Trompe l’Oeil: To Fool the Eye, by Caroline Miller ’59, MAT ’65 (Koho Pono, 2012). Caroline’s third book is a tale of suspense set in France during the French-Algerian War and centering on Mills College graduate Rachel Farraday. Rachel is hired to write a history of Château l’Ombre, a grand but decaying mansion. When her employer dies and leaves part of the estate to Rachel, the chateau’s shadowy past comes into focus. Is what Rachel uncovers real or a trick of the eye? Mystery and death lie underfoot, and tension builds to a jaw-dropping conclusion thanks to Caroline’s first-rate storytelling and sparkling prose.
Roberto Chavez, Paintings and Drawings, by Robert Ross ’61 (hit-&-run press, 2012). This book grew out of an exhibition of Chavez’s work that Robert curated at Santa Rosa Junior College. Robert’s introduction includes Chavez’s descriptions of his background, his perspective on art, and a biographical timeline. (See www.mrbebop.com.) (See Class Notes.)
All the Wrong Places: Mrs. Frog’s Improbable Search for Love, by Pam Glenn ’67 (Class Action Ink, 2012). Can a big, big-mouthed amphibian find love while maintaining her spirit and figure? This ribbeting tale follows the move of the bossy but bereft Mrs. Frog to a new marsh. (See Class Notes.)
Hotel Murano: The Collection, by Matthew Kangas ’71 (2012). Matthew has documented the museum-quality art collection, which includes an extensive portion of glass art, found at the boutique Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington. He also contributed an essay to Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures (Mackenzie Art Gallery, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, 2012), which provides an overview of Sures’ work and is replete with full color images from the Canadian exhibition. (See Class Notes.)
White Vespa, by Kevin Oderman ’72 (Etruscan Press, 2012). An American expatriate in Greece, seeking to quell his grief for his son by photographing the Dodecanese Islands, discovers friendship and love and a consequential resurgence of life. Written in language “as clear and beautiful as the Aegean Sea,” Kevin’s story examines the complexity individuals face within the intersection of the past and the present. (See Class Notes.)
Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace, by Suzy Fox ’73 (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012). Suzy served as coeditor and contributor to this book, which examines workplace issues and how they affect women and men differently. Writers from a broad spectrum of disciplines examine counterproductive work behavior, including aggression, bullying, incivility, sexual harassment, sexual orientation harassment, absenteeism, and the effects of job stress on mental health and well being, with an overriding goal to contribute to healthier workplaces for everyone. Their approaches vary, but the overall result is “a dynamic and pioneering appraisal of the field and innovative musings on its future.”
Depression: A Public Feeling, by Ann Cvetkovich ’80 (Duke University Press, 2012). In her latest publication, Ann combines memoir and critical essay in search of ways of writing about depression as a cultural and political phenomenon that also offer alternatives to medical models. She describes her own experience with professional pressures, creative anxiety, and political hopelessness, which blocked her intellectually while she worked to complete her dissertation and to write her first book. Building on the insights of the memoir, she considers the idea that feeling bad constitutes the lived experience of neoliberal capitalism.
Summer and Bird, by Katherine Catmull ’81 (Dutton Children’s Books, 2012). When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods which transports them into a new world entirely—one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Katherine’s book, written for late middle grade students, has been called a “stunning debut.” (See Class Notes.)
Steve Lindsay ’81 wrote “How I Got Started,” in Applied Cognitive Psychology (May/June 2012). His essay recalls the influence of classmates Tim Cross ’81 and Colleen Kelley ’75 and the positive push he received from his teacher and mentor, Carol Creedon [psychology 1957–91]. Steve is a professor of psychology at the University of Victoria, and his research explores the relationship between memory, current performance, and conscious experience.
Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, by Greta Christina ’83 (Pitchstone Publishing, 2012). Greta is the first to say it—she’s an atheist and she’s mad as hell. In this fast-paced, provocative manifesto, she explains why she (and many other atheists) are full of fury. With chapter titles such as “The Litany of Rage,” “The Santa Delusion,” and “Yes, This Means You, New Age Religion,” Greta’s punchy style and knack for a catchphrase provide a compelling look at atheism in the 21st century. Greta is a writer and blogger who lives in San Francisco with her wife, Ingrid.
Fields and Streams: Stream Restoration, Neoliberalism, and the Future of Environmental Science, by Rebecca Lave ’93 (University of Georgia Press, 2012). Heralded as a “brilliant and pathbreaking work,” Rebecca’s book examines the science of stream restoration and the issue of the privatization and commercialization of knowledge that has fundamentally changed the way that science is funded, organized, and viewed in the United States. She looks at the success of Dave Rosgen, a private consultant who is widely respected as an expert in the field though he has relatively little formal scientific training. Decried by academic and federal agency–based scientists, Rosgen’s methods are promoted by federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as by resource agencies in dozens of states. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Rebecca demonstrates that the primary cause of Rosgen’s success is neither the method nor the man but is instead the assignment of a new legitimacy to scientific claims developed outside the academy, concurrent with academic scientists’ decreasing ability to defend their turf. What is at stake in the Rosgen wars, she argues, is not just the ecological health of our rivers and streams but the very future of environmental science. Rebecca is an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the geography department at Indiana University.
I am Proud of my Family, Estoy Orgulloso de mi Familia, Iyi Cusiji’ini Shi’in Na Ta’in: My Family Feeds California, by George Feldman ’95 (CreateSpace, 2012). George initiated the publication of this book and also served as coauthor. Text is presented in English, Spanish, and Mixteco, and George has found that the book’s publication has led to conversations between people working with Mixteco immigrants throughout California. (See Class Notes.)