Alumni Books Hero

Alumni Authors

This Ravenous Fate – Hayley Dennings

This Ravenous Fate – Hayley Dennings '18Coming August 2024

The first book in a decadent fantasy duology set in Jazz Age Harlem, where at night the dance halls come to life―and death waits in the dark.

It's 1926 and reapers, the once-human vampires with a terrifying affliction, are on the rise in New York. But the Saint family's thriving reaper-hunting enterprise holds reign over the city, giving them more power than even the organized criminals who run the nightclubs. Eighteen-year-old Elise Saint, home after five years in Paris, is the reluctant heir to the empire. Only one thing weighs heavier on Elise's mind than her family obligations: the knowledge that the Harlem reapers want her dead.

Layla Quinn is a young reaper haunted by her past. Though reapers have existed in America for three centuries, created by New World atrocities and cruel experiments, Layla became one just five years ago. The night she was turned, she lost her parents, the protection of the Saints, and her humanity, and she'll never forget how Elise Saint betrayed her.

But some reapers are inexplicably turning part human again, leaving a wake of mysterious and brutal killings. When Layla is framed for one of these attacks, the Saint patriarch offers her a deal she can't refuse: to work with Elise to investigate how these murders might be linked to shocking rumors of a reaper cure. Once close friends, now bitter enemies, Elise and Layla explore the city's underworld, confronting their intense feelings for one another and uncovering the sinister truths about a growing threat to reapers and humans alike.

Besaydoo – Yalie Saweda Kamara '03

Besaydoo – Yalie Saweda Kamara '03January 2024

Selected by Amaud Jamaul Johnson for the 2023 Jake Adam York Prize, Yalie Saweda Kamara’s Besaydoo is an elegantly wrought love song to home—as place, as people, as body, and as language.

A griot is a historian, a living repository of communal legacies with “a story pulsing in every blood cell.” In Besaydoo, Kamara serves as a griot for the Freeborn in Oakland, the Sierra Leonean in California, the girl straddling womanhood, and the woman re-discovering herself. “I am made from the obsession of detail,” she writes, setting scenes from her own multifaceted legacy in sharp relief: the memory of her mother’s singing, savory stacks of lumpia, a church where “everyone is broken, but trying.” A multitudinous witness.

Kamara psalms from the nexus of many languages—Krio, English, French, poetry’s many dialects—to highlight mechanisms not just for survival, but for abundance. “I make myth for peace,” she writes, as well as for loss, for delight, for kinship, and most of all for a country where Black means “steadfast and opulent,” and “dangerous and infinite.” She writes for a new America, where praise is plentiful and Black lives flourish.

But in Besaydoo, there is no partition between the living and the dead. There is no past nor present. There is, instead, a joyful simultaneity—a liberating togetherness sustained by song.


Romance Language – Amy Glynn

Romance Language – Amy Glynn '89January 2024

Amy Glynn's Romance Language is a wellspring of culture, nature, natural phenomena, myths, and esoterica. A kaleidoscope of sciences and disciplines—spanning archeology, acoustics, botany, zoology, psychology, cosmology, meteorology, and mythology—are freely juxtaposed with the bliss of romance gained to longing for the one lost, the celebration of nature and the teeming creatures therein to hope for their enduring sustenance. A logophilic showcase and worthy winner of the 2022 Able Muse Book Award, Romance Language transports the reader into a sensory and cerebral world of the real and imagined, ever-reaching for stimulus, wisdom, understanding, and enlightenment.

The Small Miracle of Happiness – Howard Chasnoff

The Small Miracle of Happiness: A poetry adventure for your spirit! – Howard Chasnoff '89November 2023

Are you ready for an adventure? A poetry adventure for your spirit? The Small Miracle of Happiness is a wild world of wisdom. Have you forgotten who you truly are? This is a place to find your center. The Small Miracle of Happiness reminds us of what is important in life. This artistic experience will inspire you to face your daily struggles with optimistic energy and peace of mind. You will meet with mysteries of spiritual growth. The miracle of happiness surrounds us, if we would only pay attention to its blessings; a walk in the woods, purpose in life, the joy of an open heart. Prepare to be thrown into your true self. Fall in love with the world. Gather flowers for your soul. Are you ready for an adventure?

It's Not About The Wine – Celeste Dodge '97

It's Not About The Wine – Celeste Dodge '97September 2023

Alcohol isn't going to fix the systemic lack of support for mothers--and pretending it's the solution to surviving motherhood does more harm than good.

A wine glass etched with "Mommy needs wine"; a T-shirt that says, "I wine because my kids whine"; and a onesie proclaiming, "I'm the reason mommy drinks." This is Mommy Wine Culture: the pervasive message that alcohol helps us survive motherhood. But according to writer and mother Celeste Yvonne, it's a symptom of a much larger issue: the mental load of motherhood, a burden born from outdated family norms, traditional roles, and a systemic lack of support for moms—all of which impact our mental health.

In this refreshing, honest take on some of the most pressing concerns for twenty-first-century parents, Yvonne mixes research, cultural references, her own story, and engaging interviews with other moms who sought refuge in wine and found a way out. Drinking to blur the tumultuous days of parenting is a catch-22: it actually keeps us from being present during this precious time. It's Not About the Wine pulls back the veil on what's really plaguing mothers, offers tangible tips for how to lighten your mental load, and paves a path forward for all of us who want to survive and thrive during these weary and wonderful years. From advice on talking about your mental load with your partner to curating the media we consume and the company we keep to deep reflections about how we use alcohol to manage burnout and stress, Yvonne helps us recognize the messaging of Mommy Wine Culture for what it is: a distraction from what we really need. If you are worn out and looking to evaluate your relationship with alcohol and motherhood, It's Not About the Wine is an invaluable companion.


Watching for Dragonflies: A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey – Suzanne van Tienen Jansse Marriott '59

Watching for Dragonflies: A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey – Suzanne van Tienen Jansse Marriott '59June 2023

In Suzanne Marriott’s deeply honest and inspiring memoir, Watching for Dragonflies: A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey, she explores how caregiving for her husband with a chronic illness allowed her to gain a spiritual awareness that would ultimately help her through her own medical crisis and into a place of healing and solace. Amid the many obstacles she and her husband, Michael, face after his diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, Suzanne learns to be a compassionate caregiver both for him and, ultimately, for herself. Through love, psychological insights, and spiritual inquiry, she cultivates her abilities and gains the courage to confront a medical system that often saves her husband but at other times threatens his life. Despite Michael’s many hospitalizations, he makes miraculous recoveries that bring fun and adventure back into their lives, including his numinous experience with dragonflies. When Suzanne faces her own medical crisis with cancer, their world is once again shaken–yet throughout it all, love is their bond, one even death cannot sever. Candid and illuminating, Suzanne’s story of growth through caregiving will appeal to other caregivers and anyone facing a life-changing crisis.


You've Been Served – Kristen Louis '01

You've Been Served – Kristen Louis '01June 2023

One woman puts love—and law school—into the hands of fate in this spirited rom-com, perfect for fans of Legally Blonde and The Hating Game

It’s the Magic 8 Ball’s fault. All of it. One teeny little question, and suddenly Simone Alexander is chucking her whole life out the window. So long, being a chef in California–it’s time for law school. In Michigan. Where there’s actual winter. And law school’s nothing like the romantic comedies said it was.

Simone is tragically underprepared. Hell, she’s already behind before classes have even begun, and her hard-as-nails Contracts professor is giving her no mercy. Then there’s Silas Whitman, her tall and annoyingly cute neighbor. Off-campus, Silas is incredible. Kissable, even. In class, he is one thousand percent the obnoxious kiss-ass.

But Simone’s given up everything to be a lawyer. The competition is fierce and she has a hateful professor gunning for her to fail, but she’s not about to let little things like sleep, or love, stop her from kicking law school ass…


Whistleblower – Kate Marchant '13

Whistleblower – Kate Marchant '13March 2023

Laurel Cates, a junior at Garland University, has no desire for the spotlight. She's determined to complete her degree with as little fuss as possible. As a writer for Garland’s school paper, the Daily, Laurel sticks to well-written fluff pieces. But when she uncovers a scandal involving the school’s beloved football coach, Laurel knows she has to expose the truth.

Even if her classmates don't believe her.

Even if her boss threatens to fire her from her desperately needed job.

And even if the super-hot quarterback with a heart of gold, Bodie St. James, is hell-bent on stopping her from publishing.

In the aftermath of the article, Laurel’s crush turns into her enemy as Bodie tries to protect the man who has been like a father to him. But as the interactions between the pair deepen, so too do their feelings for each other, and an unlikely romance blossoms. Laurel soon realizes her uncompromising values will bring her closer to her desires, and closer to the truth–and closer to finding her voice.


Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism – Lucan Way '86

Revolution & Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism – Lucan Way '86September 2022

Why the world’s most resilient dictatorships are products of violent revolution.

Revolution & Dictatorship explores why dictatorships born of social revolution―such as those in China, Cuba, Iran, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam―are extraordinarily durable, even in the face of economic crisis, large-scale policy failure, mass discontent, and intense external pressure. Few other modern autocracies have survived in the face of such extreme challenges. Drawing on comparative historical analysis, Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way argue that radical efforts to transform the social and geopolitical order trigger intense counterrevolutionary conflict, which initially threatens regime survival, but ultimately fosters the unity and state-building that supports authoritarianism.

Although most revolutionary governments begin weak, they challenge powerful domestic and foreign actors, often bringing about civil or external wars. These counterrevolutionary wars pose a threat that can destroy new regimes, as in the cases of Afghanistan and Cambodia. Among regimes that survive, however, prolonged conflicts give rise to a cohesive ruling elite and a powerful and loyal coercive apparatus. This leads to the downfall of rival organizations and alternative centers of power, such as armies, churches, monarchies, and landowners, and helps to inoculate revolutionary regimes against elite defection, military coups, and mass protest―three principal sources of authoritarian breakdown.

Looking at a range of revolutionary and non-revolutionary regimes from across the globe, Revolution & Dictatorship shows why governments that emerge from violent conflict endure.


Float – Kate Marchant '13

Float – Kate Marchant '13February 2022

A heartfelt summer read for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han about holding on and letting go.

Waverly Lyons has been caught in the middle of her parent’s divorce for as long as she can remember. This summer, the battle rages over who she’ll spend her vacation with, and when Waverly’s options are shot down, it’s bye-bye to Fairbanks, Alaska and hello Holden, Florida to stay with her aunt.

Coming from the tundra of the north, the beach culture isn’t exactly Waverly’s forte. The sun may just be her mortal enemy, and her vibe is decidedly not chill. To top it off? Her ability to swim? Nonexistent.

Enter Blake, the (superhot) boy next door. Charming and sweet, he welcomes Waverly into his circle. For the first time in her life, Waverly has friends, a social life, and soon enough, feelings . . . for Blake. As the two grow closer, Waverly’s fortunes begin to look up. But every summer must come to an end, and letting go is hardest when you’ve finally found where you belong.


After the Acceptance Letter: Seven Healthy Mindsets for Emotional Wellness in College – Gina Davis '03

After the Acceptance Letter: Seven Healthy Mindsets for Emotional Wellness in College – Gina Davis '03, PsyDMarch 2021

After the Acceptance Letter is a self-help guide aimed at supporting college and high school students in learning how to manage their mental health during their college years. Readers are encouraged to reflect on the relationship between their personal values and undergraduate goals, set realistic expectations, and practice self-compassion. Book contents include a list of mental health and crisis resources, interactive exercises for self-reflection, and information for college students on how to utilize student support services on campus. After the Acceptance Letter invites young adults to attend to their mental health needs in addition to their academic responsibilities.


Land of Big Numbers: Stories – Te-Ping Chen '03

Land of Big Numbers: Stories – Te-Ping Chen '03February 2021

Gripping and compassionate, Land of Big Numbers traces the journeys of the diverse and legion Chinese people, their history, their government, and how all of that has tumbled—messily, violently, but still beautifully—into the present.
Cutting between clear-eyed realism and tongue-in-cheek magical realism, Chen’s stories coalesce into a portrait of a people striving for openings where mobility is limited. Twins take radically different paths: one becomes a professional gamer, the other a political activist. A woman moves to the city to work at a government call center and is followed by her violent ex-boyfriend. A man is swept into the high-risk, high-reward temptations of China’s volatile stock exchange. And a group of people sits, trapped for no reason, on a subway platform for months, waiting for official permission to leave.
With acute social insight, Te-Ping Chen layers years of experience reporting on the ground in China with incantatory prose in this taut, surprising debut, proving herself both a remarkable cultural critic and an astonishingly accomplished new literary voice.


To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions – Amaka Okechukwu '04

To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions – Amaka Okechukwu '04September 2019

In 2014 and 2015, students at dozens of colleges and universities held protests demanding increased representation of Black and Latino students and calling for a campus climate that was less hostile to students of color. Their activism recalled an earlier era: in the 1960s and 1970s, widespread campus protests by Black and Latino students contributed to the development of affirmative action and open admissions policies. Yet in the decades since, affirmative action has become a magnet for conservative backlash and in many cases has been completely dismantled.

In To Fulfill These Rights, Amaka Okechukwu offers a historically informed sociological account of the struggles over affirmative action and open admissions in higher education. Through case studies of policy retrenchment at public universities, she documents the protracted―but not always successful―rollback of inclusive policies in the context of shifting race and class politics. Okechukwu explores how conservative political actors, liberal administrators and legislators, and radical students have defined, challenged, and transformed the racial logic of colorblindness and diversity through political struggle. She highlights the voices and actions of the students fighting policy shifts in on-the-ground accounts of mobilization and activism, alongside incisive scrutiny of conservative tactics and messaging. To Fulfill These Rights provides a new analysis of the politics of higher education, centering on the changing understandings and practices of race and class in the United States. It is a timely and important reading at a moment when a right-wing Department of Justice and Supreme Court threaten the end of affirmative action.


Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College – Sam Kaplan '01 and Keith Riegert '01

Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College – Sam Kaplan '01 and Keith Riegert '01March 2016

A bittersweet and humorous guide to college life featuring practical tips combined with funny, full-color illustrations. You're off to college—it's gonna be life-changing! Follow this book's advice to make it amazing!

• What to pack, what to leave behind

• Which classes to pick

• How TAs can save your brain

• Why flip-flops are a must

• How often to change your sheets

• Where to make new friends

• How to balance class and fun


Not Fade Away: A Memoir or Senses Lost and Found – Rebecca Alexander '96

Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found – Rebecca Alexander '96September 2015

The inspiring and moving memoir of a young woman who is slowly losing her sight and hearing yet continues to live life to its fullest potential.
Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within.

Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child, and she was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by thirty. Then, at eighteen, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered. 
None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life, or—maybe most importantly—her sense of humor. Now, at thirty-five, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two master’s degrees from Columbia University and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that has led her to places we can’t imagine. 
In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny, and inspiring. She meditates on what she’s lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars, and what she’s found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice. 
Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical—exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.


Method Acting and Its Discontents: On American Psycho-Drama – Shonni Enelow '01

Method Acting and Its Discontents: On American Psycho-Drama – Shonni Enelow '01July 2015

Winner of the 2016 George Jean Nathan Award

Method Acting and Its Discontents: On American Psycho-Drama provides a new understanding of a crucial chapter in American theater history. Enelow’s consideration of the broader cultural climate of the late 1950s and early 1960s, specifically the debates within psychology and psychoanalysis, the period’s racial and sexual politics, and the rise of mass media, gives us a nuanced, complex picture of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio and contemporaneous works of drama. Combining cultural analysis, dramaturgical criticism, and performance theory, Enelow shows how Method acting’s contradictions reveal powerful tensions inside mid-century notions of individual and collective identity.


A Modern Herbal – Amy Glynn

A Modern Herbal – Amy Glynn '89November 2013

Amy Glynn, in her debut collection A Modern Herbal, meditates on a menagerie of flora—the mythical, the medicinal, and the mundane—and fashions a lyric collection that resonates with incantatory power. The poems proliferate into a rich landscape of correspondences and metaphorical discovery: "You could see / whole worlds in nutshells," she writes, and Glynn weaves in and out of an intense focus on the herbarium itself and the connections with everyday contemporary life she finds there. Whether it is in a poem about the olive or the nettle, the narcissus or the milkweed, Glynn's vision of her subjects, and her voice, are both ancient and contemporary, combining a lush lyricism with modern rhythms of speech. In her hands, these specimens manifest our most human emotions as she conjures a world of perception from each. These are quick, wise poems that show us nature is no less beguiling than the heart.

The Ghost of Greenwich Village – Lorna Sessler Graham '82

The Ghost of Greenwich Village – Lorna Sessler Graham '82June 2011

In this charming fiction debut, a young woman moves to Manhattan in search of romance and excitement—only to find that her apartment is haunted by the ghost of a cantankerous Beat Generation writer in need of a rather huge favor.

For Eve Weldon, moving to Greenwich Village is a dream come true. She’s following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother, who lived there during the early sixties among a lively community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the only scribe she meets is a grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is for chirpy segments on a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. The hypercompetitive network environment is a far cry from the genial camaraderie of her mother’s literary scene, and Eve begins to wonder if the world she sought has faded from existence. But as she struggles to balance her new job, demands from Donald to help him complete his life’s work, a budding friendship with a legendary fashion designer, and a search for clues to her mother’s past, Eve begins to realize that community comes in many forms—and that the true magic of the Village is very much alive, though it may reveal itself in surprising ways.


Wonder, Image, and Cosmos in Medieval Islam – Persis Berlekamp '86

Wonder, Image, and Cosmos in Medieval Islam – Persis Berlekamp '86May 2011

This original book untangles fundamental confusions about historical relationships among Islam, representational images, and philosophy. Closely examining some of the most meaningful and best preserved premodern illustrated manuscripts of Islamic cosmographies, Persis Berlekamp refutes the assertion often made by other historians of medieval Islamic art that, while representational images did exist, they did not serve religious purposes.

The author focuses on widely disseminated Islamic images of the wonders of creation, ranging from angels to human-snatching birds, and argues that these illustrated manuscripts aimed to induce wonder at God's creation, as was their stated purpose. She tracks the various ways that images advanced that purpose in the genre's formative milieu—the century and a half following the Mongol conquest of the Islamic East in 1258. Delving into social history and philosophical ideas relevant to manuscript and image production, Berlekamp shows that philosophy occupied an established, if controversial, position within Islam. She thereby radically reframes representational images within the history of Islam.


Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays – Joan Acocella '62

Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays – Joan Acocella '62February 2008

Here is a dazzling collection from Joan Acocella, one of our most admired cultural critics: thirty-one essays that consider the life and work of some of the most influential artists of our time (and two saints: Joan of Arc and Mary Magdalene). Acocella writes about Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor and chemist, who wrote the classic memoir, Survival in Auschwitz; M.F.K. Fisher who, numb with grief over her husband’s suicide, dictated the witty and classic How to Cook a Wolf; and many other subjects, including Dorothy Parker, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Saul Bellow. Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints is indispensable reading on the making of art—and the courage, perseverance, and, sometimes, dumb luck that it requires.