Artists & Scholars

Summer 2018


Kyle Torke ’88 has published his first children’s book, Ice Breaking: The Adventures of Clementine the Rescue Dog (Loving Healing Press, 2018).

Inspired by the infamous 52-year marriage of literary couple Véra and Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Bonfire (Bloomsbury, 2018) is the second novel by Adrienne Celt ’06. In the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. 

In Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation (Post Hill Press, 2018), Mark Miller ’76 tells the stories of people transformed by growth following trauma and the new paths that they pursue. Some are on missions to help others or to make things right in the world, while others embark on new careers. Some people simply find that their relationships grow deeper, while others seek a stronger spiritual dimension in their lives.

In the second half of the 18th century, motherhood came to be viewed as women’s most important social role, and the figure of the good mother was celebrated as a moral force in American society. In Maternal Bodies: Redefining Motherhood in Early America (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), Nora Doyle ’06, assistant professor of history at Salem College, shows that depictions of motherhood in American culture began to define the ideal mother by her emotional and spiritual roles rather than by her physical work as a mother. As a result of this new vision, lower-class women and nonwhite women came to be excluded from the identity of the good mother because American culture defined them in terms of their physical labor.

Edited by Grant Faulkner ’87, Lynn Mundell, and Beret Olsen, Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story (Outpost 19, 2018) was spawned by the literary magazine Faulkner founded, In these very short stories, every word, every detail, every moment matters. And the things left out, the spaces around the stories, are just as intense.

In The Woman Who Fought an Empire:  Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press, 2018), Gregory J. Wallance ’70 tells the true story of a bold young woman, the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine, who became the daring leader of a Middle East spy ring during World War I. Operating behind enemy lines, Aaronsohn and her spies furnished vital information to British Intelligence in Cairo about the Turkish military forces until she was caught and tortured by the Turks in the fall of 1917. The book rebukes the Hollywood stereotype of women spies as femme fatales and is at once an espionage thriller and a Joan of Arc tale.  

“The road I’ve taken to poethood was definitely circuitous,” writes Stephanie L. Reisdorf Harper ’92. Her first poetry chapbook, This Being Done (Finishing Line Press, 2018), was released in June. “I was and always will be immensely grateful for the guidance I received as a student at Grinnell, which took its sweet time to bloom.”


In February, Annie Ewaskio ’04’s vibrant paintings were showcased at the Elijah Wheat Showroom in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her oil-and-cold-wax-on-canvas pieces were a part of an environmentally-themed winter show entitled Persistence of Future Memories

Saints Rest, a musical drama co-written and directed by Noga Ashkenazi ’09, premiered at the 20th RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina in April. 


Kane Dulaney Balser ’13 released a new album, Tor, on April 3, 2018. It can be heard on