KWF Authors

Updated February 26, 2014

Books by KWF Alumni/Spouses

Fellows often end their year at Michigan with a book in the works. The list below includes books published by former fellows, many of them inspired by the year of study at MIchigan.  


By McKenzie Funk '12

A fascinating investigation into how people around the globe are cashing in on a warming world: McKenzie Funk has spent the last six years reporting around the world on how we are preparing for a warmer planet. Funk shows us that the best way to understand the catastrophe of global warming is to see it through the eyes of those who see it most clearly—as a market opportunity.

Global warming’s physical impacts can be separated into three broad categories: melt, drought, and deluge. Funk travels to two dozen countries to profile entrepreneurial people who see in each of these forces a potential windfall. The melt is a boon for newly arable, mineral-rich regions of the Arctic, such as Greenland—and for the surprising kings of the manmade snow trade, the Israelis. The process of desalination, vital to Israel’s survival, can produce a snowlike by-product that alpine countries use to prolong their ski season.

Drought creates opportunities for private firefighters working for insurance companies in California as well as for fund managers backing south Sudanese warlords who control local farmland. As droughts raise food prices globally, there is no more precious asset.

The deluge—the rising seas, surging rivers, and superstorms that will threaten island nations and coastal cities—has been our most distant concern, but after Hurricane Sandy and failure after failure to cut global carbon emissions, it is not so distant. For Dutch architects designing floating cities and American scientists patenting hurricane defenses, the race is on. For low-lying countries like Bangladesh, the coming deluge presents an existential threat.

Funk visits the front lines of the melt, the drought, and the deluge to make a human accounting of the booming business of global warming. By letting climate change continue unchecked, we are choosing to adapt to a warming world. Containing the resulting surge will be big business;some will benefit, but much of the planet will suffer. McKenzie Funk has investigated both sides, and what he has found will shock us all. To understand how the world is preparing to warm, Windfall follows the money.




How Long Will I Cry?
Edited by Miles Harvey '08

Over the course of two years, while more than 900 people were being murdered on the streets of Chicago, creative-writing students from DePaul University fanned out all over the city to interview peple whose lives have been changed by the bloodshed. The result is an extraordinary and eye-opening work of oral history. Told by real people in their own words, the stories are at harrowing, heartbreaking and full of hope.




The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory
By Jesse Walker, Spouse '09

Conspiracy theories aren't just a feature of the fringe. They've been a potent force across the political spectrum, at the center as well as the extremes, from the colonial era to the present. In The United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker explores this rich history, arguing that conspiracy stories should be read not just as claims to be either believed or debunked but also as folklore. When a tale takes hold, it reveals something true about the anxieties and experiences of those who believe and repeat it, even if the story says nothing true about the objects of the theory itself. With intensive research and a deadpan sense of humor, The United States of Paranoia combines the rigor of real history with the punch of pulp fiction.



Fooling Houdini
By Alex Stone '14

A dazzling tour through the strange and coloful world of magic and magicians-an exploration that probes the science of deception, the limits of consciousness, and the mysteries of the human mind. In trying to understand how expert magicians manipulate our minds to create their astonishing illusions, Alex Stone uncovers a wealth of insight into human nature and the nature of perception. Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works, and why, sometimes it doesn't.



Fourth and Long, The Fight for the Soul of College Football
By John U. Bacon '06

College football has never been more popular—in attendance, TV ratings, and NCAA revenue—yet in light of that popularity, and the money and greed it generates, the sport is on the brink of losing its soul.  Bacon embedded himself in four programs—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, and Northwestern—and captured college football’s oldest, biggest, most storied league, the Big Ten, at its tipping point, along with this beloved and troubled American institution.



The Tender Soldier
By Vanessa M. Gezari '12

The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, a work of narrative nonfiction based on Gezari’s first-hand experiences reporting in Afghanistan since 2002 and especially between 2008-2010.

In this tale of moral suspense, journalist Vanessa Gezari follows these three idealists from the hope that brought them to Afghanistan through the events of the fateful day when one is gravely wounded, an Afghan is dead, and a proponent of cross-cultural engagement is charged with his murder. Through it all, these brave Americans ended up showing the world just how determined they were to get things right, how hard it was to really understand a place like Afghanistan where storytelling has been a major tool of survival, and why all future wars will involve this strange mix of fighting and listening.


Kate Brooks

In the Light of Darkness
By Kate Brooks '13

At the age of 23, immediately following the Twin Tower attacks, Kate Brooks moved to Pakistan to photograph the impact of the U.S. foreign policy in the region. It was the start of a 10 year odyssey covering world changing events, from the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Tora Bora and the American invasion of Iraq, to Lebanon's disenfranchised Palestinian population and the country's power struggles with Syria and Israel, the protests in Egypt's Tahrir Square and the beginning of the war in Libya.
In the Light of Darkness interweaves a selection of those images with a series of personal essays chronicling Brooks' own journey as a young woman, from 9-11 to the Arab Spring uprisings of early 2011. Her images capture the harsh beauty and poignant pain of a region mired in conflict while her words trace a personal narrative of loss--of friends, of colleagues and of innocence.


Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays
A book series by Joanne Gerstner '13

Joanne Gerstner has written four children's books, all non-fiction, historically-bent, but fun, looks at the the storied runs of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays. The books, which are designed for in and out-of-classroom use, aim to get children from 3-6th grades interested in reading about their favorite teams. They are published by SportsZone, a division of ABDO publishing.





By Donovan Hohn '13

When the Donovan Hohn '13 heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive arena of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.



The American Way of Eating
By Tracie McMillan '13

When award-winning (and working-class) journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry in this “clear and essential” (The Boston Globe) work of reportage. Chronicling her own experience and that of the Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks with whom she works, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to explore the national priorities that put it there.
Fearlessly reported and beautifully written, The American Way of Eating goes beyond statistics and culture wars to deliver a book that is fiercely honest, strikingly intelligent, and compulsively readable. In making the simple case that—city or country, rich or poor—everyone wants good food, McMillan guarantees that talking about dinner will never be the same again.



A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
By Josh Neufeld'13

The Influencing Machine: Brook Glastone on the Media
Written by Brook Gladstone, Illustrated by Josh Neufeld '13

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is a masterful portrait of a city under siege. Cartoonist  and KWF fellow Josh Neufeld depicts seven extraordinary true stories of survival in the days leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina. 
As beautiful as it is poignant, A.D. presents a city in chaos and shines a bright, profoundly human light on the tragedies and triumphs that took place within it. A.D. was a New York Times bestseller and was selected for inclusion in Best American Comics 2010.

The Influencing Machine: Brook Gladstone on the Media, Bursting onto the page in vivid comics form, radio personality Brooke Gladstone guides the reader through two millennia of media history, debunking the notion that "The Media" is an external force beyond our control and equipping us to be savvy consumers and shapers of the news. A New York Times bestseller, The New Yorker described The Influencing Machine as “a comic book with zest and brains—and it just might help a reader understand the brave new world.” And The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "It’s easy to imagine The Influencing Machine becoming mandatory reading in journalism classes around the country.” Written by Gladstone, illustrated by Neufeld.


Right to Education

The Right to Education,
Two books edited by Sabine Righetti '13

Sabine Righetti ’13 edited two books, “Direito à educação: aspectos constitucionais” (The Right to Education: Constitutional Aspects”) and “Direito à Educação: Igualdade e Discriminação no Ensino” (“The Right to Education: Equality and Discrimination on Education”)on education in Brazil.  For the first time in Brazil, Righetti gathered a series of articles analyzing education issues such as the right to education for natives, affirmative action on public higher education and the role of government in elementary education.  The first book was a finalist for the Jabuti Award, the most important book award in Brazilian literature.




Call of the Mild: Lerning to Hunt My Own Dinner
By Lily Raff McCaulou '10

Three and Out

Congratulations to Lily Raff McCaulou ’10 on her memoir, "Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner.” When she traded in an indie film production career in New York for a journalism job in central Oregon, she never imagined that she'd find herself picking up a gun and learning to hunt.  She'd been raised as a gun-fearing environmentalist and an animal lover, and though a meat-eater, she'd always abided by the principle that harming animals is wrong.  But Raff McCaulou's perspective shifted when she began interviewing hunters and understanding that in many ways, they were closer to the animals they hunt than she was. 
From shooting pheasants in near-captivity to field dressing an elk and serving it for dinner, she thoughtfully explores the sport of hunting and all it entails, and tackles the big questions surrounding one of the most misunderstood American practices and pastimes.


Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football
By John U. Bacon '06

Three and Out

John U. Bacon’s ’06 release “Three and Out” tells the story of how college football’s most influential coach took over the nation’s most successful program, only to produce three of the worst seasons in the histories of both Rich Rodriguez and the University of Michigan.  Shortly after his controversial move from West Virginia, where he had just taken his alma mater to the #1 ranking for the first time in school history, Coach Rich Rodriguez granted Bacon unrestricted access to Michigan’s program.  Bacon saw it all, from the meals and the meetings, to the practices and the games, to the sidelines and the locker rooms.  Nothing and no one was off limits.  John U. Bacon’s "Three and Out"  is the definitive account of a football marriage seemingly made in heaven that broke up after just three years, and lifts the lid on the best and the worst of college football.


High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction
By Sam Skolnik ’08

High Stakes


Prompted by his year as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, Sam Skolnik ’08 authored his first book, “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction.”  Skolnik examines the explosive growth of legalized gambling in the U.S., the rise of addicted gamblers and what it all means. In “High Stakes,” we meet politicians eager to promote legalized gambling as an economic cure-all, scientists wrestling with the meaning of gambling addiction, and ensnared players so caught up in the chase that they’ve lost their livelihoods and their minds. Throughout it all, Skolnik—an avid poker player—never loses sight of the human side of these struggles.



High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time
By Tim Wendel ’96



Tim Wendel ’96 has published his sixth book, “High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time.” Wendel takes the reader through Cooperstown’s archives, an aerodynamic testing lab in Birmingham, Alabama and America’s ballparks in an examination of fastball mechanics and his quest to determine baseball’s fastest hurler. Featuring interviews with baseball greats and stories of the men who threw the ball, “High Heat” is a fast-paced journey through the past and present of our national pastime. “High Heat" was named an editor's selection by New York Times Review of Books.


The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution
By Maurice Walshl ’02

News from Ireland


“The News from Ireland” by Maurice Walsh ’02 has been released in paperback.  The Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1921 was a historical landmark: The first successful revolution against British rule and the beginning of the end of the British Empire. However, the Irish revolutionaries did not win their struggle on the battlefield – their key victory was in mobilizing public opinion in Britain and the rest of the world. In his book, Walsh recounts the work of British and American correspondents in Ireland and offers a persuasive assessment of the revolution’s place in world history as well as the role of the press and journalism in the conflict.


Painter in a Savage Land and The Island of Lost Maps
Two books by Miles Harvey ’09



In his latest book, Miles Harvey '08 tells the story of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, the first European artist to journey to what is now the continental United States with the express purpose of recording its wonders in pencil and paint. "Painter in a Savage Land" received a 2008 Editors’ Choice award from Booklist and a best-books citation from The Chicago Tribune






Harvey’s previous book, "The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime," explores a curious crime spree: the theft of scores of valuable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. A national and international bestseller, it was selected by USA Today as one of the top ten books of 2000. 




The Other Side of Mercy: A Killer’s Journey across the Great Divide
By Jonathan Martin ’09

Other Side


Jonathan Martin ’09 co-authored “The Other Side of Mercy: A Killer’s Journey across the Great Divide.” The book is based on the Seattle Times series that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the ambush slayings of four Lakewood police officers. Martin was a reporter on the award-winning team. In this book, the Martin and co-author Ken Armstrong go deeper to tell a story of our nation’s racial divide, the political risks of mercy, and missed opportunities to stop a man going mad.



Mirage and Blue Revolution
Two Books By Cynhtia Barnett '05




Cynthia Barnett ’05 spent her Knight-Wallace Fellowship studying America’s freshwater supply, leading to not one but two books. The first, “Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.,” blends investigative reporting and environmental history to tell the strange tale of vanishing water in one of our wettest states. “Mirage” won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named by The St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books every Floridian should read.



Blue Revolution


Barnett’s book, “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis” is the first to call for a water ethic for America. From backyard waterfalls and grottoes in California to sinkholes swallowing chunks of Florida, “Blue Revolution” exposes how the nation’s green craze largely missed water – the No. 1 environmental concern of most Americans. But the book is big on inspiration, too. “Blue Revolution” combines investigative reporting with solutions from around the nation and the globe. From San Antonio to Singapore, Barnett shows how local communities and entire nations have come together in a shared ethic to dramatically reduce consumption and live within their water means.


In another bit of Wallace House book magic, Charles Eisendrath introduced Barnett to her first publisher, University of Michigan Press Director Phil Pochoda, who signed “Mirage” and two years later connected her to the agent who found just the right trade press, Beacon Press of Boston, for “Blue Revolution.”

Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity
By Nick Perry '11



Congratulations to Nick Perry ’11 and his co-author Ken Armstrong.  Their book, “Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity,” was named the winner of the Edgar Allan Poe award for Best Fact Crime book of 2010. Perry and Armstrong chronicle the University of Washington’s march to the 2001 Rose Bowl and answer one of sports’ most enduring questions: If winning is everything, what are we left with? “Scoreboard, Baby” exposes the rot beneath a celebrated season and the ruins left behind, showing how a community’s blind embrace of a football team compromised judges, prosecutors, police agencies, a proud university and the media.


The Last Kestrel and Far From My Father’s House
Two Novels By Jill McGivering '10


Jill McGivering ’10 has written two novels. Her first release, “The Last Kestrel” has been compared to “The Kite Runner”.  Her second book is “Far From My Father’s House".  Both novels follow war correspondent Ellen Thomas and traditional, rural women through the hostilities and struggles in South Asia, a region McGivering has covered for 25 years as a BBC correspondent. The first book is set in Afghanistan, the second in Pakistan. The books examine the nature of news, the ethical dilemmas and tough choices reporters make when covering wars. McGivering is now writing her third novel, which takes her to new territory: Asia’s past.


Rogue Island
By Bruce DeSilva ’81

Rogue Island

Bruce DeSilva ’81 was awarded the Edgar Award for best first novel 2011, for his book, “Rogue Island.” The book also won the Macarity Award for best debut crime novel, was shortlisted for the Anthony and Barry award and listed as one of the 10 most notable first novels of the year by Publishers Weekly. DeSilva tells the story of a working class neighborhood that is systematically burning to the ground. Liam Mulligan, an old-school reporter at a dying newspaper, thinks the Providence, R.I., police are looking in all the wrong places and people he knows and loves are vanishing in the flames. As the neighborhood burns, Mulligan must find the hand that strikes the match. The novel, published by Forge, is at once an authentic evocation of life in a 21st-century American city and a lyrical tribute to the dying newspaper business. The sequel, "Cliff Walk," will be published in early 2012, and DeSilva is working on the third book in the series.


By Gerard Ryle '06



Gerald Ryle ’06 exposes the greatest fraud ever committed in Australia in his book “Firepower.”  Tim Johnston’s company, Firepower, promised a magic pill that cut fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Everyone believed him, including prime ministers and presidents, doctors and diplomats, business leaders and sporting heroes, until Ryle wrote an article for The Sydney Morning Herald raising questions about the validity of this mysterious company that had become the biggest sporting sponsor in Australia. Ryle’s story had tentacles that spread around the world from the Australian government to the KGB, from diplomats to arms dealers.  In “Firepower,” Ryle demolishes the myth, exposing a wobbly financial pyramid and Australia’s greatest fraud.


Green Wedding: Plannning your Eco-friendly Celebratioin
By Mia Narvaro '88

Green Wedding

Inspired by the overwhelming response to her New York Times article, Mia Narvaro ’88 published “Green Wedding: Plannning your Eco-friendly Celebration.” The book is an authoritative guide to how couples can minimize the environmental impact of their weddings while still ensuring a joyous and elegant celebration.  Filled with gorgeous photographs, “Green Wedding” presents ideas on everything from planning the ceremony and reception to ecotourism honeymoons.


Extreme Barbecue: Smokin Rigs and Real Good Recipes  
By Dan Huntley '03 and Lisa Grace Lednicer '03

Extreme Barbecuq

“Extreme Barbecue” takes outdoor cooking to a new place, revealing a collection of rigged-up grills made from everything from 55-gallon barrels to a metal-lined, wooden coffin. Huntley ’03 and Lednicer ’03 traveled from the San Juan Islands in Washington to the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, searching backyards and alleys to find cooking rigs that turn out whole-hog barbecues, lamb rotisseries, and steaming seaweed clam bakes. The authors uncover a smoky slice of Americana passed over by the Food Network. The book features photos of the rigs, the story of the cooks behind these "odd, iron fire boxes" and more than 65 recipes. “Extreme Barbecue” earned a starred review in Publishers' Weekly and was featured on NPR's "Talk of the Nation.” 


Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood
By John Fountain '00

Dear Dad


John Fountain ’00 released “Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood.” Inspired by his essay for National Public Radio’s “This I Believe Series,” the book is an anthology of essays, poetry and prose written by some of the nation’s finest journalists and writers in celebration and examination of fatherhood. It is the first publication from WestSide Press, an independent publishing house founded by Fountain in 2009.



On the Grid and No-Mans' Land
Two Books By Scott Huler '03

On The Grid

Wires, pipes, roads, and water support the lives we lead, but the average person doesn't know where they go or even how they work. Our systems of infrastructure are not only shrouded in mystery, many are woefully out of date. In “On the Grid,” his sixth book, Scott Huler, '03, takes the time to understand the systems that sustain our way of life, starting from his own quarter of an acre in North Carolina and traveling as far as Ancient Rome.
Each chapter follows one element of infrastructure to its source -- or to its outlet. Huler visits power plants, watches new asphalt pavement being laid, and traces a drop of water backward from his faucet to the Gulf of Mexico and then a drop of his wastewater out to the Atlantic. Huler reaches out to guides along the way, both the workers who operate these systems and the people who plan them.



No-Man's Land

In 2001, NPR contributor Scott Huler ('03) read an essay on the radio show "All Things Considered" in which he made a simple claim: that he would forever give up trying to read James Joyce's Ulysses. Little did he know that his public claim not only would land him exactly where he had promised never to be - in a reading group slogging through Joyce's impenetrable modern masterpiece - but would launch an obsession with the book's inspiration: the ancient Greek epic The Odyssey, and with the lonely homebound journey of its Everyman hero, Odysseus. At the time of The Odyssey, its hero is in his mid-forties; so was Huler. Negotiating the complex shoals of midlife, Huler turned to the Odyssey and found much more than he had expected: in its well-known adventures with monsters and goddesses, the Odyssey became something of a guidebook for a person facing the challenges we all face in adulthood. Before long Huler wanted to do more than just read his hero. Odysseus made a long journey, and for millennia people have speculated on the Mediterranean sites where those adventures occurred. Seeking such heroic adventure, Huler stuffed a backpack with clothes, guidebooks, and the Odyssey. And he headed for the wine-dark sea.



Married to Africa: A Love Story and The Diversity Advantage
By G. Pascal Zachary '89

Married to Africa


G. Pascal Zachary ‘89 recently published the memoir, “Married to Africa: A Love Story.”  While a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Zachary met his future wife, Chizo Okao, at the zoo in Accra, Ghana. The book is a tender and charming account of a marriage and a look at how two people get to know each other across culture and race.



The Diversity Advantage


Zachary’s earlier book, “The Diversity Advantage,” provides a provacative roadmap to the new civilization arising out of sweeping shifts in the world economy. He reveals that the key new determinants for any nation’s economic, political and cultural success are, surprisingly, a diverse population and a mongrel sense of self. Roaming the globe, Zachary shows how the rise of new forms of identity and migration are helping to determine who will win and who will lose in the next century.



How to Clone the Perfect Blonde
By Sue Nelson '02 and Richar Hollingham

how to clone



Following her fellowship, Sue Nelson ’02 wrote “How to Clone the Perfect Blonde” with her science journalist husband Richard Hollingham. A popular science book with a deliberately light touch, it covers subjects ranging from cloning and time travel to teleportation. The book was long-listed for the prestigious UK Science Book prize in 2004.



Biografia De Mi Cancer (Biography of my Cancer)
By Patricia Koesnicov '09



When she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33, Patricia Kolesnicov ’09 had a flourishing career as a newspaper columnist and writer for Argentina's Clarín. This book is a somber and realistic account of her breast cancer experience, from diagnosis to treatment to her return to work. Kolesnicov chronicles her reactions to treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and even special diets, her dependency on those around her, and her frustration and anger at the betrayal of her own body.


Sobrevida (Survival)
By Josiane Motta '09S



Josiane Motta ‘09S is the author a “Sobrevida," a Brazilian novel about professional and personal renewal. Motta brings us Daniel, a discontent American doctor who travels to Brazil in pursuit of his lover. He instead finds love in the wildlife and beauty of the Amazon. Daniel returns to the U.S. with a new purpose and a new job: treating the underserved in an emergency room. Motta, a doctor herself, fills the story with medical cases and details.



By Bora Bayraktar '06


Bora Bayraktar ’05 published his second book, “Hamas.”  In January 2006, an Islamist organization linked with deadly attacks to civilians won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament. This was a blow to the peace process. Hamas, an organization classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Israel and the United States, is a "democratic force" for the Palestinian people. Bora Bayraktar, a journalist covering the region for the last two decades, puts light on this dilemma. He details the Islamist movement's roots, social structure and institutions and interviews Hamas and Israeli leaders to understand if Hamas can transform itself to an organization prepared to make peace with Israel.





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