Above: illustration by Julia Lubas

The Vanishing Half
 by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett’s (M.F.A. ’14) second novel is the story of identical twin sisters whose lives diverge on either side of the color line after running away from their small southern Black community at sixteen. An instant New York Times bestseller, The Vanishing Half is a rich and absorbing novel spanning several generations, asking complicated questions about the stories and lies that shape who we are and what we inherit.

Author photo by Emma Trim. Cover courtesy of Penguin Random House

The Other’s Gold
by Elizabeth Ames 

In The Other’s Gold, Helen Zell Writers’ Program alumna Elizabeth Ames ( M.F.A. ‘05) writes about four young women assigned to live together their first year of college who become fast friends as they grow into themselves. Each will make a pivotal mistake, and Ames masterfully maps the interlocking secrets the friendship must harbor as a result, as well as the women’s shared joys and discoveries.

Author photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz. Cover image courtesy of Penguin Random House

Of Color
by Jaswinder Bolina 

In his debut collection of essays, poet Jaswinder Bolina (M.F.A. ‘03) explores how the experience of racism interrupts life, as a writer, a pedestrian, a teacher, and a romantic interest. Bolina demonstrates how overt aggression and even well-intentioned microaggressions are equally insidious, and that the politics of race are never not personal.

Author photo by Elaine Palladino. Cover courtesy of McSweeney's Publishing

The Scientific Method by Henry Cowles

For centuries, science meant knowledge derived from principles or observation. During the nineteenth century it became a way to think. In The Scientific Method, Assistant History Professor Henry Cowles recounts this shift and demonstrates how the parallel histories of evolution and experiment shaped our contemporary understanding of science. He traces the influence of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and John Dewey’s vision for science education and shows how the scientific method became a way to control nature rather than something produced by it.


Author photo and cover image courtesy of Harvard University Press

In Our Prime by Susan Douglas

Baby Boomers ushered in the largest generation of women over fifty, and Susan Douglas, the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Communication and Media, believes it’s high time to challenge the stereotype of what being an older woman means. In the pages of her new book In Our Prime, Douglas analyzes the ways in which the media portrays older women, and how these images feed into the ageism many women face.


Author photo and cover image courtesy of Susan Douglas

Healing Politics
by Abdul El-Sayed

In Healing Politics, Honors Program alumnus Abdul El-Sayed (A.B. ‘08) identifies what he describes as an epidemic of insecurity. Using stories drawn from his experiences as the child of immigrants and the former director of the Detroit Health Department, he explores history and science. As a physician, epidemiologist, and environmental justice advocate, El-Sayed prescribes new and progressive policies devised to heal the rifts caused by this epidemic of insecurity.

Author photo and cover image courtesy of Abrams Books

Rates of Evolution: A Quantitative Synthesis
by Philip D. Gingerich

In Rates of Evolution, Philip Gingerich, emeritus professor of earth and environmental sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, and anthropology, and emeritus curator at the Museum of Paleontology researches the rate of evolution and reaches surprising conclusions. Examining laboratory, field, and fossil records, he finds that evolution occurs rapidly on a generation-to-generation time scale. Filled with case studies and methods for analysis, this book provides insight into the topic long debated by biologists and paleontologists.

Author photo and cover image courtesy of Philip Gingerich

La Raza, edited by Colin Gunckel

Associate Professor in the Departments of American Culture and Film, Television, Video, and Media, Colin Gunckel’s La Raza received the gold medal in the U.S. history category at the 2020 Independent Publishers Book Awards. In this stunning volume of photographs and essays edited by Gunckel are the Chicanx photographers who played a crucial role, both as artists and as activists, in chronicling the early days of the Chicano movement in East Los Angeles.

Author photo by Nina Jackson Levin. Cover image courtesy of UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press