• Summer Reading

    Looking for great summer reads? To help you out, we've once again rounded up recent publications by some of our most talented and entertaining New School alumni authors.  From novels to short stories, from ethnographies to memoirs, from poetry to children's books, there is something for everyone. Immerse yourself in these summer reads and be sure to take us on your journey by using the #newschoolalumni hashtag!

    Alumni Authors

  • Nonfiction

    Art + Fashion: Collaborations and Connections Between Icons (Chronicle Books), by E.P. Cutler, MA Fashion Studies '12

    A volume of magnificent proportions, Art + Fashion is as exciting and elegant as the creative partnerships it celebrates. Spanning numerous eras, men and women's fashion, and a wide range of art media, these 25 collaborative projects reveal the astonishing work that results when luminaries from the art world (such as Pollock, Haring, and Hirst) come together with icons of the fashion world (including Saint Laurent, Westwood, and McQueen).

    Chasing Paradise (teNeues), by David Drebin, BFA Photography '96

    Although alluring, the idea of a sensual wonderland seems to be permanently beyond our grasp. Yet so compelling is the notion that we would do almost anything to attain such bliss. It is the tension and instinctive drama of this age-old quest that David Drebin chronicles in his latest work — aptly titled Chasing Paradise. Drebin's skillfully arranged scenarios convey the thrill of deeply illicit adventures. We find ourselves intrigued, yet also slightly concerned by the risks. Set against distinctive backdrops, Drebin’s models seem to occupy a supernatural state of being. Powerful and all-knowing, each one has the mystery of a mythical figure — upon whose loveliness we mortals can only hope to gaze. Drebin seduces us with every twist and turn of his darkly sensual narratives. Never before has temptation seemed so tantalizing — or so worth pursuing. Internationally exhibited in the finest galleries, New York-based David Drebin is known for his sensual storytelling. His compositions are almost cinematic in their ability to convey plot lines and emotions at a glance — happiness, humor, and sometimes melancholy.

    Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine by Crystal Emery, MA Media Studies '13

    Published on November 5, 2015, Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine is the print companion to the eagerly anticipated documentary film Black Women in Medicine. The 264-page book of biographical photo-essays picks up where the documentary leaves off, honoring the lives of powerful Black women doctors beyond those featured in the film. The book features portraits and biographical accounts from more than 100 of the most prominent historical and contemporary Black women doctors working in the United States, with particular attention to those working in specialized areas of practice. Against All Odds is appropriate for all ages in its ability to entertain, educate, and inspire. Each doctor is profiled with a beautiful high-resolution portrait and a personal narrative that captures her intelligence, strength, and determined spirit. This full-color companion book details the rich history of Black women in the medical profession — a history we hope to help see taught in classrooms.

    The Gilded Razor (Gallery Books) by Sam Lansky, BA Literary Studies '12

    Featured in People magazine, in Vanity Fair, and on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List! Sharply funny and compulsively readable, The Gilded Razor is a dazzling and harrowing memoir from new author Sam Lansky. The Gilded Razor is the true story of a double life. At the age of 17, Sam Lansky was an all-star student with Ivy League aspirations in his final year at an elite New York City prep school. But a nasty addiction to prescription pills spiraled rapidly out of control, compounded by a string of reckless affairs with older men, leaving his bright future in jeopardy. After a terrifying overdose, he tried to straighten out. Yet as he journeyed from the glittering streets of Manhattan to a wilderness boot camp in Utah to a psych ward in New Orleans, he only found more opportunities to create chaos—until finally he began to face himself.

    Sweet Envy: Deceptively Easy Desserts, Designed to Steal the Show (Countryman Press; 1st edition) by Seton Rossini, BFA Communication Design '05

    Inspired desserts that make a statement — yet are fast and easy. Want your friends and family to gasp in awe when you bring dessert to the table? Here's a secret: You can make wow-worthy cakes, cookies, candies, and more, in your own kitchen, faster and more easily than you'd ever guess. (Certainly you don't need to tell your satisfied audience.) Seton Rossini provides step-by-step instructions and photographs to help you make 75 crowd-pleasing confections.

    Covered in Ink: Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body (NYU Press) by Beverly Thompson, PhD Sociology '06

    Drawing on autoethnography and extensive interviews with heavily tattooed women, Covered in Ink offers insight into the increasingly visible subculture of women with tattoos. Author Beverly Thompson visits tattoos parlors, talking to female tattoo artists and the women they ink, and attends tattoo conventions and Miss Tattoo pageants, where heavily tattooed women congregate to share their love for the art form. A riveting and unique study, Covered in Ink offers a glimpse of the often unseen world of women and tattooing.

    Fiction

    Solemn (St. Martin’s Press) by Kalisha Buckhanon, MFA Creative Writing '03

    Solemn Redvine is a precocious Mississippi girl who senses that a neighbor's baby may be her half sibling, the outcome of her father's mistakes with a married woman who lives in their trailer park. After Solemn witnesses a man throw the baby down a community well, she struggles to understand the event, which leaves her forever changed. As Solemn finds refuge in fantasies of stardom as well as friendships with her brother's wife and a nearby girl, the ill-fated baby's doomed mother disappears without a trace. Solemn remains trapped by connections to the missing other woman and an honest cop who suspects that there is more to the story than others on the small local police force want to see. When her father's next mistake — a robbery — lands Solemn in a group home for troubled girls, she meets a Chicago delinquent who wants to escape. Solemn must face the truth of who she really is and what she is really made of.

    Sweetbitter (Knopf) by Stephanie Danler, MFA Creative Writing '14

    Stephanie Danler intimately defines the crucial transition from girl to woman, from living in a place that feels like nowhere to living in a place that feels like the center of the universe. She deftly conjures up the nonstop, high-energy world of the restaurant — conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, relationships only partially revealed. And she evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, the fragility and brutality of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy. A lush novel of the senses — of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire — Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter.

    River Road (Touchstone) by Carol Goodman, MFA Creative Writing '98

    Nan Lewis — a creative writing professor at a college in upstate New York — is driving home from a faculty holiday party after finding out she’s been denied tenure. On her way, she hits a deer, but when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is nowhere to be found. Eager to get home and out of the oncoming snowstorm, Nan is forced to leave her car at the bottom of her snowy driveway to wait out the longest night of the year — and the lowest point of her life.

    What Was Mine (Simon & Schuster) by Helen Klein Ross, MFA Creative Writing '03

    Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore — and gets away with it for 21 years.

    China Rich Girlfriend (Doubleday) by Kevin Kwan, BFA Photography '98

    It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to oppose his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birth father, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. Then an accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich … they’re China rich.

    Good People (Bellevue Literary Press) by Robert Lopez, MFA Creative Writing '98

    "Nothing is funnier than unhappiness,” claims Samuel Beckett. To this we add: nothing is funnier than unhappiness with a heavy dose of amorality, as we learn from Robert Lopez’s unforgettable Good People. In these 20 stories, a motley cast of obsessive, self-deluded outsiders narrate their darker moments, which include kidnapping, voyeurism, and psychic masochism. As their struggles give way to the black humor of life’s unreason, the bleak merges with the oddly poetic, in a style as lean and resolute as Carver's or Hemingway's. Treading the fine line between confession and self-justification and depicting the absurd violence of threatened masculinity and the perverse joy of neurosis, Lopez’s stories reveal the compulsive suffering at the precarious core of our universal humanity.

    Dear Fang, With Love (Knopf) by Rufi Thorpe, BA Liberal Arts '06

    A bold, spellbinding novel featuring one of the most fascinating protagonists in recent memory, Dear Fang, With Love tells the story of 17-year-old Vera — beautiful, troubled, wildly intelligent — who travels to Europe with her estranged father, hoping that an immersion in history might help them forget his past mistakes and her uncertain future. 

    Poetry

    The Deathbed Editions (Octopus Books) by Dan Hoy, MFA Creative Writing '06

    Human Achievements (Birds, LLC) by Lauren Hunter, MFA Creative Writing '09

    Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press) by Cynthia Manick, MFA Creative Writing '07

    A Poem for Record Keepers (Argos Books) by Ali Power, MFA Creative Writing '11

    Like That (Forklift Books) by Matthew Yeager, MFA Creative Writing '04

    Children and Young Adults

    My Life with the Liars (HarperCollins Publishers) by Caela Carter, MFA Creative Writing '12

    This is a stunningly unique and poignant story of one girl's strength and courage as she decides who she is and what she will believe in. Behind the white-washed walls of the Arizona compound, life is simple: Follow the rules, "live in the light," and all will be well. Zylynn is excited to turn thirteen and begin the work of bringing others into the light, to save them from the liars and the darkness of the outside world. But when she is taken away by a man who claims to be her father, Zylynn is confused and desperate to return to her home. Zylynn resists her new life — until she finds small comforts, like shampoo, the color pink, and strawberries. But as her 13th birthday approaches, Zylynn must make a difficult decision—to stay here with the enemy, or find her way back to the light. And neither may be what it seems.

    Shiny Broken Pieces (HarperTeen) by Dhonielle Clayton, MFA Creative Writing '12, and Sona Charaipotra

    Featuring a diverse cast of characters and plenty of gossip, lies, and scandal, Shiny Broken Pieces continues with the soapy drama readers loved in Tiny Pretty Things. June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot in the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose … and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after being suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette — or the other dancers who bullied her — go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

    Fancy Nancy: Saturday Night Sleepover (HarperCollins) by Robin Preiss Glasser, BFA Illustration '90

    When Nancy's parents win an all-expenses-paid vacation, Nancy and JoJo get to sleep over at the home of their neighbor, Mrs. DeVine. But JoJo is a little nervous about sleeping at someone else's house — luckily Nancy is an expert on sleepovers and can help prepare her little sister. The big night arrives, and JoJo and Nancy have a blast at Mrs. DeVine's. But when it's time for bed, it turns out Nancy wasn't as well prepared as she thought. Good thing there is nothing like a sister to make you feel better.

    Ida, Always (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) by Caron Levis, MFA Creative Writing '09

    A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears. Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always. Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city and the memories that live in their favorite spots. Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost stay in our hearts, always.

    The Unexpected Everything (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) by Morgan Matson, MFA Creative Writing '07

    A New York Times best seller! From Morgan Matson, the best-selling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

    Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (Abrams Books for Young Readers) by Duncan Tonatiuh, BA Liberal Arts and BFA Integrated Design Curriculum '08

    Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras — skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities — came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.

    The Last Boy and Girl in the World (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) by Siobhan Vivian, MFA Creative Writing '06

    From the critically acclaimed author of The List comes a stunning new novel about a girl who must say goodbye to everything she knows after a storm wreaks havoc on her hometown. What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

    Bonus! Works in Progress: A Collection of Work Created by the Talent of the Future

    Works in Progress: A Collection of Work Created by the Talent of the Future 

    Works in Progress is an innovative multimedia project made up of a collection of short stories and poems accompanied by illustrations and music. The collection was curated and published by a group of aspiring publishers in University College London’s MA in Publishing course. They have worked tirelessly to create a collection that they hope shines a light on aspiring new talent.

    Fifteen young, unpublished authors contributed to Works In Progress, many of them graduates of prestigious New York writing schools like Columbia, The New School, and New York University. Their works form a witty and moving collection of short stories about life, love, and the human experience, coming together as a chorus of exciting new voices.

    New School alumni contributors include:

    Nicolas Amara, BA Literary Studies '15

    Delia Caroline Bennett, BA Literary Studies '15, Curator

    Sarah Bibel, BFA Illustration and BA Literary Studies '15

    Claire Codner, BA Literary Studies '14

    Hannah Drossman, BFA Illustration '14

    Gordon Andrew Jackson, BA History '15

    Tom Krantz, BA Literary Studies '15        

    Stephanie Leone, BFA Communication Design and BA Literary Studies '15

    Cody Pumper, BFA Communication Design '14

    Grace Wagner, BFA Illustration '14

    Audrey Zee Whitesides, BA Literary Studies '13

×