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Abby Hafer ’80
The Not-So-Intelligent Designer
Cascade Books

Frustrated by scientists who don’t disprove intelligent design (ID) accessibly and impactfully to the general public, Hafer delivers her best knockout punch in this laugh-out-loud work. Drawing on anatomical design flaws reflecting the messiness of evolution rather than the meticulousness of a Creator—like how men’s testicles hang outside the body, vulnerable, while a frog’s are safely inside the body—she makes her deadly serious point with a smile. “ID is not a theory,” she writes, “it is a political pressure group.”


Nancy Weller Dorian ’54
My Name Is Quarnig 

The love story between Quarnig and Nancy Dorian began with a chance meeting at Grand Central Terminal’s Oyster Bar in 1957; it was still going strong decades later when Nancy penned his biography. A testament to their marriage and enduring bond, to the life they built together, and to the survival of the Armenian people, her book tells the story of many through the lens of one: Quarnig, whose real-life journey is more epic than fiction. “It’s an American as well as an Armenian story,” she writes.


Jon Raymond ’94
Graywolf Press

On the cusp of losing it all in Los Angeles, the Singer family is struggling. Anne is a city bureaucrat tempted to sell out; Ben is a Navy SEAL suffering from PTSD; Aaron is a teen aching to find himself; and Grandpa Sam is shaped by his experience of the Holocaust. Investing his novel with wry power, Raymond—also the screenwriter of Meek’s Cutoff and HBO’s Mildred Pierce—has authored a dark, moving exploration of the ways we shape each other as part of the human family. 


Mimi Hanaoka ’02
Authority and Identity in Medieval Islamic Historiography 
Cambridge University Press

Centuries ago, Persianate scholars recorded history by weaving dreams, myths, and invented genealogies. Hanaoka, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Richmond, interprets these ancient texts with fresh eyes to “examine these rich and mysterious portions of early Islamic historical writing ... and offer a new framework for considering them.” Her rigorous effort transforms imagined histories into reliable sources of identity and rhetoric from the peripheries of Islamic empires.