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Ex libris November 2021

Ex libris November 2021

New content from faculty and alumni

A backpacking trip through Soviet-era Estonia and a decades-long career in the tech industry inspired Free Radical, the debut novel by Lawrence Finlay (Artsci’92), which he released under the pseudonym Tyler Black. The book, published by FriesenPress, tells the story of James, a U.K. tech-firm employee who finds himself fighting for his life in the middle of a northeastern European forest, his only support coming from a toy-sized robot with the ability to learn by watching and listening to humans.

Catherine Taylor (MSc’16) turned personal tragedy into a heartwarming lesson for young children. She wrote Ava Jean’s Wings, a rhyming story of a young angel who refuses to hide her wings, in 2019 while pregnant with her first child. Although her pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the story ultimately became a children’s book, illustrated by Champa Gunawardana, which Kickstarter recognized with the Project We Love label for its “compelling message and creativity.” The book, which was released in August, encourages children to recognize their unique qualities, use their talents, and be proud of who they are.

Musician Craig Jones (PhD’97) traces the cultural and geographic journey of perhaps the single most influential modern music genre in Chasing the Blues: A Traveler’s Guide to America’s Music, which he co-authored with Kingston-based travel writer Josephine Matyas. Together they chart the history of the blues, from its birth in the pre-Emancipation Mississippi Delta to its modern-day influence on nearly every form of popular music.

As the world evolves toward a deeper understanding of mental illness and the importance of seeking treatment, Kimberly DeFiori (MBA’20) shares an unusual perspective on her own recovery. Lessons from Thor, her debut book from Tactical 16 Publishing, tells the story of DeFiori’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder while serving in the U.S. Army and the life-changing lessons she’s learned from her service dog, Thor.


graphic of cover of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 3, 2021