Reediana September 2018

A fresh batch of new works, from books to music to film, by Reedies.

September 6, 2018

Road Trips: Becoming an American in the Vapor Trail of the Sixties

In 1969 Tamim Ansary ’70 hitchhiked across North America from his home base in Portland, Oregon with five dollars in his pocket. Road Trips recounts stories from this trip and his subsequent odysseys, set against the familiar background of communes and collectives, Woodstock and Watergate, sex, dope, acid, rock ’n’ roll, and the end of civilization as we know it. (Kajakai Press, 2016)


In this debut fiction by Roger Arthur Smith ’72, Attorney Will Dubykky keeps a watchful eye over a secluded desert town, when a strange boy suddenly appears. Why is this boy disfigured? Why does he have difficulty speaking? Why can’t some people seem to see him? As one of the initiated, Dubykky has an inkling; the boy is evil, an echo sent to rectify the wrongs of an indulgent murderer. Echoes, is an exploration of humanity, evil, and the stark environs in which both exist. (Baobab Press, 2018)

Project Fire

Steven Raichlen ’75, New York Times bestselling writer of the Barbecue Bible, five-time winner of the James Beard award, and TV host, has a new cookbook, Project Fire, a full-color celebration of contemporary grilling. (Workman Publishing Company, 2018)

Lullaby Road

In James Anderson ’77’s latest book, a mute child is left at a truck stop with a note that reads “Please Ben. Bad trouble. My son . . . Tell no one.” Despite deep misgivings, and without any hint of who this child is or the grave danger he’s facing, Ben Jones, a short-haul truck driver on remote Route 117, takes the child with him in his truck and sets out into an environment that is as dangerous as it is beautiful and silent. (Crown, 2018)

Mouth toward Sky

Geraldine Foote ’82 has a new book of poetry that explores her personal experience of American historical events such as the Kennedy assassination, Hiroshima, Vietnam, and 9/11. She explores relationships and motherhood and draws images from Northwest landscapes. (Finishing Line Press, 2018)

Lettered Artists and the Languages of Empire

Susan Verdi Webster ’82 uses extensive and largely unpublished archival documentation in this this major new work which recovers the first century of artistic practice in colonial Quito, one of colonial South America’s most important artistic centers. (University of Texas Press, 2017)

Oregon Confetti

In Lee Oser ’88’s new work of fiction, Portland art dealer Devin Adams is content earning a semihonest living until one night his friend John Sun comes knocking at the door, bearing a mysterious baby. Despite Devin’s strong natural preference for easy profits and easy women, the baby moves him in his wayward soul to join Sun on an absurd quest. (Wiseblood Books, 2017)

Conversation Club

Eve Muller ’89 recently coauthored a curriculum for teaching students with high-functioning autism the “how” and “why” of conversation. The books are illustrated by one of her students with autism, and findings from her pilot study, published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2016, indicated that the curriculum was not only fun and motivating for kids, but also effective. (AAPC Publishing, 2018)

Future First

Alice Mann ’91, a former vice president at JPMorgan Chase who holds a PhD in social and organizational psychology, has recently published her first book, Future First: How Successful Leaders Turn Innovation Challenges into New Value Frontiers. Mann advises future-leaning leaders to expand, reinvent, and transform their businesses into future-first companies. (Routledge, 2018)

Understanding Your Baby

Soon after I had my baby and was settled in at home, I realized that I had no idea how to play with this brand-new little person who was quickly wanting to do more than eat and sleep. I had trouble finding a go-to resource for ideas—something that was not a textbook, nor overly simplistic. Ayelet Marinovich ’03, a pediatric speech-language pathologist and parent educator, has a new book that strikes that difficult balance. The book is full of well-researched, distilled information and ideas for playing and engaging with babies to support their development. Concisely presented information is also well organized, so it’s easy to grab an age-appropriate activity and use it right away while understanding its developmental benefit. The text is carefully footnoted so that interested readers can see source material and relevant studies, read further, and find related podcasts and other web content on the Strength In Words website, a resource Ayelet created to “promote caregiver / baby interaction and support parent education through music, play, sensory experiences, and language-rich environments.” The book is governed by Ayelet’s philosophy that emphasizes respect for babies, as well as her conviction that caregivers need not go buy toys and devices to support infant development, but have everything they need already at home. —Katie Pelletier ’03

Compassionate Moral Realism

Colin Marshall ’03, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, offers a ground-up defense of objective morality, drawing inspiration from a wide range of philosophers, including John Locke, Arthur Schopenhauer, Iris Murdoch, Nel Noddings, and David Lewis. (Oxford University Press, 2018) 

100 Demon Dialogues

Every artist is beset by doubt. In a stroke of diabolical ingenuity, Lucy Bellwood ’12 figured out how to turn her demons into drawings and transform her anxieties into art. Heartfelt, profound, and inspiring, these comics show an artist wrestling with a fiendish array of doubts—and finding unexpected ways to overcome them. —Chris Lydgate ’90 

Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: New Edition

In 2014, Prof. Nicholas Wheeler ’55 [physics  1963–] edited a classic work by John von Neumann, initially for his own use. The available English translation by Robert Beyer, dating from 1955, was riddled with equations that were unreadable due to the typewriter used to produce them and text that read like “transliterated German.” Prof. Wheeler undertook to produce his own version, encouraged by Prof. Thomas Wieting [math 1965–2016], Peter Renz ’59, and Marina von Neumann Whitman, von Neumann’s distinguished daughter. Equations and polished text were rendered in TeX, prefatory essays were added by distinguished physicists Freeman Dyson and Léon Van Hove, an index, and other supplemental material were added as well. When Renz learned of Wheeler’s work, he brought it to the attention of an editorial colleague at Princeton University Press, which published it in February 2018. Prof. Wheeler says, “It is my thought that some of my former students (Reed physics grads 1964–2010) might have interest in knowing that Prof. Wheeler was involved in such an effort.”

When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey

This compelling memoir chronicles how the life of Joan Diver (married to former Reed president Colin Diver) was turned inside out by devastating spinal pain—and brings us along on her extraordinary journey from Boston foundation executive to spiritual healer. With vivid writing and heartfelt honesty, Joan shows how her misfortune led not just to recovery, but also to awakening.

Books About Reedies:

Stray City

by Chelsea Johnson

This debut novel is an “anti-romance” set in the ’90s about a lesbian Reed graduate who, reeling from a breakup and a friend’s betrayal, hooks up with a man. She is soon shocked to discover she is pregnant, and despite the concerns of her astonished gay friends, she decides to have the baby. This funny debut explores the complications of belonging-—to a city, a culture, and a family. (Custom House, 2018)

Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender

by Lise Pearlman

An in-depth portrait of Fay Abrahams Stender ’53, a renowned lawyer who advocated for criminal defendants from the McCarthy era through the 1970s, including the Rosenberg espionage case, Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton, and revolutionary prisoner George Jackson. (Regent Press, 2018)


Tags: Professors, Alumni, Books, Film, Music