Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend
by Brendan Wolfe (Faculty)

Though myth can never quite be separated from reality when it comes to jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke, Wolfe sets out to learn as much as he can about the tragic hero of his hometown, Davenport, Iowa. The first-person narrative takes readers on a journey from the early days of jazz through the lasting legacy of the mysterious cornetist.

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy
by Nicholas Reynolds (Law ’81)

Reynolds, former agent and CIA historian, dives deep into the life, letters and writings of Hemingway to surface with this fascinating true story of the writer’s work in Cold War espionage. Perhaps most intriguing is how Hemingway’s work as an operative may have inspired some of history’s best literature while contributing to its author’s tragic end.

The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia
Edited by Maurice Apprey (Faculty) and Shelli M. Poe (Grad ’13)

This combination of University history and inspiring personal accounts illustrates the challenges faced by the pioneering African-American students of the early days of integration while affirming the importance and rewards, both personal and collective, of the struggle. These students’ difficult decisions to stay in this “foreign country” have resulted in the “rich black heritage still growing at UVA.”

Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty
by John B. Boles (Grad ’69)

This biography examines Jefferson—and his complicated relationship with history—in the context of his time. Aiming to “humanize” rather than “deify or demonize,” Boles says he aims to “recognize the failures of those who came before us and yet acknowledge their contributions.”

Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World
by Krishan Kumar (Faculty)

Convinced of empire’s “contemporary resonance,” Kumar takes a top-down approach to investigate how the diversity of great empires of the past can inform today’s world, where the increased connections of globalization conflict with internal inclinations toward homogeneity. “Empires, for all their faults,” he argues, “show us another way,” one that deserves attention.

Tremulous Hinge
by Adam Giannelli (Grad ’05)

Intimate word play and verbal imagery fill Iowa Poetry Prize-winner Giannelli’s debut collection. In “Stutter,” he details all that he cannot say: “since I couldn’t say tomorrow/I said Wednesday//since I couldn’t say Cleveland I said/Ohio//since I couldn’t say hello//I hung up,” later revealing “alone in my room I can/speak any word.”