Alumni Bookshelf

Alumni authors

Alumni write about everything from children's stories to business to history to nature to lyrics. Check out a book or article!

Katherine Arden FR’05 is an American novelist known primarily for her Winternight trilogy of fantasy novels, which are set in medieval Russia and have garnered nominations for Hugo and Locus Awards, she is also the author of the Small Spaces series of horror novels for middle grade children. The first in the latter series, Small Spaces, won the Vermont Golden Dome Book Award in 2020. Learn more.

Alex Beam FR'70 is an American writer and journalist. He retired as a columnist for The Boston Globe in 2012, but still contributes to the paper's op-ed page. He has worked at Newsweek and BusinessWeek, where his tenure included Moscow and Boston bureau chief, before joining The Boston Globe. Beam is the author of two novels and five non-fiction books, two of which were New York Times Notable Books. Learn more.

Jim Brooke FR'72 IT'09P is an American journalist who currently serves as editor in chief of the Ukraine Business News, an English-language subscription news site based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Previously, he was editor in chief of the English-language Khmer Times newspaper, in Cambodia. From 2010 to 2014, he was the Russia/former Soviet Union Bureau Chief for Voice of America, based in Moscow. For VOA, he wrote Russia Watch, a weekly blog. Previously, he worked as Moscow Bureau Chief for Bloomberg. Before Bloomberg, he reported for 24 years for The New York Times, largely overseas in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Ivory Coast and Brazil.

Pauline Chen FR’82 is an author, New York Times columnist and speaker. She is known for her 2007 book Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality as well as her online column "Doctor and Patient." She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the UCLA Outstanding Physician of the Year Award in 1999 and the George Longstreth Humanness Award at Yale for most exemplifying empathy, kindness and care in an age of advancing technology. Learn more.

Cheo Hodari Coker ES'89, the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, is described as a “provocative, revolutionary storyteller,” Coker’s impressive career includes his work as a showrunner, journalist, author, screenwriter, producer and, more recently, college lecturer. His body of work includes his start as a Los Angeles Times pop music staff writer; profiling iconic hip hop artists for several influential magazines; authored his first book, The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G., which was also adapted into a movie with screenwriting credits; television work on several shows leading up to his role as showrunner on Marvel’s Luke Cage; co-writer on Creed II with Sylvester Stallone and uncredited work on Straight Outta Compton. Read more.

Winston Conrad ES’74 book, Hemingway’s France: Images of the Lost Generation, is a biography of Ernest Hemingway's literary ambitions that took root in France in the 1920s among some of the most extravagantly creative artists of the 20th century.

Emily Eakin FR’85 is an editor at The New York Times Book Review. She has also worked as a senior editor at The New Yorker, an ideas reporter for The New York Times, a fashion features writer at Vogue, and a deputy editor of Lingua Franca magazine. Her features, essays and reviews have appeared in several publications. Learn more.

Alix Freedman FR’74 is a 1996 Pulitzer Prize Winner for her coverage of the tobacco industry, including a report that exposed how ammonia additives heighten nicotine potency. Freedman is the global editor for ethics and standards at Reuters. Under the Thomson Reuters “Trust Principles,” Reuters is pledged to preserving “independence, integrity and freedom from bias” in the news they gather and publish. Arguably, Reuters is the world’s least ideological major news organization, and Freedman is the watchdog making sure they retain that distinction. As a member of the senior leadership group, she works closely with reporters and editors on major stories, final-reading many signature pieces, and holding all to the highest of journalistic standards. Watch her deliver the convocation at Carleton College earlier this year.

Bill Gladstone ES’67 is a bestselling author and a literary agent. He works with some of the most respected and influential authors of our time, including Marie Kondo, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, among others. He founded Waterside Productions, Inc. in 1982 and has personally placed more than 5,000 titles with dozens of publishers. Learn more.

Adam Guettel FR'82 is an American composer-lyricist of musical theater and opera. The grandson of musical theatre composer Richard Rodgers, he is best known for his musical The Light in the Piazza, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Original Score and the Tony Award for Best Orchestration. Guettel performed at SYAs 50th Anniversary Celebration in Boston in 2015.

Karen Heller FR’74 is national features writer for The Washington Post, reporting on a wide array of subjects, including popular culture, politics and cultural differences and profiles. She previously worked as both a metro and features columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she reported on social issues, politics and culture. She was previously a features writer for USA Today and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., and has contributed to national magazines. Learn more.

Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak FR’86 ES’17P is an American  journalist and currently works for the Associated Press as its Washington investigations editor. She previously reported for the AP from 1997 to 2000.  She formerly worked for NPR, where she led the science desk, the Center for Public Integrity, and at Bloomberg News for 10 years, and has also worked as a reporter for newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award, one of journalism's most prestigious honors.

Mary Lane CN’06 is a nonfiction writer and journalist specializing in Western art, Western European history and anti-Semitism. Lane received one of five Fulbright Journalism Scholarships at twenty-two years old, gained international recognition as the chief European art reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and published numerous exclusive Page One articles on the art trove of Hildebrand Gurlitt. Since leaving the Journal, Lane has been a European art contributor for the New York Times, TIME Magazine and ArtNews. Learn more.

Ned Levin CN’03 was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal's Istanbul bureau before heading to law school. Read some of his articles.

Wanda Mann ES'89,  founder & editor-in-chief of Wine With Wanda, says, "More than just a beverage, wine is a powerful link to history and culture. Never boring, there is always something new to learn about wine. Wine opens up the world and has the power to bring people together. Why not make everyday a celebration with a beautiful glass of wine?" Wanda joined the team of the prestigious wine industry publication, The SOMM Journal, as a Contributing Editor in the summer of 2020; she was promoted to East Coast Editor in 2021. She is also the New York Editor for The Tasting Panel. Her writing has also been published in Food & Wine and NAPA Magazine. 

Ambassador David McKean FR'74 FR'11P, is an American attorney, author, political advisor and diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg from 2016 to 2017. He previously held the position of Director of Policy Planning at the United States Department of State from 2013 to 2016 under John Kerry. In 2012, he received the Distinguished Honor Award from the Department of State. He is a Visiting Distinguished Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. McKean has authored or co-authored five books on political history: Suspected of Independence, Friends in High Places (with Douglas Frantz), Tommy the Cork, The Great Decision (with Cliff Sloan), and Watching the Darkness Fall. He is the author of several books, including Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors and the Rise of Adolf Hitler, a gripping and groundbreaking account of how all but one of FDR's ambassadors in Europe misjudged Hitler and his intentions. Learn more.

Michael McCarty FR’70 has been called the father of contemporary California cuisine and is one of America’s most widely respected restaurateurs. In 1979, at the age of 25, McCarty founded Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica, California. An instant success, Michael’s Santa Monica remains one of the most acclaimed, popular restaurants in the United States—as does Michael’s New York, which opened in 1989. Both restaurants are renowned for their fresh, seasonal, contemporary American cuisine. Their award-winning wine lists feature over 800 labels from around the world—including the latest vintages from The Malibu Vineyard, which surrounds McCarty’s home on a hillside overlooking the Pacific. Michael has also shared his approach to food, wine, and entertaining in two cookbooks, most recently Welcome to Michael’s.

Don Melvin FR'69 is a news desk editor with the CNN Digital News team in London. He reports, writes, and edits news stories on mobile, social and desktop, focusing on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has crisscrossed the globe on his way to nearly 60 countries, covering the aftermath of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and Rwanda, terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, and famine in southern Sudan. Don has published books on running and travel as well as two series of children's novels, written under a pseudonym. 

Sean Murphy ES’74 has been with the Boston Globe for 30 years as a general assignment reporter, an enterprise reporter, the federal court reporter, an investigative reporter, the casino and gambling reporter and, now, the consumer advocacy reporter. He is also a law school graduate and part-time journalism professor. Read some recent articles.

Abi Pollokoff IT'08  has  published poems in nationally recognized and distributed journals and anthologies (both print and digital). She also serves as managing editor for Poetry Northwest Editions, a poetry press, and as a production editor in book publishing. Learn more.

Rick Smolan ES’67 is a former Time, Life and National Geographic photographer best known as the co-founder of the America 24/7 and Day in the Life photography series — and a natural storyteller in many media. His latest books are America at Home and Blue Planet Run. He is currently CEO of Against All Odds Productions, a cross-media organization, and is a TED speaker. Learn more.

Kaitlin Solimine CN’97 was a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Creative Arts Fellow in China where she began work on her debut novel, Empire of Glass, completed as her MFA thesis at UC-San Diego. Published in 2017, Empire of Glass was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, the Firecracker Awards for Independent Literature, and the Eyelands Book Awards. Solimine’s experiences during her year in Beijing, and the decade that followed as she continued to build her relationship with her host family planted the initial seed for a book. She found the dynamics of an American girl being so welcomed by a Chinese family intriguing, considering all of the political turmoil between the two countries over the last century. Learn more.

Mira Stout FR’77 is an internationally acclaimed author of One Thousand Chestnut Trees, which was nominated for the IMPAC award, first runner up for the Shiva Naipaul Award and chosen for the New York Public Library 'Books for the New Year'. This novel was also selected by Oxford University Press for GSCE Entrance Exam for English Literature. Stout has also had several op-ed essays and longform arts features  and interviews and reviews for domestic and international publications including The New York Times, Times Magazine and Book Review, The Paris Review, Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, The Guardian and more.

Tara Subramaniam FR’14 is the Asia-Pacific Affairs Writer for CNN Digital Worldwide, based in Hong Kong. Previously, she was an Associate Producer for CNN's fact-check team in Washington, D.C. She joined CNN in 2018 as part of the team covering the Russia investigation, where she contributed to reporting on the special counsel's office and the U.S. District Court. Learn more.

Aoibheann Sweeney FR’86 is the Executive Director of the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center of CUNY. She is the author of Among Other Things I've Taken up Smoking, which was an Editor's Choice at the New York Times Book Review, and has written for the New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. She earned her MFA at University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She has been curating programs at the Center for the Humanities which bring together scholars, writers, artists and civic leaders for over a decade.

Tolly Taylor FR’08 joined the WPRI (Providence, RI) 12 News team in March 2021 as a Target 12 investigative reporter. Before joining 12 News, Taylor spent two years as an education investigative reporter at WSBT 22 in South Bend, Indiana, where he won a 2020 SPJ award for education reporting. While at WSBT 22, he also covered former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 Democratic Party presidential debates. Learn the latest from Tolly here.

Amy Tercek FR’75 is a writer and researcher based in Washington, DC. Amy is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library, as well as a member of the Capitol Hill Poetry Group and The Writer’s Center of Bethesda, MD. Currently studying for her Master of Social Work degree, Amy teaches poetry at the Phyllis Wheatley branch of N Street Village, an organization supporting under-resourced women in metropolitan DC.

Carol Weston FR'74 ES'05P ES'08P is the author of sixteen books, both fiction and non-fiction, she has been the "Dear Carol" advice columnist at Girls' Life since the magazine's first issue in 1994.  Learn more.

Mira Stout FR'77
Abi Polokoff IT'08