Authors and Artists

Spring 2023


Meryl Cook Feldman ’88, Harmony Press, March 2022

When a rabbi warns that her ex has been brainwashed into a cult, Feldman is pulled into the mystical world of religious Judaism in a way her atheist self would never have expected. She finds herself in Israel on a rescue mission to bring him home. Feldman must come face to face with her heritage and her own beliefs about God and the universe while struggling with her hope of building a life together with the man who she has always believed to be her soulmate.

Andrew Nelson ’00 and Rob Curran, Vanderbilt University Press, 2022

Based on five years of collaborative research between anthropologist Nelson and journalist Curran, Journey chronicles the plight of African and South Asian migrants moving through Latin America toward the United States. Journeyprovides an engrossing, sometimes surreal, narrative-driven critique of how state-level immigration policy fails extracontinental migrants. Nelson is associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Texas.

Mark Miller ’76, Agate, January 2023

A resource for all nearing retirement age who are feeling anxious about their preparedness, especially in an economy rattled by both a pandemic and alarming levels of inflation. Retirement Reboot walks readers through core decisions to improve their retirement outcomes. Miller is a leading expert on retirement and aging. Alongside regular contributions toThe New York Times “Retiring” column, he also writes monthly national columns on retirement for ReutersMorningstar, and Wealth Management.

Peter Lavelle ’02, Columbia University Press, March 2020

During a critical juncture in Chinese history, an unprecedented conjunction of natural disasters, domestic rebellions, and  foreign incursions created profound turmoil. The imperial government responded by introducing policies to bolster its power. In the process, officials launched campaigns for development of the empire’s lands, waters, and minerals. Lavelle offers a unique approach to understanding the dynamic relationship among social crises, colonialism, and the natural world. Lavelle is associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut.

David Mura ’74, University of Minnesota Press, January 2023

The fatal police shootings of two Black men, Philando Castile and George Floyd, frame this searing exploration of the historical and fictional narratives that white America tells itself to justify and maintain white supremacy. Mura unmasks how white stories about race attempt to erase the brutality of the past and underpin systemic racism in the present. Mura’s previous works include Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality, and Identity.


Fall 2022


Anne Jenkins Laskey ’68 and Gail Needleman, editors, BookBaby, August 2022

This anthology offers not only scholarship on the history and impact of Kodály, but also human stories of courage and resilience. Ideological suppression in Kodály’s home country was no match for the power of music and the irrepressible commitment of Zoltán Kodály himself as well as music teachers and scholars from around the world. More than half a century after his work began to receive global recognition, Kodály’s influence still can be found in schools.

Anne Jenkins Laskey is a former director of the Kodály Center at Holy Names University. Her previous positions include 12 years as music specialist at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco and five years as assistant conductor of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.


Elizabeth Perrill ’99, Indiana University Press, June 2022

Burnished acknowledges the agency of rural Zulu women potters as innovative artists and complex individuals negotiating a biased set of power structures. Featuring 90 color images, Burnished engages directly with individual artists and specific vessels, featuring compelling narratives of women ceramic artists and the sophisticated beer pots they create — their aesthetic choices, audiences, production, and artistic lives. Burnished provides an engaging look at the artistry of entrepreneurial Black women too often erased from historical records.

Elizabeth Perrill is a professor of art history and director of the Humanities Network and Consortium at University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a research fellow with the University of South Africa.


Sandy Moffett, Ice Cube Press, October 2022

Professor Emeritus of Theatre Sandy Moffett’s first novel has been praised for its “compelling, cinematic” quality, as he draws readers into the mystery surrounding the murders of the chief executives of three major Midwestern meat-producing corporations. The tale includes a cast of unforgettable characters and a strange investigation that takes a makeshift posse through woods, prairies, and crop fields before bringing the case to its illogical conclusion.

Moffett, who joined the Grinnell faculty in 1971, continues to teach and direct plays on occasion.

An ardent outdoorsman and conservationist, he spends his time restoring prairie on his small farm. His writing has appeared in The Wapsipinicon Almanac, Rootstalk, The Abbey Review, Saltwater Sportsman, and other publications.


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).


Professional Publications

Mike Arnow ’67, Gold Belt Productions, 2022

This video in Spanish with English subtitles features health care providers and individuals from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries addressing important health and wellness topics, including prenatal care, well-child care, adult checkups, healthy lifestyles, and navigating the U.S. health care system. The program can be viewed individually or used in clinic waiting rooms and with patient education groups.

Mike Arnow is an award-winning writer-producer-director with more than 100 programs to his credit.

His Spanish-language projects have addressed WIC, positive parenting, Head Start, immigration, interacting with law enforcement, and workplace safety, among other topics. Arnow, who speaks Spanish and French, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Latin America.