Summer Reading

The latest faculty and alumni publications.


Cover image from "Maid as Muse"

Learn how the household staff influenced the work of a celebrated American poet in "Maid as Muse: How Servants Changed Emily Dickinson's Life and Language" (University of New Hampshire Press, '10) by Aífe Murray (M.A., '94).

Cover image from "The Orange Wire Problem and Other Tales from the Doctor's Office"

"David Watts (M.A., '92) explores the moral dilemmas and personal rewards of ministering to the sick in his essay collection "The Orange Wire Problem and Other Tales from the Doctor's Office" (University of Iowa Press, '09).


Tibetan Women on the Edge of History"

The lives of a visionary educator, a freedom fighter, a gulag survivor and a child bride are the subject of "Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History" (University of Washington Press, '09) by Canyon Sam (M.F.A., '98).

 A Guide to the Issues"

Darlene Iskra (B.A., '74), the first female commander of a commissioned naval vessel, traces both the triumphs and challenges of women who serve their country in "Women in the United States Armed Forces: A Guide to the Issues" (Praeger, '10).


A Memoir"

"A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir" (Counterpoint, '10) by Jane Vandenburgh (M.A., '79) follows the author's journey into adulthood after losing her father to suicide and her mother to mental illness.

  Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines"

"The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines" (Exterminating Angel Press, '09) by Mike Madrid (B.A., '84) is a tribute to such fighting females as Lady Luck, Miss Fury and Wonder Woman.


 Writing Essays and Memoirs for Love and for Money"

"Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Writing Essays and Memoirs for Love and for Money" (Scottwall Associates, '09) by Adair Lara (B.A., '76) offers tips for conquering writer's block and getting published.




Cover image from "A Bomb in Every  Issue"

"A Bomb in Every Issue" (The New Press, '09) by Peter Richardson, lecturer, narrates the wild ride of Ramparts magazine, the 1960s-era San Francisco muckraker that repeatedly scooped The New York Times and changed American journalism.

Cover image from "Guest House"

"Guest House" (Bay Tree Publishing, '10) by Barbara K. Richardson (Cr., '84) centers on go-getter Melba Burns after she witnesses a horrific accident, quits her job and retreats into a farmhouse, where unexpected guests change her world profoundly.


Cover image from "Feeding Strays"

Stefanie Freele (B.A., '92) takes readers on a ride through a world of levitating babies, suicide vacations and women grappling with hormonal rage in "Feeding Strays" (Lost Horse Press, '09), her collection of fifty short stories.

Cover image from "City of Dragons"

Set amid the race and class wars of 1940 San Francisco, "City of Dragons" (Thomas Dunne/Minotaur, '10) by Kelli Stanley (B.A.,'99; M.A., '06), follows private investigator Miranda Corbie's search for justice after city officials attempt to cover up a murder.


Cover image from "Entertaining Disasters"

"Entertaining Disasters" (Counterpoint, '09) by Nancy Spiller (B.A.'76) chronicles the struggle a freelance food writer faces when a visit from a famous foodie forces her to host her first non-fiction dinner party in years.

Cover image from "Hold Still"

After her friend Ingrid commits suicide, a teenaged Caitlin struggles to move forward and start her life again in "Hold Still" (Dutton Juvenile, '09), a young adult novel by Nina LaCour (B.A., '04) that recently received a Northern California Book Award.


Cover image from "The Defector"

"The Defector" (Penguin, '09) by Daniel Silva (attended '84) begins six months after the conclusion of his previous thriller, "Moscow Rules," when Gabriel Allon learns that the man who saved his life in Moscow has vanished without a trace.




Cover image from "Sonnet 56"

Professor Paul Hoover presents 56 variations of a single Shakespeare poem in his collection, "Sonnet 56" (Les Figues Press, '09), among them an answering machine message, limerick and lounge singer's rendition.

Cover image from "Lucifer at the Starlite"

With sections such as Happy Hour, Jukebox and Dance Floor, the latest collection of poems from Kim Addonizio (B.A., '82; M.A., '86), "Lucifer at the Starlite" (W.W. Norton & Co., '09), focuses on late-night revelers and dissatisfied and disaffected lovers.


Cover image from "The Curvature of Blue"

In "The Curvature of Blue" (?Cervená Barva Press, '09), her fifth collection of poetry, Lucille Lang Day (M.A., '99; M.F.A., '04 ) ponders the lasting effects of a visit to the Holocaust Museum, the artistry of a tooth painter and the thoughtful design of the jellyfish.



Other SF State Wright-ing

Image of "Loving Frank" cover

Interest in architectural giant Frank Lloyd Wright is soaring thanks to "Loving Frank" (Random House, '08), the bestselling novel by Nancy Horan (attended '71-'76). Her telling of Wright's dramatic affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney received the 2009 James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction.

Book cover image for "Dear Bob, Dear Betty"

Now the architect's granddaughter, Professor Emerita Elizabeth C. Wright, offers a glimpse of the scandal's effect on the next Wright generation. Her new book, "Dear Bob, Dear Betty" (Lulu, '09), shares the correspondence between her parents -- Llewellyn Wright, the architect's youngest child, and Elizabeth Kehler -- during their Depression-era courtship. Horan describes the book as "a testament to the power of hope and determination in the face of daunting obstacles."


Cover of Black Nature by Camille Dungy

Read Associate Professor Camille T, Dungy's Writing Home



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