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Fiction

At the Altars of Money
A Novel

Graydon D. Hubbard
ISBN 978-1-56474-601-6
480 pages, Hardcover, $25.95


At the Altars of Money is a novel celebrating love, sex, mountain climbing, and mostly money. It captures an American ethos about money and scripts the financial meltdown of 2008. Unlike most books about money, this one presents points of view from insiders looking out rather than outsiders looking in. When a modern-day Robin Hood exploits greed, should society brand him (or her) a criminal or a hero? Does it? Join Kelly, Arthur, Fran, and Hamish in a provocative romp through America’s dollar-dominated culture. A fiery and uncompromising SEC attorney, Kelly seeks truth. Scion of a philandering vice president of Coca-Cola, Arthur is mired in mediocrity; Predisposed to taking risks, free-spirited Fran moves up on Wall Street, outperforming male colleagues in money management and in racquetball; Iconoclastic, identity conflicted, emotionally scarred, and riddled with insecurities, Hamish masters the universe of securities trading models.  With this small band of merry men and women, Hamish pulls of an audacious crime of compassion to conclude the book with a surprising twist.
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Escape Through the Andes
A Novel

Thomas M. Daniel
ISBN 978-1-56474-602-3
160 pages, paperback, $14.95


Pursued by Bolivian security agents, Gonzalo Mamani, a Bolivian physician and spy for the CIA, and Paul Morgan, his North American mentor, colleague, and friend, must elude pursuers to reach safety in the Peruvian coastal town of Salaverry within ten days. Leaving La Paz, Bolivia, they race around Lake Titicaca and across the intermountain Andean plateau to Huatahata, Copacabana, Tiawanacu, Puno, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and points in between. In their flight, they repeatedly, narrowly escape capture. A high-stakes journey for armchair travelers addicted to danger.
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White Leather and Flawed Pearls
A Novel

Susan Altstatt
ISBN 978-1-56474-603-0
224 pages, paperback, $15.95


Three years ago, in 1983, Miranda Falconer (Andy) kidnapped Tommi Rhymer, the rock star she adored, and kept him prisoner in her family’s cabin in the Sierra, until he calmed down, sobered up, and became a friend deserving of Andy’s love. Then he and his partner in their rock duo, Belshangles, and also his partner in a personal way, returned to England, to resume their extravagant life together. Over the past three years, Tommi and Andy have stayed in touch through the mail, and now that Belshangles is back in the States, stopping over in San Francisco, the two friends get together. They find a strong attachment remains between them, and before long they’re off to Reno to get married. Tom (as he now prefers to be called in private) promises his new bride that they’ll have a proper wedding when the time is right. Left behind in California, Harlan becomes Andy’s friend. He helps her hunt for the perfect wedding dress. To her wonder and distress, Andy finds herself falling in love with Harlan, and he returns her affection, which puts her in a state of mind and heart for which her Catholic girlhood has not prepared her….
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Through a Venetian Looking Glass
A Novel of Remembrances
by Hans Peter Braendlin
ISBN 978-1-56474-551-4
288 pages, paperback, $15.95

A ghost story, a swashbuckling romance, a trip to Venice, and a puzzle

Jean-Pierre Petitfeu and his wife, Claire, have spent five days each year in Venice, ever since they lost their ten-year-old son in a boating accident. Each year they take their walks and eat in their favorite restaurants, swept away again and again by the beauty and history of Venice. On the first day of their twelfth visit, Jean-Pierre discovers, hidden behind the cornice of a wall in their room, an old manuscript, the memoir of a man named Giovanni Pietro Pofoco, who lived in Venice at the turn of the sixteenth century. Rich with death and passion, Pofoco’s memoir reads like an adventure story full of sex and violence, with idealism at war with the corrupt establishment. Presumably Pofoco died in the early fifteen hundreds, although as we read more of this remarkable story, we may come to doubt that he died at all.
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Non Fiction

Grab Your Miracle
The Magic of a Mother’s Love

Randi Rabin
ISBN 978-1-56474-596-5
96 pages, paperback, $14.00

HEED WHAT THE UNIVERSE HAS FOR YOU. MIRACLES AWAIT

Grab Your Miracle tells the inspiring story of Randi’s quest to know the meaning of love, which is also the meaning of life. She tells her tale with honesty and humor, a tale of celebration and regret. It has been an often bumpy road, fraught with disappointment, tears, and a few wrong turns, but the journey has been, and it continues to be, a profound blessing and a miraculous adventure.

Randi Rabin was one of four children of a country-western bandleader always on the move. As an independent young adult she had a glamorous career as a stunt woman, a swimsuit and sportswear model, an airline flight attendant, a commercial actress and was the wife of a wealthy businessman in Beverly Hills. In 1997 she moved to Santa Barbara, and in 1999 she remarried. Randi currently lives with her husband and son in Santa Barbara, California, where she is in private practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
.
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My Dear People
The World War I Letters of Pvt. Ned Crawford
Edited and with commentary by Constance Crawford

Including Historical Notes by Christopher McManus
ISBN 978-1-56474-594-1
240 pages including 16 page photo section
paperback, $16.95


My Dear People is made up of three different alternating ingredients, each by a different author: a historical account of surrounding military events by Christopher McManus, Constance Crawford’s commentary on her father’s letters, and the letters themselves by Ned Crawford. These writings are interwoven chronologically here to make Private Ned Crawford’s story comprehensible, entertaining, and moving. The letters Ned wrote to his best friend while serving as a soldier in World War I offer an intimate, quirky, and intelligent account of what it was like for a thirty-one-year-old man who abhorred war and any official interference with individual freedom to submit to a wartime draft and to perform his part in the enormous human drama that was the American Expeditionary Force.
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Rise Up!
Life and Literacy in an Urban First Grade

by Linda Katz
ISBN 978-1-56474-592-7
160 pages, paperback, $14.95


What do we want these children, our children, to become?


This is an account of an ethnically and racially diverse classroom of funny, endearing, and often poignant six-year-olds in a Seattle inner-city elementary school. The author, their volunteer literary coach, describes the classroom, their heroic teacher, a number of clever teaching modules, and the evolution of this school toward excellence. The children’s confidences, essays, and poetry sparkle with humor, and the unexpected viewpoints of childhood. Eight captivating students are profiled and featured for us in line drawing illustrations.

In the final chapters some startling school district data is introduced as well as three common-sense recommendations to give all kids a fair chance in school. Having learned so much about the realities of public elementary education in her five years in the classroom, the author wanted to share the good news of what is possible with others who might otherwise view this as a grim subject.

Linda Katz enjoyed a long career in child welfare as a clinician, administrator, child advocate and lecturer. As a writer and trainer she developed innovations to make the child placement system better serve our most vulnerable children, the abused and the poor, and taught these methods nationally and internationally. She is the author of many articles in professional social service journals. After retirement she found she was missing the company of small children and was lucky enough to find a place where she could be useful at the local elementary school.
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A Song Just for Me
by Mary Kiki Wilcox
ISBN 978-1-56474-556-9
96 pages, paperback, $12.00


Melodies and memories

These stories are based on Mary Kiki Wilcox’s 12 years of volunteer work in the health center of her senior community, where she takes recorded music, on a CD player, to the residents in the Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities. They listen together, as a group, in their weekly “Mostly Music” sessions, or individually, in their rooms. She has a wide selection of music to share, ranging from classical to popular standards and show tunes. Her listeners talk—about whatever comes, whatever moves them. What Mary sees in the faces of her neighbors as they listen to the music, and what they choose to talk about, touch her deeply. These people become her friends.
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Times and Tides of Tuberculosis
Perceptions Revealed in Literature, Keats to Sontag
by Thomas Daniel, M.D.
ISBN 978-1-56474-544-6
176 pages, paperback, $16.95


What great writers said about the dread disease

This is a study of changing attitudes—of patients, the medical community, and society in general—towards tuberculosis, over the course of a century and a half. As TB became better understood scientifically, treatment of the disease changed for the better, and the attitudes became more hopeful. This book illustrates these changing attitudes with the life stories and sample works of well-known writers—novelists, essayists, and poets. Not all of these writers had TB themselves, but they all were well enough acquainted with the disease to write about it eloquently. This added dimension gives the book another identity: in addition to medical and social history, Times and Tides of Tuberculosis offers literary history and criticism.
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Memoir


In Parallel Light
A Prose Collection

Jeanne Lohmann
978-1-56474-571-2
94 pages, paperback, $14.00


Capturing a life's points of change—remembered or imagined

These pieces display a remarkable collection of memories and fantasies, beautifully expressed. Poet Jeanne Lohmann uses short prose sketches to recall her girlhood, from jump rope klutz to drama queen, with nostalgia for streetcars and old movies. She shares what she learned about war from being a volunteer in post-WWII Europe. She remembers sensual experiences throughout her life from blueberry pie to encounters with men—some welcome, others intrusive. Her writing about aging, widowhood, and loss is honest and wise. She takes her reader for walks in the forest and on the beach. Many of these pieces are fantasies, dreams, magical stories—some humorous and others frightening. Some of these sketches read like mood pieces, and others like polished short stories.

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stangl coverPainted Pebbles
A Hungarian Memoir

Peter Stangl
978-1-56474-567-5
224 pages, paperback, $15.95


An eye-witness
account of watershed moments in modern European history


In 1983 librarian Peter Stangl took his teenaged son and daughter to Budapest, to show them the city and the land where he had grown up. He wrote an account of that trip, which he titled “Pebbles,” because a surprise encounter with some stones his mother had painted stirred up such strong memories of his boyhood. In time, Mr. Stangl expanded his memoir into a saga of memories of world-shaking events that he had witnessed as a boy and young man in Hungary: the rise of Naziism, the violence of World War II, the subsequent Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Interspersed with these accounts of history in the making, the author gives a fond anecdotal chronicle of his family. After his hair-raising escape from Hungary, Peter Stangl landed in New York, via Vienna. The story ends with his assimilation into Yale University and a reunion with family in Paris.
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Falling into Theatre…and Finding Myself
A Memoir

Robert Cohen
978-1-56474-561-3
240 pages, paperback, $15.95


How—step by step and break by lucky break—Robert Cohen became a master of theatre arts.

This engaging memoir is presented as a series of lucky breaks, or surprise turning points in the story that led to Robert Cohen's dramatic success in theatre arts. In retrospect, it would have been a great surprise had Cohen not ended up in theatre arts, given his early fascination with the stage, his chance at a young age to see original cast productions of Broadway plays, and the influence of his uncle, Marty Goldblatt, a publicist for Columbia Pictures who hobnobbed with celebrities of stage and screen. It was inevitable—Robert Cohen became a man of the theatre, not only as an actor but also as a professional playwright, translator, director, lighting designer, theatre critic and scholar, and as the builder from the ground up of the University of California at Irvine's prestigious drama department, where he continues to serve as Claire Trevor Professor of Drama. His twenty-plus books include major works on acting (Acting Power: the 21st Century Edition) and on acting careers (Acting Professionally, Working Together in Theatre) and theatre appreciation (Theatre and Theatre: Brief Edition), along with his translations of classical plays (by Molière and Machiavelli) and modern plays of his own.

Robert Cohen, founding Chair of Drama at the University of California, Irvine, is a professional stage director, playwright, producer, translator, and acting teacher. He has lectured and taught in twenty-five states and ten foreign countries, and his twenty books on theatre, including Acting Power, Acting in Shakespeare, and Acting Professionally have been published in fifty editions and translated into six languages.

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Given Time
Living Our Last Months Together
by Helen Park Bigelow
ISBN 978-1-56474-553-8
224 pages, paperback, $14.95


Relishing the last year together,
through heartbreak and chemo


This memoir is about love and death. It is a story about two strong, artistic people who have lived together and supported each other with love until the very end. The narrative begins when Helen and Ed learn that Ed’s melanoma, which has been “cured” for two years, returns with a vengeance. By the time it is diagnosed, it is entrenched in Ed’s body, and the most they can hope for from chemotherapy is to delay Ed’s death by a few months. Ed chooses to live as long as chemo will keep him alive, in order to stay with Helen. The couple have been together for thirty-five years. Interspersed with the chronicle of caregiving are happy memories of their marriage. The story ends in their home in Palo Alto, with Ed on a Hospice hospital bed, in the company of friends and family, Helen’s head resting on his chest until his breathing stops.

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France with My Father
A journey through memory, art, time, and family
by Janine S. Volkmar
ISBN 978-1-56474-550-7
176 pages, paperback, $14.95


Merci Beaucoup!

When her 86-year-old father called to invite her on a three-week trip to France, Janine was thrilled. They traveled around France, eating wonderful food and drinking good wine, visiting haunts of the painter Paul Cézanne, and researching their family history. Janine’s grandparents were born in France, and exploring their heritage united the father and daughter. Full of descriptions of French cuisine, art, the landscape, and culture, France with My Father is a loving appreciation of the often-maligned French people who were kindness personified to the white-haired father and his daughter. The two of them drove from Paris to Provence and, in spite of often getting lost, found their way to a closer relationship.
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P
oetry


Homecoming
Poems
by Kay Mullen
ISBN 978-1-56474-613-9
112 pages, paperback, $15.00

Homecoming explores the meaning of home from the eyes of a child and youth, then as an adult and beyond. The poems resonate with human experience and the realities of nature at home as well as outside the confines of one’s own country. The book addresses the need for acceptance and love in order to thrive and become fully at home in the world within.
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Dune Tracks
Poems
by Francis Fike
ISBN 978-1-56474-617-7
96 pages, paperback, $14.95


Francis Fike’s new collection, Dune Tracks, has a Michigan flavor, with poems that feature and celebrate the landscape and especially the birds of the Michigan shoreline, and a lovely painting of a lakeshore by Michigan artist Debra Reid Jenkins. Other poems are inspired by places far from home. Included are translations from Spanish and French. The collection also feature some of Fike’s hymns and one song.

The poems in this book are in traditional form, not free verse: they use meter, rhyme, and stanza form. Fike was trained in the art and joy of  formal verse by poet Yvor Winters at Stanford University when the young poet had a Wallace Stegner Fellowship there. Francis Fike closes his book with a memoir of his time studying and writing with Winters.
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Eating Sardines at Midnight
Poems
by Linda Levitz
ISBN 978-1-56474-605-4
80 pages, paperback, $15.00


The poet’s childhood memories focus in on incidents and objects anybody with a memory can share, but when she presents them they appear as clear flashes of her own past. She loves nature in all seasons. She writes with all her senses, sharing with the reader the odor of bread, the sound of dogs at dawn, the taste of good food in Paris and bad food in Paris, the feeling of hands roughened by milking cows. She loves soil. She reinvents familiar fairy tales. She writes of magic, and it’s magical. She loves language, dreams, fantasies, and fables.
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Love, Solitude, and the Face of Death
Selected Poems by Edity Södergran

Translated by Stina Katchadourian
ISBN 978-1-56474-593-4
112 pages, paperback, $15.00


A young poet receives posthumous recognition after her early death
.

Edith Irene Södergran, one of the first modernist poets within Swedish-language literature, was born in St. Petersburg in 1892 and died in Raivola, a Finnish town near the Russian border, in 1923. Her first published poems were not well received by the conservative critics because of their free-verse style. At her death from tuberculosis, which she contracted as a teenager, she was thirty-one years old and known only within the narrow confines of the Swedish-speaking literary world; but after her death she became recognized and appreciated, and she is now considered one of the greatest poets in Swedish literature. Her poetry has been translated into some thirty languages and her passionate lyric voice continues to win new readers all over the world.

Stina Katchadourian grew up in Finland and moved to the United States in 1966. She has published book-length translations of poetry by Märta Tikkanen, Tua Forsström and Edith Södergran; a play, The Raspberry Patch; as well as three nonfiction books.
She works as a journalist for Scandinavian media and has made numerous programs for Finnish radio and TV. She has won several prizes from the Finland-Swedish Literature Society and is an honorary member of the Society.

She lives in Stanford, CA with her husband, Herant Katchadourian, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry.

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Añoranza
Poems

Paula Amen Judah
978-1-56474-589-0
80 pages, paperback, $14.00
These poems are like short stories packed with emotion, plot, character, and consequence. They evoke small-town, mid-century life with intimate detail, both physical and emotional, capturing moments of girlhood that linger and haunt the memory in later life. Añoranza (spanish for yearning or longing) traces the impressions of a small-town girl whose family is dominated by a father‘s harsh rule over the household. His spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child philosophy and “cop” mentality are buffered by the presence of her mother and grandmother—their songs, their strengths, their lessons. Añoranza contains a constellation of themes—faith, death, power, and conflict, which culminate in the author‘s discovering a new geography of acceptance and redemption.
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