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New & notable books

New & notable books from 2023 and 2024

Recent books from the Goucher community


Fixer, by Creative Writing Assistant Professor Edgar Kunz ’10

Ecco (Imprint of HarperCollins)

From the author of the award-winning Tap Out, Edgar Kunz’s second poetry collection propels readers across the shifting terrain of late-capitalist America. Temp jobs, conspiracy theories, squatters, talk therapy, urban gardening, the robot revolution: This collection fixes its eye on the strangeness of labor. The central sequence explores the death of the poet’s estranged father, a handyman and addict, and the brothers left to sort through the detritus. Through darkly humorous vignettes, Kunz asks what it costs to build a home and a love that not only lasts but sustains.


A New Jane Austen, by Professor of Literary Studies Juliette Wells

Bloomsbury Academic (Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing)

Completing Juliette Wells’ trio of books on Austen’s readers, this volume revolutionizes our understanding of how Austen came to be viewed as the world’s greatest novelist. Wells shows that Austen’s global reputation was established not by British scholars but by American writers and collectors working largely outside academia. Drawing on extensive research, Wells weaves together compelling case studies of men and women who, from the 1880s to the 1980s, helped readers appreciate Austen’s novels, persuasively advocated for her place in the literary canon, and preserved artifacts vital to her legacy.


Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings, by Joy Hakim, M.Ed. ’54

MITeen Press (Imprint of Candlewick Press And MIT Press)

Trace the history of life science in the first of a four-part MITeen series by bestselling author Joy Hakim. Step back to the Islamic Golden Age, when scholars ask questions about life science and medicine that will establish those fields. Chart a path through the Renaissance, as Leonardo da Vinci dissects cadavers by candlelight to learn human anatomy. Follow the evolution of life science up to the late 1800s, when a baffled Dutch biologist finds a tiny infectious particle destroying tobacco crops and gives this particle a new name: virus.


What You Don’t Know Will Make a Whole New World, by Dorothy Lazard, M.F.A. ’99


Dorothy Lazard grew up in the Bay Area of the 1960s and ’70s, surrounded by family and hungry for knowledge. Lazard is celebrated for her career as a librarian and public historian, and in these pages she connects her early intellectual pursuits—including a formative encounter with Alex Haley—to the career that made her a community pillar. As she traces her trajectory, she explores her experiences connected to the Summer of Love, the murder of Emmett Till, the flourishing of the Black Arts Movement, and the redevelopment of Oakland.


No Letter in Your Pocket, by Heather Conn, M.F.A. ’09

Miroland (Guernica Editions Imprint)

Incest denial and sexual assaults disrupt a young woman’s spiritual quest and her two romantic adventures in India in 1990-91. Two decades later, after profound healing, she’s resilient at mid-life. Finding the love and intimacy she craves, she can, at last, forgive her dying father—and her mom, for her decades of silence. Unlike many stories of healing and spiritual discovery, No Letter in Your Pocket: How a Daughter Chose Love and Forgiveness To Heal From Incest avoids recovery rhetoric and insular victimhood. Instead, it is a testament to thriving empowerment.


Most Fortunate Unfortunates, by Marlene Trestman ’78

LSU Press

Most Fortunate Unfortunates is the first comprehensive history of the Jewish Orphans’ Home of New Orleans. Founded in 1855 after a yellow fever epidemic, the Home was the first purpose-built Jewish orphanage in the nation. By the time the Jewish Orphans’ Home closed in 1946, it had sheltered more than 1,600 parentless children and two dozen widows. Based on deep archival research and interviews of alumni and their descendants, Most Fortunate Unfortunates provides a view of life in the Jewish Orphans’ Home for the children and women who lived there.


The Cactus Hunters, by Jared D. Margulies ’08

University of Minnesota Press

An exploration of the explosive illegal trade in succulents and the passion that drives it. Cacti and succulents are phenomenally popular worldwide, despite being among the world’s most threatened species. His globe-spanning inquiry leads Jared D. Margulies from a series of succulent heists on a small island off the coast of Mexico to California law enforcement agents infiltrating a smuggling ring in South Korea. A heady blend of international intrigue, social theory, botanical lore, and ecological study, The Cactus Hunters offers complex insight into species extinction, conservation, and more-than-human care.


Come Find Me in the Midnight Sun, by Bailey Bridgewater ’03

Bold Strokes Books

Hundreds of young men go missing from Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula every year, so when two disappear within days of each other, state trooper Louisa Linebach doesn’t think much of it. As Louisa and her partner investigate, they encounter alien conspiracy theories, a town where the inhabitants live in one building, and a drug trade mingled with the tourist industry. Their investigation is further complicated by Louisa’s feelings for Anna Fenway, the local medical examiner. When a body is identified, Louisa thinks the case is coming to a close. She’s wrong.