A GHOST WAITS
MacLeod Andrews as Jack
MacLeod Andrews ’07.5 is a talented actor, producer, audiobook narrator, and voiceover artist whose body of work includes award-winning films and audiobooks as well as voiceover gigs in animation, video games, and commercials. A recent project, indie film A Ghost Waits, which he cowrote and stars in, was picked up for distribution by Arrow Films and earned him Best Actor awards at several film festivals. A romantic horror comedy, the movie follows Jack, who has been hired to clean out a house whose occupants have left suddenly. He is asked, while he’s at it, to try to figure out why no one stays very long in this particular abode. He soon realizes there’s a ghost involved, Muriel, who is a star employee at a house-haunting agency. He is intrigued by her, and no matter what she does to scare him, he isn’t frightened. What follows is a winsome and funny tale of a blossoming connection that gets interesting when Muriel’s boss sends in a replacement ghost to make Jack leave the house.
A HISTORY OF LETTERS
Mel B. Yoken
In the early 1960s, Mel Yoken, French ’59, ’63 began writing letters to “famous and learned individuals” while he was a graduate student in French literature at Brown University. His original purpose was to ask about their work, mainly for his research, but as the years went by, he kept writing to and receiving letters back from some of the most influential and respected people of the 20th and 21st centuries. What he has done in A History of Letters: Memorable Quotes from a Moribund Art is to glean excerpts from his vast collection of correspondence to shed light on the thoughts and insights of more than 80 individuals who have shaped our nation over the past decades. You will hear from the likes of Maya Angelou, John Glenn, Carol Burnett, Colin Powell, and Anne Sexton, to name a few. With the rise of computers, emails, and social media, letter writing has certainly become a moribund art, and much is lost because of that. Luckily, Yoken has over 400,000 letters housed at the John Hay Library at Brown, so hopefully more books of excerpts will be forthcoming.
Dean de la Motte
With thorough research and conscientious design, Dean de la Motte, German ’86 has created Oblivion: The Lost Diaries of Branwell Brontë. A novel divided into three volumes, it traces Branwell’s wanderings around the north of England in the first half of the 19th century, from the Lake District to Halifax to Haworth. His experiences reveal a changing time as the world heads toward industrialization; at the same time his story shines a light on the inner lives of the now-famous Brontë sisters as we come to understand their troubled brother. Through a readable, conversational narrative, de la Motte tackles many of life’s common experiences, including class and gender issues; love, lust, and sex; addiction; the desire for fame; and the artists’ disillusionment with people who are becoming more materialistic and less appreciative of the arts. A moving, thought-provoking tale, Oblivion is historical fiction at its most interesting, educational best.
A LITTLE BIT OF LAND
In her heartwarming, soul-searching memoir, Jessica Gigot ’01 tells the tale of how she became one of the few women farmers in the Skagit Valley of Washington State. A biology major at Middlebury, she found after graduating that she wanted to become more connected to the natural world. She became fascinated with farming and food systems and spent time during her 20s learning about both as a farm intern and graduate student in horticulture. Her quest led her to her own small farm, where she began growing vegetables and raising sheep. Her journey over the past 20 years has been full of hard work, with its rewards and setbacks, and she says she wrote her book “to unpack” why she chose this route. Along the way, she has learned much about a woman’s place in a male-dominated industry and about sustainability, economics, and health in our food systems. Working on her farm and being so close to nature has taught her a lot about herself and her place on this earth, which may be the most valuable lesson of all.