In her latest novel, Terra Nova, Henriette Lazaridis ’82 has channeled her lifelong fascination with Antarctica into a rich and compelling story about exploration of that continent coupled with life for a woman artist in 1910 London. With intense and beautiful descriptions, Lazaridis tells the harrowing story of Watts and Heywoud, who are racing to be the first men to the South Pole. Meanwhile, Heywoud’s wife, Viola, who harbors love for both men, is active in London as a photojournalist capturing in photographs the heroic women of the suffrage movement, who are striving toward their own goals. The narrative moves provocatively back and forth between these two worlds with convincing, visceral detail as the men and Viola independently follow their ambitious paths. But when the men return triumphant from the South Pole, the intersection of the stories bristles with lies and a deception that changes everything believed and achieved. Lazaridis has created a tale about risks, love, art, and agonizing choices, which make for a rich, suspenseful novel that will keep you intrigued to the end.
Jazz guitarist Jason Ennis ’97 became intrigued with Brazilian music over a decade ago, and his interest led him to adopt as his primary instrument the seven-string classical guitar, which is uniquely Brazilian. Now as the leader of his own jazz group, he has released his debut album, Jota Sete. While being influenced by a wide range of Brazilian music, he has developed his own sound on the guitar, finding, as he says, “that balance between drawing upon and emulating elements of the formidable Brazilian tradition of Sete Cordas and finding my own voice in, and my own approach to, the instrument.” He has succeeded, with his band members, in producing a beautiful album that shows its Brazilian influence but stays true to his own vision. As jazz guitar legend Gene Bertoncini states, “Every composed and improvised note throughout this entire recording is infused with creativity, beauty, and sincerity. This recording is a joy to listen to!”
Prolific author Tobias Maxwell, Japanese ’85 has published a new novel titled Rafael Jerome. When two strangers meet accidentally on the streets of Paris, they discover they have a connection through Rafael Jerome, the father of one of the men, and an acquaintance of the other. For Gary Silverman, his encounter with Rafael in 1949 has led to a lifelong sense of loss, and for Jeremy Jerome, knowledge of his father’s misadventures in flashy Hollywood of the late ’40s leads to a determination to unearth his father’s true legacy. He sets out for Ottawa, Canada, then Calgary to find answers to a decades-old family secret. Maxwell’s compelling narrative and well-drawn characters weave a story of love and loss and how complicated family loyalties can be.
SHE LOOKED TO THE SKY
Frances Dean Nolde
Memoirs abound on bookshelves these days as people sort through their lives and write about their experiences, good and bad. But the story by Frances Nolde, MA English ’76, told in She Looked to the Sky, is more of a biography of an extraordinary woman who achieved remarkable milestones in the aviation world—Nolde’s mother. While Nolde does reflect on her own part in her mother’s life and what it meant to her growing-up years, the accomplishments she chronicles are intriguing. After attempting a career in show business, and starring in a 1930s radio serial, Nolde’s mother married, raised seven children, and began learning to fly at age 39. She became a pilot, served as a commander in WWII for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), won a transcontinental all-women’s air race, and eventually became a colonel in the CAP in charge of the women’s program. After moving to Washington, she became responsible for planning how America’s civilian airplanes would defend the country if the Cold War became heated. She accomplished all this in a time when women were expected to be stay-at-home mothers. Nolde’s engaging story weaves family history with the exploits of a pioneering woman ahead of her time.