book BOOKS

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My Time: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, Abigail Trafford '62, Basic Books, 2004. Thanks to the longevity revolution of recent decades, today's 55-75-year-olds are living and working longer and better than ever before. This generation is the first to experience a period of personal renaissance in between middle and old age-what Trafford calls "My Time." Defining this period as an entirely new developmental stage in the life cycle, Trafford guides us through the obstacles of My Time and shows us how to reinvent ourselves in the bonus decades. She blends personal stories with expert opinions and the latest research on adult development, telling true tales of crisis and triumph, from the widowed mother who became a successful photographer, to the couple who began a passionate relationship after retirement. "I remember going to a college reunion when my classmates and I were young adults in that early high-stress zone of juggling children and marriages and jobs-and we were all pretty exhausted from meeting other peoples' needs," Trafford writes in the prologue. "One woman stood up and wailed: 'When is it going to be my time?' The answer is: when the primary tasks of adulthood have been completed, for better and for worse. Children have been raised. Marriages have been made-and remade. Career goals have been achieved-or not. You've paid the mortgage, filled out your resume. And then what? The question is at the crux of My Time: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life." Trafford, a columnist and former health editor at the Washington Post, hosts an online talk show at

Many Ways to be Deaf: International Variation in Deaf Communities, Leila Monaghan '82, Constanze Schmaling, Karen Nakamura, and Graham H. Turner, Eds., Gallaudet University Press, 2004. The recent explosion of sociocultural, linguistic, and historical research on signed languages throughout the world has culminated in this collection of in-depth articles about the linguistic diversity of deaf communities on five continents. Twenty-four international scholars have contributed their findings from studying deaf communities in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. "Each of the chapters in this book examines some aspect of Deaf community life, including the history of schooling and community building, forms of language used, how local events shape particular cultures, and the influence of growing Deaf political movements," Monaghan writes in the preface. "Despite the great differences between communities, certain patterns do emerge. The chapters show how people gather in sufficient numbers to create ongoing communities and share traits with both the surrounding hearing cultures and other Deaf communities worldwide. The chapters also show the resilience of these communities under sometimes life-threatening situations and give hope for the future." Monaghan is a lecturer in the department of communication and culture at Indiana University in Bloomington IN.

Love: A Story of Images, Alison Hicks '82, Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2004. This novella about a college infatuation "is both a love story and myth about the writer's love of story," writes reviewer Elizabeth Mosier '84. "Through the fictional-mythical Penelope, Hicks addresses the weaving and unraveling, writing and revision, of which memory and narrative are made and remade." Hicks' fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The Ledge, Pinyon, Peregrine, The Wooster Review and other journals. She is a recipient of a fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her work has been performed by the InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia and included in "In Our Own Backyard," a traveling exhibition of PCA Fellows. A senior partner of Amherst Writers and Artists, she leads writing workshops under the name Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio.

anything & everything: thesecondedition, Kierstin Gray '01, self-produced, 2004. Acoustic rhythm and blues singer-songwriter Kierstin Gray's latest offering features eight original cuts. The self-taught guitarist and singer has performed at venues in New York City, Philadelphia, In-dianapolis, Chicago, Berkeley, and San Francisco. In 2002 she toured the United States as a soloist in the Tim Janis Ensemble, helping to raise awareness of AIDS in Africa with the Sinikithemba Choir. For more information, see

Dead Canaries Don't Sing, Cynthia Baxter (Cynthia Blair '75), Bantam, 2004. Bryn Mawrter and veterinarian Jessica Popper runs a mobile services unit, making house calls all over the county. One morning her one-eyed Dalmation, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max, stumble upon something unexpected: a corpse half-buried in the woods. Also buried nearby is a dead canary, which Max happily digs up. Enlisting in the aid of her on-again off-again lover, Nick Burby, a private detective, Jess applies her stubbornness and agility to identify several suspects, including one who wants her off the case badly enough to kill again. Dead Canaries Don't Sing was named an editor's choice for Alternate Selection by the Mystery Guild, a 500,000-member national book club, and is the first book in the new mystery series, Reining Cats and Dogs. The second book, Putting on the Dog, is forthcoming in September 2004.

A Critical Study of the Fiction of Patricia Highsmith: From the Psychological to the Political, Noel Mawer, Ph.D. '80, Edwin Mellen Press, 2004. Though often dismissed in the United States as simply a suspense writer whose books became movies (Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley), in Europe Patricia Highsmith is considered a major novelist, and much is written about her. Mawer's is the first book-length study of all of Highsmith's work, including her short fiction and occasional writings such as book reviews. Mawer places Highsmith's writing in both cultural and personal context and contains a comprehensive bibliography and review of the literature. "Highsmith was radically concerned with morality, justice, guilt, and good and evil, and with the conditions in our society that define these concepts," writes Mawer. "Her concern was ultimately with perception: These concepts are not absolutes; they exist as one perceives them. Such concepts are relative-to societies, to cultures, and to individual families and psyches ... As with her characters' perceptions, of which Highsmith seems so aware, Highsmith herself was subject to the change in perception that all of humanity is prey to in its infinite susceptibility to personal and social influences." Mawer teaches literature and sociology at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville FL. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she wrote her dissertation on Percy Bysshe Shelley and has published several papers on the poet.

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