Books by Bess Kalb ’10, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum ’95, and Larry Tye ’77
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The Arts

Fresh Ink
Books by Bess Kalb ’10, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum ’95, and Larry Tye ’77

By Edward Hardy / November–December 2020
October 23rd, 2020

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb ’10 (Knopf)

Bobby Bell is gone but she’s still talking. That’s the premise of Kalb’s intriguing debut, a memoir told through a scrim of fiction. Barbara “Bobby” Bell, Kalb’s grandmother, lived to be 90—and Kalb, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, conjures her brassy, advice-laden voice to tell story after story. From Bobby’s mother’s arrival in New York at 12, as she escaped the prosecution of Jews in Belarus, to her  marriage to her housebuilding husband Hank and her turbulent relationship with Kalb’s mother, this entertaining love story charms with well-told family tales.

Likes by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum ’95 (FSG)

In the title story of this exquisite collection, a father tries to decode his taciturn 12-year-old daughter’s life by scrolling through her Instagram posts. It’s a quiet, moving drama as he worries the mystery, afraid his daughter’s silence might be his fault. For many of Bynum’s characters, from a guilt-ridden mother roaming a private school’s Elves’ Faire to a couple watching the marriage of close friends collapse, there’s a deep sense of longing as they look back to small failures that still feel large. Bynum’s prose is always precise and gently sparkling, which makes the fairytale shifts in some of these stories all the more pleasurable.

Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy by Larry Tye ’77 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Tye’s eighth book brings Joe McCarthy back in ways that make the self-aggrandizing senator seem both more sinister and surprisingly human. This illuminating look at McCarthy’s rise, beginning with growing up on a Wisconsin farm, and final fall is powered by the recent opening of McCarthy’s archives at Marquette University, including correspondence, diaries, and love letters. The fresh material allows Tye to fill in gaps and flatten preconceptions about a figure whose story remains crucial because, Tye writes, he was “the bully who set the guideposts” for the rise of Donald Trump.

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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November–December 2020