Authors and Artists

Fall 2022


May-lee Chai ’89, Blair, August 2022

Following her award-winning story collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants, May-lee Chai’s latest collection explores multicultural complexities through lenses of class, wealth, age, gender, and sexuality.

These stories transport the reader, variously: to rural China, where a city doctor harvests organs to fund a wedding and a future for his family; on a vacation to France, where a white mother and her biracial daughter cannot escape their fraught relationship; inside the unexpected romance of two Chinese-American women living abroad in China; and finally, to a future Chinese colony on Mars, where an aging working-class woman lands a job as a nanny.

Chai is the author of 11 books of fiction, nonfiction, and translation. Useful Phrases for Immigrants won the 2019 American Book Award. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at San Francisco State University. At Grinnell, Chai majored in French with a concentration in Chinese. She was editor-in-chief of the Scarlet & Black, co-founder of ASIA Club, and a Grinnell-Nanjing Fellow (1989–1990).


Worshiping in Season guides ministers through a meaningful framework for ecologically oriented worship. Following the liturgical calendar and maintaining a Christocentric emphasis, Bush aligns earthly seasons with the liturgy and suggests readings, songs, and other acts of worship to amplify an ecologically informed Christology.

The Rev. Joseph Bush Jr. is pastor at Sparta Hill United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church in Evergreen, Alabama. He was director of practice in ministry and mission at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he also served as coordinator for the Washington Theological Consortium’s Certificate in Ecology and Theology.

Summer 2022


Kimberly R. Myers, Molly L. Osborne, Charlotte A. Wu, and Illustrations by Zoe Schein ’12, Pennsylvania State University Press, May 2022

Cocreated by experts in clinical medicine, ethics, literature, and comics, Clinical Ethics presents a new way for students and practitioners to engage with fundamental concerns in medical ethics. Using the accessible and richly layered medium of comics, created by Schein, this collection reveals how ethical dilemmas in medical practice play out in real life.

Joe Berry ’70 and Helena Worthen, Pluto Books, August 2021

Power Despite Precarity has been praised as part history, part handbook, and a wholly indispensable resource. Focusing on the 40-year fight of faculty lecturers at the California State University system, Berry says, “we attempt to tell that story and draw the lessons available from that long and continuing struggle. We also look at the history of higher ed from the point of view of the faculty workforce, suggest some strategies, and frame some of the key strategic troublesome questions that arise in nearly all efforts to organize and fight collectively.”

Harriet Phinney ’81, University of Washington Press, February 2022

Phinney is an associate professor of anthropology at Seattle University. After the Indochina Wars, a shortage of men meant that many single women in Vietnam chose to pursue single motherhood by “asking for a child” (xin con), asking men to get them pregnant out of wedlock. This ethnography explores the practice of xin con and considers the ways their reproductive agency was embraced rather than rejected by the Vietnamese state as it entered the global market economy, a strategy that represents an intriguing alignment of Confucian heritage, Communist ideology, and governing tactics and demonstrates the social power of women.

Erika Krouse ’91, Flatiron Books (Macmillan), March 2022

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, Tell Me Everything is about Krouse’s first big case as a private investigator, working on a lawsuit that turned into a groundbreaking civil rights case and changed Title IX law. Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus say the book is “riveting and consistently insightful” and “a stunning story of redemption and hope.” Tell Me Everything is Krouse’s third book and first memoir. Krouse, who graduated with a degree in English, notes she “was a Professor (Michael) Cavanagh devotee.”

The Carbon Almanac Network, Penguin, June 2022

Robert Gehorsam ’76 was a contributing author and led several other activities related to the book (editing, digital, business relationships, etc.), and Adrian Zackheim ’73 served as Penguin’s publisher. The Carbon Almanac is a collaboration between hundreds of writers, researchers, thinkers, and illustrators that focuses on what is known, what has come before, and what might happen next. The book uses cartoons, quotes, illustrations, tables, histories, and articles to lay out carbon’s impact on our food system, ocean acidity, agriculture, energy, biodiversity, extreme weather events, the economy, human health, and best and worst-case scenarios.

Edited by Lisa Doris Alexander ’97 and Joel Nathan Rosen, University Press of Mississippi,
January 2022

Written by a range of scholars from multiple disciplines, including contributions from Alexander, The Circus Is in Town is a tracking of the most explosive collisions between athletic reputation and public scandal that contains careful analysis of such megastars as LeBron James, Tonya Harding, David Beckham, Shaquille O’Neal, Maria Sharapova, and Colin Kaepernick, examining reputation from the perspective of celebrity and spectacle. While their individual narratives are engrossing, these stories collectively paint a portrait of sport and spectacle that offers context and clarity.

George Allan ’57, Lexington Books, March 2020

A professor of philosophy emeritus at Dickinson College, Allan argues that Whitehead’s introduction of a notion of God into his process metaphysics renders it incoherent. This book examines how replacing the roles assigned to God with the powers inherent in finite entities recovers a coherent presentation of the truth of time’s primacy, resources for which are found to be fundamental features of Whitehead’s own major writings.

Spring 2022


Ever wish you could hear more about their work straight from Grinnell authors and artists? Check out the New Books Network (NBN) podcast series created to showcase the creative processes and latest work of Grinnell alumni, faculty, and staff writing across disciplines and creating art in various genres. New episodes are available on the first and 15th of every month. Find Grinnell College Artists and Authors on your favorite podcast site, the New Books Network (, or visit the College’s podcast page. NBN founder and editor-in-chief Marshall Poe ’84 serves as podcast host. (See also Back Talk .)

More info: Office of Communications and Marketing, 641-269-3400.