An illustration of a book and a pair of glasses on a couch

Jane F. Thrailkill ’85, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presents Philosophical Siblings: Varieties of Playful Experience in Alice, William, and Henry James (University of Pennsylvania Press). The three James siblings, respectively, were a neurasthenic diarist, an influential psychologist and philosopher, and a renowned author and literary critic—but Thrailkill considers their work collectively, as parts of a shared project of intellectual discovery. Her first book was Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism.

As an adult, Caroline Patterson ’78 learned she had an older sister with Down syndrome whose existence had been kept secret. Her new novel, The Stone Sister (Black Lawrence Press), tells a similar story of a couple’s decision to institutionalize a disabled child, a nurse who cares for that child and a young reporter who uncovers the hidden family history. Patterson, whose previous books include Ballet at the Moose Lodge and Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart, is executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative.

Anna Snitkina was a self-described “emancipated girl of the ’60s”—the 1860s—who became confidante, spouse and business manager to the acclaimed but troubled writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Now she is the subject of The Gambler Wife: A True Story of Love, Risk, and the Woman Who Saved Dostoyevsky (Riverhead Books). Author Andrew D. Kaufman ’91 teaches Slavic languages and literature at the University of Virginia and has also written Understanding Tolstoy and Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times.


Illustration by Adam McCauley