UNIVERSE OF TWO
Stephen P. Kiernan
Author Stephen Kiernan ’82 is back with yet another compelling historical novel that takes place during World War II, except this time in the United States. Delving into the difficult mission of the Manhattan Project, Kiernan interweaves one man’s task of designing and building the detonator for the atomic bomb with a love story between the man and his wife. Based loosely on the life of mathematician Charles B. Fisk, the novel follows the characters Charlie and Brenda and reveals the repercussions that come from a crisis of conscience by Charlie about his work, how it affects his marriage, and how he and his wife eventually seek redemption by making amends for the evil he helped bring into the world.
THE CASE FOR EDWARD DE VERE
John Milnes Baker
The controversy about who the real William Shakespeare was has raged for years and John Baker ’55 has added his voice to the mix with The Case for Edward de Vere as the Real William Shakespeare. In his fascinating booklet, Baker explains the different theories about the writer of Shakespeare’s works and the history behind those theories; introduces de Vere as the real creator of the Shakespeare oeuvre and provides a biography of him; and supplies numerous resources for the curious reader to follow up on the controversy and further learn about what is known as the Oxfordian point of view: that Edward de Vere was the author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare.
In her suspenseful debut novel, Emily Temple ’08 explores female friendship and the dangers of teenage daring, desire, and experimentation. Temple’s character, Olivia, begins her journey in a quest to find out what happened to her father, who has disappeared at a place called the Levitation Center, where she enrolls in a summer program for troubled teens. She soon finds herself entwined in a group of girls who yearn to push physical boundaries and find enlightenment by learning to levitate. As she navigates this mysterious world, she realizes all is not as it seems and survival could be on the line. Beautifully written, with witty, gripping prose, this coming-of-age mystery combines a page-turning plot with reflections on meditation, Buddhism, and what it means to be on the verge of womanhood.
CONFESSIONS OF MADNESS
Too often mental illness is seen as a stigma and not looked on as the disease it is. Those suffering from it are made to feel disgraced and weak, as if they have caused their own distress. In her brave little book, Wendall Churchill ’86 very candidly and bluntly reveals her own struggles with being bipolar and the suffering she has endured for years. While her writing can be dark and raw, it also demonstrates the strength Churchill possesses to work towards self-healing and the chance for hope to be a part of her life. A gripping testimonial, this memoir is a view into what it means to live a life that is anything but “normal” and how to have the courage to share the realities of that life with others.
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