Books, Film, Music

Reediana December 2018

The latest collection of new works, from books to music to film, by Reedies.

December 13, 2018

A Memoir 1917–2017

The American Psychological Association listed Eleanor Maccoby ’39 as among the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Throughout her career she studied developmental psychology, specifically sex differences, gender development, gender differentiation, parent-child relations, child development, and social development from the child perspective. Her memoir traces her formative years in Tacoma, Washington, through the professional work that has brought her renown. (CreateSpace, 2018)

Multiple Publications by Allen Wood ’64

Allen Wood ’64, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, has a handful of recent publications: Kantian Ethics (Cambridge, 2008), The Free Development of Each (Oxford, 2014), Fichte’s Ethical Thought (Oxford, 2016), and Formulas of the Moral Law (Cambridge, 2017). His most recent is a revised version of his translation of Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (Yale, 2018). His next book, Kant and Religion (Cambridge), is due to go to press in 2019.

The Ethical Chemist (second edition)

Jeff Kovac ’70, professor of chemistry at the University of Tennessee, says the basis of this book, now in its second edition, is a series of specific cases that present the kinds of ethical problems faced by both students and practicing chemists. Commentaries discuss the ethical issues raised and present possible solutions in the form of morally acceptable courses of action. The introductory chapters provide an overview of ethics, morals, and ethical theory, as well as a discussion of professionalism and ethics in science. (Oxford University Press, 2018)

The Debasement of Human Rights

The idea of human rights began as a call for individual freedom from tyranny, yet today it is exploited to rationalize oppression and promote collectivism. How did this happen? Aaron Rhodes ’71, recognized as one of the leading human rights activists in the world by the University of Chicago, reveals how an emancipatory ideal became so debased. (Encounter Books, 2018)

A Kind of Paradise

In latest novel by Bev Jafek ’71, Jean and Red retire and return to a paradise village in Mexico where they planned to build their dream house, but they encounter a new Mexico filled with political corruption, police brutality, and violence against women. A serial murderer is loose in the village, and Jean and Red attempt to arm and defend the women of Mexico. The effort is harrowing: Can they save the village women? Will they even get out alive? (Bedazzled Ink, 2018)

The Word Made Flesh

The second novel by Bob Rashkin ’72 (published under the pen name Bannager Bong) is a work of “prehistoric realism” exploring how how people first developed speech. Somewhere, sometime around 100,000 to 70,000 years ago, some early humans first started talking. Ever wonder how that happened, he asks. (Lulu, 2008)

The Hero’s Brother

It’s hard enough being barely above average  when your brothers include the deadliest swordsman of the realm, a saint, and the greatest hero of the Middle Ages. But what if your Queen of Love is imprisoned by a one-armed religious zealot and lethal librarians? The result is either high adventure or an identity crisis. Or both. A new historical fantasy novel by M. Scott Anderson ’73 is available in audio format here.

Crazy Rich Asians (movie)

Robert Friedland ’74 and Kilian Kerwin ’85 are producers of this box office hit, a romantic comedy based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan about a young woman of modest means who travels to Singapore to meet her longtime boyfriend’s family and is surprised to discover they are one of the country’s wealthiest families. The movie’s press notes that it is the first film from a major Hollywood studio in 25 years to feature a majority Asian American cast.

Write a Bad College Essay . . . Then Write the One That Gets You In

In a new college essay manual Cathy Altman Nocquet ’78 leads readers to explore their creative and critical thinking to elicit an authentic essay no one else could write. Her approach is fresh and wise and well suited for contemporary applicants. (CreateSpace, 2018)

The Rise of Animals & Descent of Man 1660–1800: Toward Posthumanism in British Literature between Descartes and Darwin

John Morillo ’82, associate professor of English at North Carolina State University, has written a sophisticated intellectual history of the origins of our attitudes about animals that at the same time illuminates major currents of 18th century British literary culture. (University of Delaware Press, 2017)

On a River Winding Home: Stories and Visions of the Petaluma River Watershed

Through the use of stunning photography and intimate storytelling, writer John Sheehy ’82 and photographer Scott Hess pair contemporary photos of Northern California’s Petaluma River watershed with stories that capture the watershed’s colorful history and its shifting identity over the past two centuries. Stories extend from the native Coast Miwoks to the Spanish missionaries, Mexican rancheros, Gold Rush settlers, railroad barons, bootleggers, socialist chicken ranchers, slow-growth pioneers, winemakers, and farm-to-market artisanal farmers. Part rambling walking tour, part voyage to the past, the book deepens the watershed’s unique sense of place by “restory-ing” the landscape. (Ensatina Books, 2018)

The Dystopian Imagination in Contemporary Spanish Literature and Film

Diana Palardy ’87 examines contemporary Spanish dystopian literature and films (in)directly related to the 2008 financial crisis from an urban cultural studies perspective. In close reading of texts and films by Ray Loriga, Elia Barceló, Ion de Sosa, José Ardillo, David Llorente, Eduardo Vaquerizo, and Ricardo Menéndez Salmón, Diana offers insights into the creative ways that these authors and directors use spatial constructions to capture the dystopian imagination. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

Rudy Owens ’87 (formerly Rudy Brueggemann) profiles the American adoption system and experience. Owens’s memoir as an adoptee and foster child examines the institutions, the medical and social work personnel, and the national system that promoted adoption as the “most suitable plan” for single and pregnant women in the four decades after World War II. (BFD Press, 2018)

Knitting Wild: Knitting, Nature, and the Resistance!

When the Trump administration put an oil industry insider in charge of the Dept. of the Interior, Theressa Silver ’93 responded by writing a book of knitting patterns. Each pattern is a love letter to America’s wild places. The book includes a fair bit of biology, a liberal dose of environmentalism, and a dollop of political activism. Photographed in the Reed canyon and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. (Cooperative Press, 2018)

Repossessed

In a new play by Greg Lam ’96, he imagines what would happen if anyone could choose to remix and rewrite their memories and personalities. Rich and Gretchen seem to have the ideal marriage until they learn that it was manufactured by a mysterious biotech company which installed it into their brains. Because they can no longer afford this service, the company must repossess their improvements. Repossessed explores questions of identity, morality, and authenticity amidst a world of rapidly changing technology and the ethics that come with it. The play was produced by Theatre Conspiracy in Fort Myers, Florida after winning its 2017 New Play Contest over a field of 500+ entries. It also recently won a Lotus Lee Foundation New Work Initiative and will be produced in Shanghai with a possible tour afterward.

Harvests, Feasts, and Graves: Postcultural Consciousness in Contemporary Papua New Guinea

Ryan Schram ’99 explores the experiences of living in intercultural and historical conjunctures among the Auhelawa people of Papua New Guinea. In this ethnographic investigation, Ryan ponders how Auhelawa question the meaning of social forms and through this questioning seek paths to establish a new sense of their collective self. (Cornell University Press, 2018)

Public Children Law: Contemporary Issues

Dr. Bianca Jackson ’00, family law barrister, has coauthored a guide to current, important, and commonly misunderstood issues in public children law. Drawing together the key statutes, case law, and procedures in relation to twelve central themes, this book examines current issues of particular difficulty in public children law, with an emphasis on those with an international dimension. (Bloomsbury Professional, 2018)

Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance

Adonia Lugo ’05 paints an unforgettable picture of Los Angeles—and the United States—from the perspective of two wheels. This is a book of borderlands and intersections, a cautionary tale about the dangers of putting infrastructure before culture, and a coming-of-age story about power and identity. (Microcosm Publishing, 2018)

American Fix

Claire Foster ’07 co-wrote American Fix with Ryan Hampton who describes his personal struggle with addiction, outlines the challenges that the recovery movement currently faces, and offers a concrete, comprehensive plan of action towards making America’s addiction crisis a thing of the past. (St. Martins, 2018)

Cry, Blueberry (play)

George Goodell ’17 recently directed Cry, Blueberry, which ran at the Gothenburg Fringe Festival. A one-man show featuring two characters, Isaac Solomon Loew and his clown avatar, Blueberry, the play has been produced four times, garnering four-star reviews and a Buzz Award. As Blueberry removes his blue and white face paint—a nod to Edward Hopper’s painting Soir Bleu—the audience discovers the man behind the mask. Set in Great Depression–era America, the dramatic arc of the play is generated by Loew’s account of his life, punctuated by his confessions to a variety of sins. Economic, social, personal, emotional, and spiritual “ups and downs” are the key motifs. The play explores mental illness, escapism, bystander apathy, and the thin line between self-referential comedy and self-deprecation. From the beginning of Blueberry’s monologue to the end of Loew’s, writer-actor Richard Canal stages how fatally flawed a person can be and still learn from their mistakes, living up to Blueberry’s mentor’s maxim: “It is not comedy that makes a clown great; it is his sincerity.” —Sebastian Zinn ’18