Authors and Artists

Spring 2023


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

The police murders 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.

Edited June 27, 2023 to correct a staff editing error. The article incorrectly stated that George Floyd was fatally shot by police. George Floyd died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police officers. We apologize for the error.

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).


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.

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.


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.