A selection of books, films, and recordings by UChicago alumni.
By Nancy L. Segal, AM’74, PhD’82
The documentary films The Twinning Reaction (2017) and Three Identical Strangers (2018) introduced many viewers to the stories of siblings who were unwitting subjects of the 1960s Louise Wise Services–Child Development Center study, which separated identical twins and triplets for adoption without revealing the facts about their birth histories to the adoptive parents. Offering the first in-depth look at the study’s architects, psychologist and leading twin studies expert Nancy L. Segal tells the story of how a New York City adoption agency’s psychiatric consultant and the director of the city’s Child Development Center embarked on such an ethically fraught approach to tracking the developmental similarities and differences of twins and triplets reared apart.
By Andrés Reséndez, AM’92, PhD’97
On a 1564–65 expedition organized by the Spanish crown, Afro-Portuguese mariner Lope Martín became the first navigator to sail from the Americas to Asia and back. In this account of the historic trade mission, University of California, Davis, historian Andrés Reséndez describes how Martín became part of King Philip II’s international “dream team” of navigators, how the Black expedition leader ended up achieving the mission ahead of his White European counterparts, and how he withstood a cruel reversal of fortune after his return—only to suffer neglect by future historians. Reséndez aims to correct the record by restoring Martín to the pantheon of early modern explorers.
By Daryl Kho, AB’01
Intergenerational family bonds are at the heart of this middle-grade fantasy novel by Singapore-based television industry professional Daryl Kho. To help her grandfather overcome a spell that has badly damaged his memories, Alexis must quest to a parallel world populated by creatures from the elderly man’s folktales and find the magical ingredients needed to brew a cure known as memory glue. Kho, inspired to write the book by his father’s struggle with dementia, crafts a story that helps young readers understand the illness and the importance of caring for elders.
By Angela Jackson, AM’95
With a title from the Sermon on the Mount, Illinois poet laureate Angela Jackson’s new collection draws on the power of memory and invocation to create lasting presence for people and places that no longer cling to the “meat and raiment” of this world. The book’s opening section, “Hero-House: An African American Saga of Drylongso in the Great Migration,” tells a story of everyday Black life through images of the Deep South and Chicago’s South Side. “I am the memory borrower, brothers and sisters,” opens one of Jackson’s poems. “I will keep you safe and sacred. I am a keeper.”
By Howard Zehr, AM’67, and Barb Toews
What is it like to serve a life sentence? This is one question posed by restorative justice pioneer Howard Zehr’s coauthored book of photographs and interviews, which focuses mainly on the experiences of people incarcerated without the possibility of parole. In the early 1990s Zehr documented the images and stories of approximately 75 such men and women in Pennsylvania prisons. Permitted in 2017 to revisit about two dozen of those subjects, he worked with cowriter Barb Toews to assemble an updated portrait book juxtaposing the early and later photos and interviews. By revealing these prisoners’ complex humanity, Zehr and Toews aim to promote dialogue about criminal justice policy.
By David Lindenfeld, PhD’73
Accounts of Christianity in world history tend to view Indigenous peoples as static groups that received a dynamic religious culture from Europeans, argues Louisiana State University historian David Lindenfeld. This view reinforces the missionary’s perspective on Christianity’s diffusion, says Lindenfeld, and it’s one he aims to reverse. With examples from the early modern period to the present era in North America, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and elsewhere, he draws attention to how Indigenous actors experienced their encounters with Christian missionaries and what these actors did to shape one of the world’s major religions.
For additional alumni book releases, use the link to the Magazine’s Goodreads bookshelf at mag.uchicago.edu/alumni-books.