Image of books by Chaney Kwak ’02, William C. Kashatus ’84, and Daisy Dowling ’96
Photo: Erik Gould
The Arts

Fresh Ink
Books by Chaney Kwak ’02, William C. Kashatus ’84 AM, and Daisy Dowling ’96

By Edward Hardy / September–October 2021
August 19th, 2021

The Passenger: How a Travel Writer Learned to Love Cruises & Other Lies from a Sinking Ship by Chaney Kwak ’02 (Godine)

In March of 2019, Kwak, a veteran travel writer, found himself on assignment aboard the Viking Sky, a cruise ship off the coast of Norway. When the ship sailed into a storm with 80-mile-per-hour winds and 60-foot waves, losing power and all four engines, Kwak was trapped, along with more than 1,300 passengers and crew, as the 749-foot ship rolled and bucked and nearly capsized before being towed to safety. Kwak uses the 27-hour ordeal as a frame, but the narrative is threaded through with reporting, bits of memoir, and self-deprecating humor. A worthy adventure.

William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia by William C. Kashatus ’84 AM (University of Notre Dame Press)

William Still, who died in 1902, led a remarkable life. In the years before the Civil War, Still, a free Black abolitionist, helped nearly a thousand runaway slaves make their way from Maryland’s Eastern Shore north through Philadelphia on the Underground Railroad. From his house on South Street, he set up transportation, recorded the fugitives’ stories, and raised funds to help with their journeys. Still was also an author and archivist who built a detailed database with the names and ages of more than 800 escaped slaves, a trove that he hoped would one day help knit separated families back together. This rich and moving biography should help lift Still’s story to a wider audience.

Workparent: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself, and Raising Happy Kids by Daisy Dowling ’96 (Harvard Business Review Press)

This upbeat, encyclopedic guide is full of clear, supportive tactics for how to merge the whirling, often conflicting universes of parenthood and work with less guilt and a bit more peace. Populated with bullet points, charts, and helpful quotes from a wide range of parents, Dowling has advice for every age. There’s also help for thinking about resources like time, money, and your support network, and what “success” actually means. While every family will no doubt encounter swerves along the way, this book can give you a good sense of what might lie ahead, for wherever you might happen to be on the ride.

Alumni Nonfiction

First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (and Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents by Gary Ginsberg ’84 (Twelve)

Retiring?: Your Next Chapter Is about Much More Than Money by Bruce Hiland ’61 (Houndstooth)

Chiang Kai-shek’s Politics of Shame: Leadership, Legacy, and National Identity in China by Grace Huang ’93 (Harvard Asia Center)

The Shortest History of China: From the Ancient Dynasties to a Modern Superpower―A Retelling for Our Times by Linda Jaivin ’77 (The Experiment) 

Six Paths to Leadership: Lessons from Successful Executives, Politicians, Entrepreneurs, and More by Meredith Persily Lamel ’94 (Plagrave Macmillan)

Motherhood: Facing and Finding Yourself by Lisa Mullins Marchiano ’88 (Sounds True)

Unleaded: How Changing Our Gasoline Changed Everything by Caroline Nielsen ’98 (Rutgers)

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World by Daniel Sherrell ’14 (Penguin)

Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War by Jeffrey Shesol ’91 (W. W. Norton & Company)

 Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training by Adam Stern ’06 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Alumni Fiction

How Not to Drown by Jaimee Wriston Colbert ’76 AM (Alcove/Crooked Lane)

Embassy Wife by Katie Crouch ’95 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

In the Year of the Rabbit by Terence Harkin ’68 (Silkworm)

Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette ’13 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Variations on the Body by María Ospina ’99 (Coffee House)


Children’s Books

She Persisted: Clara Lemlich by Deborah Heiligman ’80 (Penguin Random House)


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Related Issue
September–October 2021