Books by Anna Solomon ’98, Amity Gaige ’95, and Kelly McWilliams ’11
Photo: Erik Gould
The Arts

Fresh Ink
Books by Anna Solomon ’98, Amity Gaige ’95, and Kelly McWilliams ’11

By Edward Hardy / September–October 2020
August 27th, 2020

The Book of V by Anna Solomon ’98 (Henry Holt)

Hopscotching across time, this vivid, entrancing novel, Solomon’s third, layers together the stories of three women—Lily, a mother of two in 2016 Brooklyn; Vee, the D.C. wife of a senator in 1973; and the teenage girl in ancient Persia who is about to become the Bible’s Queen Esther. With a structure that echoes Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, Solomon deftly underscores how the challenges and choices these characters face have and have not changed over the centuries. The parallels begin to overlap as the narratives swerve and merge in surprising ways. Not to be missed.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige ’95 (Knopf)

Gaige’s fourth novel (Schroder, O My Darling, The Folded World) begins with Juliet Partlow back home in Connecticut, huddled in a closet, trying to pinpoint the mistake. Was it her marriage to Michael or was it going along with his dream of buying a 44-foot yacht and fleeing the suburbs to sail the Caribbean for a year with their two very young children? The narrative cuts between Juliet’s methodical exhumation of what came next and Michael’s captain’s log, which recounts both the family’s adventure and the toll it takes on his relationship with Juliet. A taut read that explores the perils of love and ambition, marriage and parenting, risk and the sea.

Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams ’11 (Little Brown Books For Young Readers)

In this dystopian YA novel Agnes is growing up in a double-wide trailer in rural Red Creek surrounded by forest and canyons, but as part of a strict religious cult led by the Prophet Jacob Rollins. Agnes is normally pious and rule-abiding, though for the last two years she has been sneaking out every month and returning with insulin to keep her younger brother Ezekiel alive. As the Prophet becomes increasingly erratic, escape to save Ezekiel’s life begins to seem like an option. But the outside world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic and the choices become increasingly complex. An impressive debut.

Alumni Nonfiction

The Alignment Problems: Machine Learning and Human Values by Brian Christian ’06 (W.W. Norton & Company)

 Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves by Howard Frumkin ’77 and Samuel Myers (Island Press)

 The Anatomy of Grief by Dorothy P. Holinger ’79 (Yale)

 AARP Love and Meaning After 50: The Challenges to Great Relationships and How to Overcome Them by Barry Jacobs ’80 (Hachette Go)

 Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession by Tania M. Jenkins ’16 PhD (Columbia)

 The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture: History, Theory, Practice by Lucretia Kargere-Basco ’90 and Michele D. Wilson Marincola ’81 (Getty Conservation Institute)

 They Didn’t See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties by Lisa Levenstein ’94 (Basic)

 The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian C. Muraresku ’02 (St. Martin’s Press)

 Raising a Thief by Paul Podolsky ’90 (Still Press)

 Mapping Humanity: How Modern Genetics is Changing Criminal Justice, Personalized Medicine, and Our Identities by Joshua Z. Rappoport ’97 (BenBella Books)

 The Reindeer Chronicles: And Other Inspiring Stories of Working with Nature to Heal the Earth by Judith D. Schwartz ’83 (Chelsea Green)

 The Nigrescent Beyond: Mexico, the United States, and the Psychic Vanishing of Blackness by Ricardo Wilson ’00 (Northwestern University Press)


Alumni Fiction

The Mighty Oak by Jeff W. Bens ’85 (Blackstone Publishing)

The Timeless Machine by Mark Malamud ’82 (Regulus Press)

Another Troy by Susan Signe Morrison ’88 AM, ’91 PhD (Finishing Line Press)


Faculty Nonfiction

A Brief Natural History of Civilization: Why a Balance Between Cooperation & Competition is Vital to Humanity by Mark Bertness, Professor of Biology (Yale)



Through the Writer’s Eyes by Dorothy Herzberg ’57

How to Teach Nature Journaling: Curiosity, Wonder, Attention by John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren ’10 (Heyday)

Silk Road Recipes: Parida’s Uyghur Cookbook by Gulmira Propper ’17

COVID-19: Inside the Global Epicenter: Personal Accounts from NYC Frontline Healthcare Providers by Krutika Parasar Raulkar ’12


Children’s Books

The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol by Arthur A. Levine ’84 (Candlewick)



This Is Not Your Fault by Courtney Maum ’01 (Audible Originals)


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September–October 2020