Amy Baltzell ’87
Living in the Sweet Spot: Preparing for Performance in Sport and Life

This inspiring guide to preparing for life’s major performances integrates the best of the new field of positive psychology with the essentials of sport psychology. It contains practical and effective reflective exercises that will help readers rise to the challenge of performing at their best. The book is divided into three parts: The Building Blocks of a Champion Approach, Preparing for Performance and Competition, and The Day of Performance. Top athletes and musicians, and the author herself, who was an Olympian and an America’s Cup sailor, share experiences about the issues they have faced under pressure as performers. Baltzell was inducted into Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Melissa Myozen Blacker ’76 and James Ismael Ford, editors
The Book of MU: Essential Writings on Zen’s Most Important Koan

Koan study has long been associated with Zen practice, and this book concentrates on the Mu koan. The word “mu” is one ancient Zen teacher’s response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has “buddha nature”—and discovering the meaning of the master’s response is the urgent work of those who yearn to be free and at peace. “Practicing Mu” is synonymous with practicing Zen, and “sitting with Mu” is an apt description for all Zen meditation. This inspiring volume brings together the writings of more than 40 ancient and modern masters from across centuries and the full spectrum of the Zen world, to illuminate and clarify the question of how to be truly onself. Sections are devoted to first teachers of the koan way, founding teachers of the West, and modern commentaries.

Bill Boulware ’71, Sylvia Harris, and Eunetta T. Boone (co-authors)
Long Shot: My Bipolar Life and the Horses Who Saved Me
• ECCO, 2011

Boulware has co-authored a memoir with Sylvia Harris, who recounts her moving story of being crippled for 20 years with bipolar depression, until she found the miraculous healing and calming effect of working with horses at a ranch outside Orlando, Florida. Though she still experienced extreme highs and lows, learning to care for and race horses ultimately enabled her to achieve some stability and manage her illness, along with her Buddhist faith. Harris confronted the sexism of the field to become the first African American woman in Chicago racing history to win a major Thoroughbred horse race and only the second in U.S. history. She says that “although there is no cure for bipolar disorder you can still accomplish so much. You can still reach your dreams.”

Adina Hoffman ’89 and Peter Cole
Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
• SCHOCKEN, 2011

Hoffman and Cole tell the fascinating story of the retrieval from an Egyptian geniza (or repository for worn-out texts) in an old Cairo synagogue, of arguably the most significant cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered. Their narrative of buried scholarly treasure begins in the late 19th century, and they create engaging and memorable portraits of Solomon Schechter and several other scholarly women and men who devoted themselves to saving the medieval documents. The manuscripts included letters and poems, wills and marriage contracts, Bibles, money orders, fiery dissenting tracts, and fashion-conscious trousseaux lists, prescriptions, petitions, and mysterious magical charms. The authors bring modern readers into the heart of the explorations of this unique trove, whose contents have been aptly called “the Living Sea Scrolls” because of their revelation of a vibrant Mediterranean Jewish society of the past.

Chi-Young Kim ’03 (translator) and Kyung-Sook Shin (author)
Please Look After Mom
• KNOPF, 2011

Kim has skillfully translated an international best-selling Korean novel which recounts the story of a family’s search for their mother, who disappears one afternoon amid the crowds of a Seoul subway station. The heartrending story is told from the points of views of four members of the family as they meditate about the past and the mother’s selfless behavior. As the novel reveals secrets within the family, it also delves into aspects of Korean culture that may be unfamiliar to foreign readers, particularly the differences of rural and urban life. The New York Times reviewer Mythili G. Rao wrote: “Shin’s prose, intimate and hauntingly spare in this translation by Chi-Young Kim, moves from first to second and third person, and powerfully conveys grief’s bewildering immediacy.”

Andrew Kirkendall ’80
Paulo Freire and the Cold War Politics of Literacy

This stirring book is both a political biography of Paulo Freire (1921–97), who played a crucial role in shaping international literacy education, and a thoughtful examination of the politics of literacy during the Cold War. It also tells the story of the transformation of a Latin American new Left. During Freire’s lifetime, illiteracy and its elimination were political issues important enough to figure in the fall of governments (as in Brazil in 1964), the building of nations (in newly independent African countries in the 1970s), and the construction of a revolutionary order (Nicaragua in 1980). Freire, a native of Brazil’s impoverished Northeast, developed new adult literacy training techniques that involved consciousness-raising, encouraging peasants and newly urban citizens to see themselves as questioning, critical, and active adults who could transform their own lives. His work for Brazilian state and national government agencies in the early 1960s eventually aroused the suspicion of Brazilian military, as well as of U.S. government aid programs. After Brazil’s 1964 military coup, Freire was briefly imprisoned and then spent more than a decade and a half in exile. During this time, he continued his influential work in Chile, Nicaragua, and postindependence African countries, as well as in Geneva with the World Council of Churches and in the United States at Harvard University.

Ellen Prager ’84
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

Prager focuses on a variety of fascinating and often strange creatures that live in the depths of the ocean—from tiny but voracious arrow worms whose rapacious ways may lead to death by overeating, to the lobsters that battle rivals or seduce mates with their urine, to the sea’s masters of disguise, the octopuses. She examines the ways these sea inhabitants interact as predators, prey, or potential mates. Her entertaining book elucidates the crucial connections between life in the ocean and humankind, in everything from our food supply to our economy, and in drug discovery, biomedical research, and popular culture.

Leigh Raiford ’94
Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle

Raiford’s remarkable book explores how activists in the black freedom struggle over the past 100 years have used photographic imagery to gain political recognition and to develop and change the visual vocabulary of black lives. She reveals how activists selected photography over other media, and how photography became an increasingly effective and complex tool in representing black political interests. Raiford devotes three separate chapters to the employment of photography to record the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, and the black power movement. She highlights key transformations in technology, society, and politics to understand the evolution of photography’s deployment in capturing white oppression, black resistance, and African American life. The author also considers how the use of these forceful pictures in political campaigns and art exhibits affects our memory of key events.

Claude Clayton Smith ’66 and Alexander Vaschenko (translators and editors)
The Way of Kinship: An Anthology of Native Siberian Literature

This first anthology of Native Siberian literature in English represents writers from regions extending from the Ob River in the west to the Chukotka peninsula, the easternmost point of the Siberian Russian Arctic. The diverse collection of prose fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction chronicles ancient Siberian cultures and traditions threatened with extinction in the contemporary world and represents seven distinct ethnic groups through the voices of their most important representatives. The editors’ “goal was to capture the flavor, the scope, and most of all the essence of Native Siberian writing.” Several of the selections experiment with narrative discourse, involving traditional (myth, orality, bilingualism) and nontraditional (realistic or beyond) literary techniques.

John Spike ’73
Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine
• VENDOME, 2010

This vivid biography of Michelangelo’s early life from birth to his early 30s uncovers the thinking, artistic evolution, and yearnings of a young man who believed in his exceptional talent. Spike traces Michelangelo’s development into a master sculptor who at a very young age created the Pietà and the David. The book examines the artist’s involvement in the troubling controversies of his age and provides memorable vignettes of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Leonardo, Julius II, and Machiavelli with Florence and Rome as a backdrop. Spike also explores the strong influence his charismatic personality had upon his contemporaries and followers. As Michelangelo was growing as an artist from 1475 to 1508, he also was an eyewitness to the bonfire of the vanities, the Rome of the Borgias, the siege of Florence, and the burning of Savonarola at the stake.

Ilya Vinkovetsky ’88
Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804–1867

From 1741 until Alaska was sold to the United States in 1867, the Russian empire claimed territory and peoples in North America. Vinkovetsky examines how Russia governed its only overseas colony on different terms than the rest of the empire, a hybrid of elements carried over from Siberia and imported from rival colonial systems. Its economic, labor, and social organization reflected Russian hopes for Alaska, as well as the numerous limitations it imposed, such as its vast territory and pressures from its multiethnic residents. The author looks closely at Russian efforts to acculturate the native peoples, including attempts to predispose them to be more open to the Russian political and cultural influence through trade and Russian Orthodox Christianity.


Susan Petersen Avitzour ’76, And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones • ZMANMA, 2011

Talya Fishman ’76, Becoming the People of the Talmud: Oral Torah as Written Tradition in Medieval Jewish Cultures • UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS, 2011

Lara Galinsky ’96 and Kelly Nuxoll, Work on Purpose • ECHOING GREEN, 2011

Daniel Greene ’95, The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity • INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Jack Levinson ’87, Making Life Work: Freedom and Disability in a Community Group Home • UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS, 2010

Eric Lane ’95, Clean Tech Intellectual Property: Eco-marks, Green Patents, and Green Innovation • OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Jane Berry Marcellus ’79, Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women • HAMPTON PRESS, 2010

Curtis McLaughlin ’54, P’79, Julie Johnson, and William Sollecito, Implementing Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care: A Global Casebook • JONES AND BARTLETT LEARNING, 2011

Patrick Reinsborough ’94 and Doyle Canning, Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-Based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements and Change the World • PM PRESS, 2010

Samuel Selesnick ’81 and Michael Stewart, Differential Diagnosis in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery • THIEME, 2010

Beth Seltzer ’91, 101 Careers in Public Health • SPRINGER PUBLISHING COMPANY, 2010

Tonya Ward Singer ’94, et al, Oxford Picture Dictionary for the Content Areas, Teacher’s Edition • OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2010

Paul Starobin ’79, Five Roads to the Future: Power in the Next Global Age • PENGUIN, 2010

Robert Yorburg ’77, Acanthus Carving and Design • SCHIFFER PUBLISHING, 2010


Robert Abel ’65, Lumi’s Book of Eyes • WASTELAND PRESS, 2010 • and Lumi’s Book of Teeth • WASTELAND PRESS, 2011

Kate Colby ’96, The Return of the Native • UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE, 2011

James Drummond ’69, The Coyotes Forgive You • MONGREL EMPIRE PRESS, 2011

Eliot Glassheim ’60, Foreign Exchange: American Encounters with China • NORTH DAKOTA MUSEUM OF ART, 2010

Sue Guiney ’77, A Clash of Innocents • WARD WOOD PUBLISHING, 2010

Nancy Rommelmann ’83, The Bad Mother • DYMAXICON, 2010

Mark Schafer ’85 (translator) and Belén Gopegui (author), The Scale of Maps • CITY LIGHTS PUBLISHERS, 2011

Catherine Wald ’76, Distant, burned-out stars • FINISHING LINE PRESS, 2011

If you are a Wesleyan graduate, faculty member, or parent with a new publication, please let us know by contacting David Low at dlow@wesleyan.edu or at Wesleyan magazine, Office of University Communications, Wesleyan University, South College, Middletown, CT 06459.

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu