ANGELS OF THE PACIFIC
Well-researched historical novels about experiences during World War II are abundant, but in Angels of the Pacific, Elise Worden Hooper ’96 presents a scenario that hasn’t had as much play as what went on in Europe. Inspired by extraordinary true stories of Army and Navy nurses who served in the Philippines, as well as Filipinas whose stories are not as well known, Hooper has crafted a compelling novel about the courage and resilience of these women after the Japanese invasion of the country. Following the experiences of two main characters—Tess, an American nurse who accepts a post in Manila in 1941, and Flor, a Filipina who joins the resistance after the Japanese occupation—Hooper develops a detailed and riveting plot about the danger and deprivation these women face as the brutal invaders imprison them in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila. The story of sisterhood, bravery, and hope will keep you turning the pages and rooting for these victims of wartime cruelty and terror.
ALASKA ADVENTURE 55 WAYS
John Wolfe Jr. and Rebecca Wolfe
The father-daughter team of John Wolfe ’84 and Rebecca Wolfe have updated and reimagined the classic guide, 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, which was first published 50 years ago by John Wolfe’s mother, Helen Nienhueser. In Alaska Adventure 55 Ways, the authors provide maps, detailed instructions, and beautiful photos to inspire and guide you on everything from day hikes to weeklong adventures, which include canoe trails, wilderness cabins, easy summits, forest walks, cross-country ski routes, mountain biking, wild skating, and more. Ready to be explored are areas in southcentral Alaska from the Kenai Peninsula to the Copper River basin, including Chugach and Denali State Parks. This comprehensive guidebook offers a lifetime of outdoor activities for anyone eager to discover and experience the vast and varied terrain of Alaska.
WHATEVER THE FUTURE HOLDS
Heidi E. V. McCann
Heidi Erdmann Vance McCann ’97 made a promise to her love, Curtis Vance: she would document their journey with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which Curtis was diagnosed with at age 25. After 22 years she finished her story, and the result is the poignant, often heartrending memoir Whatever the Future Holds: A Story of Grace, Resilience, and Love. McCann tells of the teenage girl falling in love with the handsome, popular, and sometimes wild older boy, and follows the ups and down as their relationship develops. But nothing prepares them for the blow their young love will face when Curtis begins to have serious physical problems that lead to a devastating diagnosis. What follows is a year of anguish, heartbreak, and unimaginable hurdles as McCann dedicates herself to taking care of the man she eventually marries, just weeks before he dies. Her resilience and the depth and breadth of her love will leave you breathless, in awe, and glad you could share in what she calls an “incredible journey.”
TOMORROW IN SHANGHAI
Chinese American writer May-Lee Chai, Chinese School ’91 has published an insightful, empathetic collection of short stories in Tomorrow in Shanghai. Through the eyes of characters from across the Chinese diaspora, she tells the tales of people displaced, navigating foreign lands and strange worlds, dealing with the complexities of family, and looking to belong and be seen. In rural China, a city doctor harvests organs to fund a wedding and a future for his family; on vacation in France, a white mother and her biracial daughter can’t escape their fraught relationship; two Chinese American women living abroad in China develop an unexpected romance; in a future Chinese colony on Mars, an aging working-class woman takes a job as a nanny. Heartbreaking and illuminating with twists of humor, the stories are full of yearning and fulfillment and love and are an important addition to the modern library of Asian American literary voices.
FORTY POEMS FOR FORTY POUNDS
Heartwarming, poignant, and often very funny, the poems in this collection by Trish Dougherty, MA English ’22 are universally relatable in their personal messages. Many of the poems describe the worries and self-flagellation often associated with trying to lose weight, yet Dougherty doesn’t instill a sense of futility in her work. There is an underlying, subtle strength throughout her reflections and humor prevails as can be seen in the asterisk associated with the book’s title: The poems are “to be read by the refrigerator light.” What she does do is create community by showing that many people go through the same experiences in their connections to food, which can be negative but also positive at times. She assures us that “you are not alone,” and we feel it in her words. And in the end, by the time you reach her 40th poem, you realize her message is not that there is always a happy ending but that each person must find their own way of living within their own skin—and she wishes you well.
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