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A Court of Silver Flames

Sarah J. Maas ’08

(New York: Bloomsbury, 2021)
The Court of Thorns and Roses series continues with this latest adult fantasy novel from the best-selling author who also brought us the popular Throne of Glass series. According to the publisher, “Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance — and healing — in each other’s arms.”

As one reviewer noted: “A deliciously badass rivals-to-lovers romance that nearly singed my fingers. Intensely emotional, wildly sexy, and absolutely unputdownable.”

House of Sky and Breath

Sarah J. Maas ’08

(New York: Bloomsbury, 2022)
In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling House of Earth and Blood, the Crescent City series continues the story of a world about to explode and the people who will do anything to save it. According to the publisher, “Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal — they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

“The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what's right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.”

William Greaves: Filmmaking as Mission

Scott MacDonald, professor of film and art history (co-editor)

(University of California Press, 2021)
Best known for his experimental film about its own making, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, William Greaves was an influential independent documentary filmmaker who produced, directed, shot, and edited more than 100 films on a variety of social issues and on key African American figures ranging from Muhammad Ali to Ralph Bunche to Ida B. Wells.

MacDonald’s book offers the first comprehensive overview of Greaves’ career, bringing together a mix of essays from critics and scholars, Greaves’ own writings, an extensive meta-interview with Greaves, conversations with his wife and collaborator and his son. Together, they illuminate Greaves’ mission to use filmmaking as a tool for transforming the ways African Americans were perceived by others and the ways they saw themselves.

The Camping Trip

Jennifer K. Mann ’85

(Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2020)
Little Ernestine is getting ready to go camping for the first time. It’s going to be great … isn’t it? In this delightful children’s book, both written and illustrated by Jennifer Mann ’85, we are all reminded that opening our minds to new experiences, no matter how challenging, can lead to great memories. Described by the author as a hybrid picture book/comic, The Camping Trip has received numerous honors ranging from the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List to the Washington State Book Award. The author lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Hosted Horror on Television: The Films and Faces of Shock Theater, Creature Features, and Chiller Theater

Bruce Markusen ’87

(Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Publishers, 2021)
Described by one reviewer as a “meticulously researched love letter to horror hosts and the films they show,” this book takes readers on a journey through the best TV horror films, beginning with the 1930s black-and-white classics and ending with the grislier color films of the early 1970s. The author also explores the horror hosts, who introduced the films and offered insight into the plots, actors, and directors.

Questions of Perspective

Daniel Maunz ’00

(Castroville, Texas: Black Rose Writing, 2020)
The author’s first novel begins with this line: “No one, let alone me, realized it at the time, but April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the history of the world.” After his only friend and colleague disappears, Dave Randall goes quietly about this life until he begins to understand what happened. That’s when he embarks on a journey not only to uncover the deeper meanings and implications of his friend’s fate, but also his own journey of self-discovery will have ramifications far beyond his own little life.

A five-star review in Indies Today noted, “Daniel Maunz is an exceptionally talented writer who has taken on the monumental task of not only asking, but answering, some of life’s biggest questions.”

Soundscapes of Liberation: African American Music in Postwar France

Celeste Day Moore, assistant professor of history

(Duke University Press, 2021)
Part of the Refiguring American Music series, this book builds on archival research and oral history interviews, conducted in France, Senegal, and the United States, that examine the popularization of African American music in postwar France and the Francophone world where it signaled new forms of power and protest. By showing how the popularity of African American music was intertwined with contemporary structures of racism and imperialism, the author demonstrates this music's centrality to postwar France and the convergence of decolonization, the expanding globalized economy, the Cold War, and worldwide liberation movements.

One reviewer notes, “Celeste Day Moore takes us on a dazzling and deeply researched tour through the soundscapes and multisensory experiences of the Francophone Black world.”

Wanderers: Literature, Culture and the Open Road

David Brown Morris ’64

(New York: Routledge, 2021)
Written for a general audience, this book proceeds in a sequence of 26 brief “riffs” on topics ranging from singing cowboys and pop songs to postmodern philosophers and climate-driven homelessness. The author argues that “wandering, as a primal and recurrent human experience, is basic to the understanding of certain literary texts. In turn, certain prominent literary and cultural texts (from Paradise Lost to pop songs, from Wordsworth to the blues, from the Wandering Jew to the film Nomadland) demonstrate how representations of wandering have changed across cultures, times, and genres.”

Morris is emeritus professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of two prize-winning books in 18th-century studies and is known for contributions in pain medicine.

Werewere-Liking: Le Ki-Yi Mbock et la Renaissance Africaine

Professor of French Joseph Mwantuali, editor

(Yaoundé, Cameroon: Editions Ifrikiya, 2021)
In this collection of articles, the author describes Werewere-Liking as “a multitalented artiste … a novelist, a poet, a playwright, a dancer, a choreographer, a painter, a movie maker, and a singer.” One of the first female Francophone writers of African literature, she has taught at the University of Abidjan in West Africa and other universities around the world.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Village Ki-Yi, a school of arts founded by Werewere-Liking that trains mostly underprivileged children, scholars around the world shared articles on various aspects of Werewere-Liking’s multifaceted work, which are gathered in this book.

Lost Orchard II: Nonfiction from the Kirkland College Community

Isabel Weinger Nielsen K’76, editor*

(Washington, D.C.: National League of American Pen Women, 2021)
This collection of 45 essays by Kirkland College alumnae, faculty, and administrators addresses subjects as wide-ranging as aging, loss, parenting, feminism, place, and the Kirkland experience.

Kirkland, the last private women’s college created in the United States, merged with Hamilton in 1978. The college fostered independent learning and creativity, with academic disciplines such as American studies, visual arts, dance, and history of science. Kirkland also offered one of the first undergraduate creative writing majors at a four-year college. Lost Orchard II captures the reflections and talents of those who knew it best.

“This collection of writing is a window into the minds and souls of the women Kirkland students became,” Christie Bell Vilsack K’72 notes. “What we did in the years we spent together is reflected in the words collected here. I read every word with the growing awareness that what we created together — founders, teachers, students, administrators — in rural upstate New York during the 12 years Kirkland existed, changed the trajectory of our lives and the many we’ve touched.”

This book follows Lost Orchard: Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community (SUNY Press, 2014), which featured a diverse collection of poems, short stories, novel excerpts, creative nonfiction, and one-act plays by the Kirkland community. All proceeds from the sale of Lost Orchard II support the Samuel & Natalie Babbitt Kirkland Scholarship Fund.

* Special thanks to associate editors Nancy Avery Dafoe K’74, P’04, Liz Horwitt K’73, and Jo Pitkin K’78. Cover illustration by Linda Branch Dunn K’77.

Against the Map: The Politics of Geography in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Adam Sills ’91

(Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 2021)
According to the publisher, “Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, the increasing accuracy and legibility of cartographic projections, the proliferation of empirically based chorographies, and the popular vogue for travel narratives served to order, package, and commodify space in a manner that was critical to the formation of a unified Britain. In tandem with such developments, however, a trenchant anti-cartographic skepticism also emerged. This critique of the map can be seen in many literary works of the period that satirize the efficacy and value of maps and highlight their ideological purposes.”

The author, an associate professor of English at Hofstra University, argues that our understanding of the production of national space during this time must also account for these sites of resistance and opposition to hegemonic forms of geographical representation, such as the map.

The Third Man

Randolph Splitter ’68

(Kirksville, Mo.: Golden Antelope Press, 2022)
Described as a “story of dispossession, refuge, and the search for justice and humanity,” this novel focuses on two Jewish families in the impending days of the Holocaust — specifically a little girl “kindertransported” to England to be raised by a foster family and a butcher’s apprentice who changes his identity and escapes to England to join the British Army.

The publisher notes, “The novel could be complete and coherent without its ‘third man’ frame, but the Prologue and Epilogue references to the famous 1949 noir film are distinctive and imaginative; they deepen the significance of the several other episodes. In the end, [the male protagonist] recognizes the similarities between himself and the film’s Harry Lime (as grifters who sometimes did questionable things). But he also identifies with his own ‘third man, the one he has tracked with revenge in mind. He recognizes that this man might have been evil, but might instead have been a ‘poor fool like himself, neither good nor evil, just a confused human being trying to muddle his way through this life.’”

The novel is inspired by Splitter’s family. His parents fled Vienna in 1938 a few years before his birth. He is a retired English professor who has written screenplays, made short films, and published short stories, novels, and a psychoanalytic study of Marcel Proust.

Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home

Charlie Warzel ’10 and Anne Helen Petersen

(New York: Knopf/Random House, 2021)
“Out of Office is a book for every office worker – from employees to managers – currently facing the decision about whether, and how, to return to the office,” the publisher notes. “The past two years have shown us that there may be a new path forward, one that doesn’t involve hellish daily commutes and the demands of jam-packed work schedules that no longer make sense. But how can we realize that future in a way that benefits workers and companies alike?”

From interviews with workers and managers around the world, the authors maintain that companies need to listen to their employees as that this will promote, rather than impede, productivity and profitability. “As a society, we have talked for decades about flexible work arrangements; this book makes clear that we are at an inflection point where this is actually possible for many employees and their companies. Out of Office is about so much more than Zoom meetings and hybrid schedules: it aims to reshape our entire relationship to the office,” the authors write.

Mona’s Dreams

Stewart G. Young ’72

(Bloomington, Ind.: Westbow Press, 2020)
Since 1999, the author has had a houseful of critters, mostly dogs, and mostly adopted rescues. As is noted on the book jacket, “God makes dogs to come in all shapes, sizes, and ages; and He does the same with dog lovers. This book is for all of them — the dogs, the people, and, especially, for God.”

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Stacey Himmelberger

Editor of Hamilton magazine

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