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Director of the Prison Education and the Incarceration in America Initiatives, CAPA. Faculty - Literature.
These Heroic, Happy Dead by With his harrowing debut, Luke Mogelson provides an unsentimental, unflinching glimpse into the lives of those forever changed by war. Subtle links between these ten powerful stories magnify the consequences of combat for both soldiers and civilians, as the violence experienced abroad echoes through their lives in America.
Call Number: PS3613.O373 A6 2016
Publication Date: 2017-06-06
The Cutting Season by When the dead body of a young woman is found on the grounds of Belle Vie, the estate's manager, Caren Gray, launches her own investigation into Belle Vie's history, which leads her to a centuries old mystery involving the plantation's slave quarters--and her own past.
Call Number: PS3612.O247 C88 2012b
Publication Date: 2012-09-18
Excellent mystery escapism written by this stunning novelist- beautiful and informative prose that reflects an African American perspective on living in the south.
Blanche on the Lam by Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there’s a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect. So she’s forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin. Along the way, she lays bare the quirks of southern society with humor, irony, and a biting commentary that makes her one of the most memorable and original characters ever to appear in mystery fiction.
Call Number: PS3564.E244 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-02
The first in a fabulous detective mystery series by this wonderful African American novelist- introducing the protagonist Blanche White, a middle-aged mother, domestic worker and amateur detective.
Hamnet by A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare's 11 year old son Hamnet--a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain--and the years leading up to the production of his great play.
Call Number: PR6065.F36 H35 2020
Publication Date: 2020-07-21
Lots of fun for us Shakespeare nuts! A fun take on the "true" story of Hamlet- set in Shakespeare's time.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born -- a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam -- and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity
Call Number: PS3622.U96 O52 2019
Publication Date: 2019-06-04
Gorgeous book and bridge across generations of a shattered family that survives wartime Vietnam to flee to Hartford, CT, and beyond. It reads like cool water flowing through your hands....the miracle of survival and recovery.
Acting Dean of the College. Dean of the Library
A Burning: A Novel by Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.
Call Number: PS3613.A35388 B87 2020
Publication Date: 2020-06-02
Mexican Gothic by After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Call Number: PR9199.4.M656174 M49 2020
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel by A beautiful written tale about family, biological and chosen, and the secrets held and revealed.
Call Number: PR9387.9.E42 D43 2020
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
Song of Achilles by Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
Call Number: PS3613.I5445 S65 2012
Publication Date: 2017
A mythological retelling of the story of Achilles, through the eyes of his best friend and lover Patroclus. Perfect for grown-up fans of Percy Jackson and and Greek mythology, or anyone who loves a good romance. Warning: this book WILL have you crying by the time it's over.
Her Last Flight by In 1947, photographer and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives at a remote surfing village on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory, who joined the loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War and never returned. Obsessed with Sam's fate, Janey has tracked down Irene Lindquist, the owner of a local island-hopping airline, whom she believes might actually be the legendary Irene Foster, Mallory's onetime student and flying partner. Foster's disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937 remains one of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries. At first, the flinty Mrs. Lindquist denies any connection to Foster. But Janey informs her that the wreck of Sam Mallory's airplane has recently been discovered in a Spanish desert, and piece by piece, the details of Foster's extraordinary life emerge: from the beginnings of her flying career in Southern California, to her complicated, passionate relationship with Mallory, to the collapse of her marriage to her aggressive career manager, the publishing scion George Morrow. As Irene spins her tale to its searing conclusion, Janey's past gathers its own power. The duel between the two women takes a heartstopping turn. To whom does Mallory rightfully belong? Can we ever come to terms with the loss of those we love, and the lives we might have lived?
Call Number: PS3623.I55643 H47 2020
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
This mystery/historical fiction/adventure book jumps between the story of a sassy photo-journalist, and the object of her investigation, a trailblazing female aviator from the past. Both of the main characters in this story are witty, passionate, extremely complex and well-written, and SO powerful. If you liked Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein you will LOVE this story!
The Idiot by Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey turns up at Harvard and finds herself dangerously overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood. She studies linguistics and literature, teaches ESL and spends a lot of time thinking about what language - and languages - can and cannot do. Along the way she befriends Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb, and obsesses over Ivan, a mathematician from Hungary. The two conduct a hilarious relationship that culminates with Selin spending the summer teaching English in a Hungarian village and enduring a series of surprising excursions. Throughout her journeys, Selin ponders profound questions about how culture and language shape who we are, how difficult it is to be a failed writer, and how baffling love is.
Call Number: PS3602.A9237 I45 2017
Publication Date: 2017-03-14
Reading a novel about being in college during FWT seems like a bad way to enjoy a break from campus- but I find that reading about a character who is living in a non-socially-distanced world has really been brightening my spirits. And aside from that, The Idiot is hilarious, sharply written, and impossible to put down.
Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multi-genre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. Rankine strives toward clarity - of thought, and imagination - while always arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government." "Don t Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.
Call Number: PS3568.A572 D6 2004
Publication Date: 2004
Rankine is perhaps more well known for books like Citizen, but Don’t Let Me Be Lonely perfectly and beautifully encapsulates the divisive, chaotic, and isolating times we live in.
Fall: Or, Dodge In Hell by When gaming billionaire Richard Dodge Forthrast is pronounced brain dead following a routine medical procedure, his family and close friends are left stunned, devastated, and forced to make difficult decisions.Dodges will asks that his body be given to a cryonics company, owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd, whose business practices give Dodges family understandable cause for concern. But when Dodge wrote his will he didnt anticipate that one day hed be declared brain dead. He also didnt anticipate his brain being turned on again. Years later, an astounding achievement in technology will allow the human race to defy death itself, giving birth to the Bitworld, an eternal afterlife. But this imagined state of perfection is not all that it appears to be A grand drama of man and machine, Fall, or Dodge in Hell is a mind-blowing literary saga for the modern age.
Call Number: PS3569.T3868 F35 2019
Publication Date: 2020
Faculty - Cultural Studies and Languages
Cleanness by Sofia, Bulgaria, a landlocked city in southern Europe, stirs with hope and impending upheaval. Soviet buildings crumble, wind scatters sand from the far south, and political protesters flood the streets with song. In this atmosphere of disquiet, an American teacher navigates a life transformed by the discovery and loss of love. As he prepares to leave the place he's come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. A queer student's confession recalls his own first love, a stranger's seduction devolves into paternal sadism, and a romance with a younger man opens, and heals, old wounds. Each echo reveals startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with our own fugitive selves. Cleanness revisits and expands the world of Garth Greenwell's beloved debut, What Belongs to You, declared 'an instant classic' by the New York Times Book Review. In exacting, elegant prose, Greenwell transcribes the strange dialects of desire, cementing his stature as one of our most vital living writers.
Call Number: PS3607.R4686 C58 2020
Publication Date: 2020-01-14
Lie with Me by In this “sexy, pure, and radiant story” (Out), Philippe chances upon a young man outside a hotel in Bordeaux who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Thomas is the son of a farmer; Philippe the son of a school principal. At school, they don’t acknowledge each other. But they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.
Call Number: PQ2702.E84 A8613 2019
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
Tokyo Ueno Station by Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu's life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan's Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station - the same place his unquiet spirit now haunts in death. It is here that Kazu's life in Tokyo began, as a labourer in the run up to the 1964 Olympics, and later where he ended his days, living in the park's vast homeless 'villages', traumatised by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.
Call Number: PL865.U28 J7813 2019
Publication Date: 2020-06-23
Director of Undergraduate Writing Initiatives
Bloodchild and Other Stories by Bloodchild and Other Stories is renowned author Octavia E. Butler's only collection of shorter work and features the Hugo and Nebula award-winning stories "Bloodchild" and "Speech Sounds." These works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world. Butler proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature's strongest voices.
Call Number: PS3552.U827 A6 2005
Publication Date: 2005-10-04
I've been reading all of Butler's books this year. They're all stunning (in every sense), and this collection is a great introduction. We read the title story in my "Scriptorium: Love" course.
Faculty - Science and Mathematics
Borne by From the author of the Southern Reach Trilogy comes a story about two humans, and two creatures. The humans are Rachel and Wick - a scavenger and a drug dealer - both with too many secrets and fears, ready with traps to be set and sprung. The creatures are Mord and Borne - animal, perhaps plant, maybe company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or source of spare parts
Call Number: PS3572.A4284 B67 2017
Publication Date: 2018-02-27
A blow-you-over imaginative fiction that is both primordial myth and futuristic fantasy
The Contradictions by The Contradictions is Sophie Yanow’s fictionalized coming-of-age story. Sophie’s attempts at ideological purity are challenged time and again, putting into question the plausibility of a life of dogma in a world filled with contradictions
Call Number: on order
Publication Date: 2020-09-08
A wonderful new graphic novel set in Paris
Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought
Women Talking by One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm. While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women--all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in--have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they've ever known or should they dare to escape?
Call Number: PR9199.3.T6113 W66 2019
Publication Date: 2020-03-03
Their Eyes Were Watching God by A novel about black Americans in Florida that centers on the life of Janie and her three marriages.
Call Number: PS3515.U789 T5 2006
She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
Call Number: PS3613.O5687 S44 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-11
Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought
Salt Houses by On the eve of her daughter Alia's wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is up rooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia's brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia's children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities. Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand--one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again
Call Number: PS3601.L92 S25 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
This novel is about the resistance, triumph and betrayal of memory, while telling the story of one Palestinian family. Each chapter centers around one family member, while moving across time and place. Not one but many wars shape the journeys of members of this family, causing intergenerational trauma, forgetting and remembering.
First-Year and International Student Counselor - Academic Services
Such A Fun Age by Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone 'family,' the complicated reality of being a grown up and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
Call Number: PS3618.E5363 S83 2019
Publication Date: 2019
I so appreciated the arc of this story, and the complexity of the central characters. I'm looking forward to following Reid's work for years to come.
The Most Fun We Ever Had by A multi-generational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple--still madly in love after forty years--match wits, harbor grudges, and recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built
Call Number: PS3612.O453 M67 2019
Publication Date: 2021-04-06
After reading this book I discovered that "domestic fiction" is my ideal genre. Lombardo has a keen eye towards complex family dynamics, and I found her writing familiar and comforting.
The Corner That Held Them by A unique novel about life in a 14th-century convent by one of England's most original authors.
Sylvia Townsend Warner’s The Corner That Held Them is a historical novel like no other, one that immerses the reader in the dailiness of history, rather than history as the given sequence of events that, in time, it comes to seem. Time ebbs and flows and characters come and go in this novel, set in the era of the Black Death, about a Benedictine convent of no great note. The nuns do their chores, and seek to maintain and improve the fabric of their house and chapel, and struggle with each other and with themselves. The book that emerges is a picture of a world run by women but also a story—stirring, disturbing, witty, utterly entrancing—of a community. What is the life of a community and how does it support, or constrain, a real humanity? How do we live through it and it through us? These are among the deep questions that lie behind this rare triumph of the novelist’s art.
Call Number: PR6071.W37 C67 2012
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Some nuns and the black plague and then the excitement of keeping a nunnery going in hard times.
Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought
Station Eleven by An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels.
Call Number: PR9199.4.S727 S73 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-09
Written in 2014, this is a novel about an unprecedented global pandemic that spreads at a mind-boggling speed. No one is prepared, and there are no solutions. Sound familiar? It's a novel about humans doing human things.
The Nickel Boys by for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy for "physical, intellectual and moral training". In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors with the sadistic staff. Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you."
Call Number: PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
This is a novel about the real-life Dozier School for Boys, a "reform" school where kids were beaten, abused, murdered, and dumped into unmarked graves. Whitehead's spare prose makes it all the more harrowing. It feels like necessary reading.
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by A controversial novel of the life of Jesus Christ portrays his family as complex as anyone's family and with a realism that is filled with visions, dreams, and an omen.
Call Number: PQ 9281 .A66 E913 1994
Publication Date: 1994-01-01
Saramago's beautiful and realistic novel is an exploration of the "lost" years in the life of Jesus, beginning with his conception. It is lyrical, skeptical, provocative and impossible to put down. I already want to read it again.
Heroes of the Fourth Turning by
Call Number: on order