• White Facebook Icon
Dec 4, 2017

Friends Seminary’s Community of Writers and Readers


Edited: May 22, 2018


Here’s how I spent the summer of 2017 (and on into the fall): reading the volumes of former students and colleagues. Now it looks as though this is how I will spend the rest of my life! The books just keep coming. I enjoyed the experience so much, I’m recommending it to you. I’ve discovered that it does add something to read works by people I know (or almost know, after all, some people did take Spanish or were before or after my time). I would love to hear thoughts of other people.

Tracking down these works has been haphazard. I know that there are many more books to find out about, and I would love to know about them.

At first, I limited myself to one book per author, but now I have begun to read second works and third works, so I guess I’ll just keep going. I paid no attention to when the books came out. As the publisher Peter Mayer said, “Who cares if it’s old or new? If you haven’t read the book, and it’s an old book, it’s actually a new book.”

I have tried to describe the books as I see them with no particular recommendations or intentional judgment.

I recommend them all, actually.


f- faculty ff- former faculty te – teacher emeritus. As to the students, I did my best to remember when they were at Friends, but I’m probably way off with some. Feel free to set the record straight!


New Posts
  • xxpaulmartin12345x
    Nov 24, 2018

    Here’s a little homemade video (I have no idea how to edit) taken on my iPad. The sound is faulty for the first few seconds, but don’t despair – it turns out all right. I seem to have coined a new word –“fastly.” Listen for it. Note the elephant in the room. Thanks to daughter Tammy for holding up the books. I begin with books by teachers and then go through a random sample of works of alums from the 40’s to the 90’s. So far I’ve read only one book by a graduate after 2000. It is Daring Democracy by Adam Eichen ’11 written with Frances Lappé. I feel sure there are more, but I don’t know about them.
  • xxpaulmartin12345x
    Apr 15, 2018

    I just reread Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle , where these terms appear. (Someone asked me if Vonnegut went to Friends. No, he did not. Steeped as I am in this project, I do nonetheless occasionally read other things). As I read about a karass, which consists of people with some kind of true spiritual bond, and a granfaloon, which is a false karass, a feeling of kinship based on nothing but happenstance (like all people who live in the East Village or all people from Indiana), I wondered if these Friends writers, and readers like me, form a karass or a granfaloon. This is a bit tricky since these terms originate in a religion which is both false and fictional. But I am fine with suspending disbelief. New Yorkers or graduates of Cornell or Sweet Adelines might think they are part of a karass (and maybe they are) but they could be kidding themselves. Probably we’re a granfaloon just because most things are. And yet. I see attitudes percolating through these works. Tolerance of those who are different. Outrage at injustice. Curiosity about the world. Empathy. Encouragement of activism. Introspection. Love of words. But then, I guess these qualities are true of everyone except utter jerks. Still, they (the writers) do share something more specific. All have sat in silence in the Meeting House at one time or other. All have heard that there is that of God in every person. Powerful as these may be, they might not be enough to make us a karass. And, of course, there is no such thing as a karass.
  • xxpaulmartin12345x
    Feb 17, 2018

    Friends Seminary Writers 1. Abrahams, Fred ? A Village Destroyed, War Crimes in Kosovo with Eric Stover and Gilles Peress (Edited book) 2. Arning, Bill late 70’s?- Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty (Edited book) 3. Azzarelli, Kim ’88 Fast Forward, How Women can Achieve Power and Purpose with Melanne Verveer (Nonfiction) 4. Baer, Elizabeth late 70’s early 80’s with cowriters Arnold, Lawall and Aronson Love and Betrayal, A Catullus Reader (Education) 5. Barbash, Ilisa ’77 Where All Roads End, Photography and Anthropology in the Kalahari (Nonfiction International) 6. Bart, Peter late 40’s? Infamous Players, A tale of Movies, The Mob (and sex) ( Nonfiction) 7. Benz, Yarrott ff The Bone Bridge (Memoir) 8. Borroff, Marie early 40’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, Pearl ( Art, Literature, Music) 9. Browne. Malcolm ‘48 Muddy Boots and Red Socks (Nonfiction) 10. Bruel, Nick ’83 Bad Kitty (Children/Education) 11. Calkin, Abigail ‘59 The Soul of my Soldier ( Memoir) 12. Cane, Tina ff Once More With Feeling (Poetry) Dear Elena (Poetry) Body of Work (Poetry) 13. Cannon, Joan L. ’46 Second Growth (Novel) 14. Carr, Caleb ’70? The Angel of Darkness (Novel) The Alienist (Novel) 15. Chaffee, Jessie ’97 Florence in Ecstasy (Novel) 16. Chaitman, Helen Davis ’57 with Lance Gotthoffer JP Madoff, the Unholy Alliance between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook (Nonfiction) 17. Church, Joseph ’74 Music Direction for the Stage. A View From the Podium (Nonfiction) 18. Cott, Jonathan ’62 Pipers are the Gates of Dawn ( Art, Literature, Music) On the Sea of Memory ( Nonfiction) 19. Cross, H. S, mid 80’s, ff Wilberforce ( Novel) Grievous (Novel) 20. Davis-Chanin, Laura late ‘70’s) The Girl in the Back: A Female Drummer’s Lifewith Bowie, Blondie, and the ‘70s Rock Scene ( Memoir) 21. DeSilva-Johnson, Lynne ‘98 Blood Atlas (Poetry) 22. Drellich, Evan ’04 Boston Red Socks, The Big 50 (Nonfiction) 23. Dunham, Lena 90’s in the Lower School. Would have been in the class of 2000 something Not That Kind of Girl (Memoir) 24. Eichen, Adam, ‘11 Daring Democracy ( Nonfiction) with Frances Lappé 25. Erlbaum, Janice middle school – 80’s Girlbomb ( Memoir) 26. Fahey, Maria f Metaphor in Shakespearean Drama ( Art. Literature, Music) Guide to Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Children/education) 27. Fisher, Robert 60’s Gardens of the Amalfi Coast (Nonfiction) 28. Fink, Arthur ’64 Dance (Art, Literature and Music) 29. Foote, Timothy ’45 The World of Bruegel (Art, Literature, Music) 30. Foster, Nan Gaines ? Gutsy, the Food-Mood Method to Revitalize your Health (Nonfiction) 31. Fyvie, Erica, ’91 Trash Revolution, Breaking the Waste Cycle ( Children/Education) Illustrated by Bill Slavin 32. Gallo, Emily (Schwartz) ‘67 The Columbarium (Novel) Venice Beach (Novel) 33. Garfinkle, Richard, Early 80’s? Exaltations ( Novel) 34. Gibbs, Christopher ‘76 The Life of Schubert ( Art, Literature, Music) 35. Gibbs, Nancy ‘78 The Presidents Club ( Nonfiction) with Michael Duffy, The Preacher and the Presidents (Nonfiction) with Michael Duffy 36. Gilbert, Edes Powell ’49 Alone Together (memoir) 37. Gilman, Susan Jane Middle school in the 70’s The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street (Novel) 38. Goldberg, Lee Matthew ’96 The Mentor ( Novel) 39. Goldschmidt, Arthur Jr ’55 and Lawrence Davidson A Concise history of the Middle East, Tenth Edition (Nonfiction) 40. Gonzalez, Margaret te Louis Souris et ses amis ( Education/children) Body in Space, My Life with Tammy (Memoir) 41. Grossman, Anna Jane ’97 Obsolete (Nonfiction) 42. Guthrie, Camille ff The Master Thief ( Poetry) 43. Hample, Zack 90’s? Art of the Snag ( Nonfiction) 44. Hayes, Jennifer Fell te TheSilver Shuttle (Education/Children) 45. Hieatt, Constance ’46 The Joy of the Court ( Education/Children) 46. Hohn, Donovan ff Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,999 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists & Fools Including the Author Who Went in Search of Them (Nonfiction) 47. Howard, Elizabeth Meade ‘50’s middle school Aging Famously (Nonfiction) 48. Humphrey, Henry 60’s What is it For? (Children/education ) 49. Hupert, Matthew ‘78 Ism is a Retrovirus (Poetry) 50. Infantino, Jim ’83 The Wakeful Wanderers Guide to New New England and Beyond (Novel) 51. Isay, Dave ’83 Callings, The Purpose and Passion of Work (nonfiction) 52. Johnson, Jean te Through Indian Eyes ( Edited books) (with Don Johnson) 53. Kahn, Annette te J.-K. Huysmans, Novelist, Poet, and Art Critic ( Art, Literature, Music) 54. Kaufman, Jonathan ’74 Broken Alliance (Nonfiction) A Hole in the Heart of the World, Being Jewish in Eastern Europe (Nonfiction) 55. Kimmelman, Michael ’76 Portraits ( Art, Literature, Music) The Accidental Masterpiece, On the Art of Life and Vice Versa ( Art, Literature, and Music) 56. Knight, Hilary mid 40’s Where’s Wallace? ( Education/Children) 57. Korda, Natasha ’79 Labor’s Lost, Women’s Work and the Early Modern English Stage (Art, Literature, Music) 58. Krohn, Deborah ’77 Dutch New York between East and West ( Edited Books) 59. Korman, Keith ‘74 End Time (Novel) 60. LeBlanc, Lew, edited by Susan Elvers LeBlanc ’81 War Stories ( Stories) 61. Lehu, Pierre ’67 The Doctor is In (Memoir) (with Dr. Ruth Westheimer) Dr. Ruth’s Guide to Teens and Sex Today (Nonfiction ) (with Dr. Ruth Westheimer) 62. Listfield, Emily ’74 Waiting to Surface (Novel) Best Intentions (Novel) 63. Miller, John Ripin ’55 The Man Who Could be King (Novel) 64. Moses, Harry ’54 co-edited with Gus Russo, Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination ( Edited work) 65. Mottahedeh, Roy ’58? L oyalty and Leadership in an Early Islamic Society (Nonfiction) 66. Olsen, Nora mid 90’s? Maxine Wore Black (Novel) Frenemy of the State (Novel) 67. Pauck, Marion ’45 Paul Tillich, His Life and Thought (Nonfiction) with Wilhelm Pauck 68. Peacock, Molly ff The Paper Garden (Memoir) Poetry in Motion ( Edited, with Elise Paschen and Neil Neches) How to Read a Poem (Art, Literature, and Music) Alphabetique (Stories) The Analyst (Poetry) 69. Peck, Scott ‘50’s The Road Less Traveled (Nonfiction) 70. Peet, Amanda ’90? Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein ( Children)with Andrea Troyer, illustrated by Christine Davinier 71. Perdomo, Willie ‘85 The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Poetry) ) Visiting Langston ( Children/education) The Crazy Bunch (Poetry) 72. Perry, John Curtis ’48 Singapore, Unlikely Power (Nonfiction-International) The Flight of the Romanovs with Constantine Pleshakov (Nonfiction-International) 73. Reed, John 90’s Snowball’s Chance (Novel) The Whole (Novel) 74. Roosevelt, Theodore hmm – a long time ago The Rough Riders (Nonfiction) 75. Rosenblatt, Roger ’58 Making Toast (Memoir) Rules for Aging ( Nonfiction) 76. Rowan, Lou ff A Mystery’s No Problem (Novel) ) Alphabet of Love Serial ( stories) 77. Rowan, Quentin ’94 Never Say Goodbye (Memoir) 78. Sanchez-Eppler, Karen ’70’s Touching Liberty (Art, Literature, Music) 79. Sayre, Nora ’49 Running Time, Films of the Cold War (Nonfiction) 80. Sellar, Tom ’87 Theater volume 47, number 1 Curating Crisis ( Edited work) 81. Schrag, Peter Edmund ‘55 My Mother and Me, making it in New York after Making it out of Berlin and Beirut (Memoir) 82. Schiffrin, André early 50’s? A Political Education, Coming of Age in Paris and New York (memoir) 83. Schwartz, Deborah ‘71 Woman on Top (Novel) 84. Shapiro, Laurie Gwen ’84 The Stowaway (Nonfiction) 85. Sherman, Ivy Baer ’74 Vintage, Quatrième Issue (Edited books) 86. Singer, Ron te The Parents we Deserve (Novel) Uhuru Revisited (nonfiction) 87. Socolow, Nan ’55 Invasive Procedures, Earthquake, Calamities, and Poems from the midst of life (Poetry) 88. Stern, Amanda ‘89 The Long Haul (Novel) We are so Crashing your Bar Mitzvah (novel for middle school age- Children/education) by Fiona Rosenbloom (aka Amanda Stern) Little Panic (memoir) 89. Tanna, Laura ’65 Jamaican Folk Tales and Oral Histories ( Art Literature and Music) 90. Thomas, Abigail ’59 A Three Dog Life (Memoir) What Comes Next and How to Like it (Memoir) Herb’s Pajamas (Stories) 91. Waldman, Anne ’62? Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet to be Born (poetry) Outrider (Art, Literature, Music) 92. Waldman, Carl ’65 Atlas of the North American Indian (Nonfiction) 93. Wapner, Jessica ’92 The Philadelphia Chromosome (Nonfiction) 94. Watkins, Calvert ’52? How to Kill a Dragon, Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (Art, Literature, Music) 95. Wilson, Kai Ashante ff Th e Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (Novel) 96. Winecoff, Charles 70’s? Split Image, The Life of Anthony Perkins (Nonfiction) 97. Wolff, Nina ’80 Someday You Will Understand ( Memoir) 98. Wolff, Rebecca ?? The Beginners (Novel) Manderley (Poetry) 99. Wriggins, Jennifer mid 70’s The Measure of Injury (nonfiction) with Martha Chamallas 100. Zirin, Dave ’91 Brazil’s Dance with the Devil (Nonfiction), Things that Make White People Uncomfortable with Michael Bennett (Memoir) 101. Zissu, Alexandra 80’s The Conscious Kitchen (Nonfiction) f-faculty ff-former faculty te- teacher emeritus For the alums, I am mostly guessing. If anyone wants to let me know when they actually were at Friends, l will edit the list accordingly. 101 writers, 128 books