Three books by Princeton alumni were featured in The New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2014: A Replacement Life, by Boris Fishman ’01; American Innovations, by Rivka Galchen ’98; On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, by Alice Goffman *10; and Family Life, by Akhil Sharma ’92. Emeritus professor James McPherson also made the list with his biography of Jefferson Davis, Embattled Rebel. Times Book Review editors also named Sharma’s novel as one of the year’s 10 best.
Read more about the authors in the PAW Archives:
Boris Fishman ’01: Immigrant Experiences Inspire a Debut Novel
Fishman, who was born in the former Soviet Union and came to the United States at age 9, told PAW contributor Maria LoBiondo that the immigrant experience has played a key role in his writing. “Outwardly I’m very American, but inwardly I’m Russian,” he said. “The conflict is very rich for writing. Honey for art, but vinegar for life.”
Tiger of the Week: Author Rivka Galchen ’98
Galchen’s fresh, innovative short-story collection earned high marks from reviewers.
Life on the Run
Goffman, a rising star in sociology, chronicled the human costs of America’s penal system after spending her 20s immersed in fieldwork with wanted young men.
Tiger of the Week: Novelist Akhil Sharma ’92
Sharma’s semi-autobiographical second novel was the result of a sometimes painful writing process that took nearly a decade. He wrote about the experience in a personal essay for The New York Times.
For the record: This post has been updated to include Akhil Sharma ’92’s novel Family Life.
By Kathryn Beaumont ’96
More than 700 people braved driving wind and rain Nov. 17 and packed into the ballroom at the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston to welcome President Eisgruber ’83 on the 16th stop of his “welcome tour” since becoming Princeton’s 20th president in 2013.
Following a lively cocktail hour, alums settled in for a discussion moderated by Princeton trustee Brent Henry ’69. After getting Eisgruber to admit that students have been known to chant, “Ice Ice, Gruber!” in his presence, Henry’s questions touched upon Eisgruber’s arrival on the faculty at Princeton, his decision to accept the Princeton presidency after turning down several other such offers, his plans for the future, and the state of Princeton admissions.
Eisgruber, who was a clerk for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, said his own passion for constitutional law was ignited at Princeton in Professor Walter Murphy’s constitutional-law class. After teaching at NYU for more than a decade, Eisgruber jumped at the chance to teach law and public affairs on the undergraduate level. After all, because Princeton had no law school, “I thought I had insulated my career from academic administration,” he laughed. Eisgruber said he could not imagine becoming a university president except at a place where you “can feel the music of the place and sing the songs of the place.” Continue reading
Names displayed in the Nassau Hall Memorial Atrium. (PAW)
This is an edited version of a story posted on Nov. 13, 2014. To view the correction, click here.
Just inside the wood paneled doors of Nassau Hall, the marble walls of the Memorial Atrium list the names of hundreds of Princeton alumni who have died serving in the line of duty since the founding of the University in 1746.
“Up on that wall they have veterans who have died from the Revolutionary War throughout all the conflicts [in American history],” explained a graduate student who, as an active member of the armed forces, asked not to be identified in this story. “What’s missing is Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the two 21st-century wars that have claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Americans.
The absence of names from the most recent conflicts, while positive, also is symptomatic of growing disconnect between American society, along with its elite institutions, and the members of the armed forces, the graduate student argued.
It was the desire to bridge this divide that led him and his fellow veteran students at Princeton to form the Student Veterans Organization, which aims to serve as both a support group for veterans on campus and a facilitator of dialogue between those veterans and members of the Princeton community at large.
On Nov. 11, the Student Veterans Organization co-sponsored its first formal event, a Veterans Day panel at Robertson Hall featuring six Princeton-affiliated veterans reflecting on their service and discussing the very divide that led to the Student Veterans Organization’s formation last spring. Continue reading
Ken Buck ’81 (Wikipedia)
The GOP dominated the midterm election results, which was good news for at least one Princetonian: Republican Ken Buck ’81, the district attorney for Colorado’s Weld County, will head to Washington, D.C., as a freshman representative from the state’s 4th district, the Denver Post reported. Buck ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and lost narrowly in the statewide election, but voters in his home district backed him this fall with more than 65 percent of votes cast in his favor.
Greg Orman ’91 (Courtesy Orman for U.S. Congress)
Other alumni challengers did not fare as well. Greg Orman ’91, running for Senate as an independent in Kansas, lost in a tight race to incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Orman gave Roberts “the strongest challenge of his three-decade congressional career,” according to The Wichita Eagle.
Republican Nan Hayworth ’81, a former congresswoman attempting to regain her seat in New York’s Hudson Valley, trailed incumbent Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney — but as of Wednesday morning, she had not yet conceded, according to The Journal News. (Update: Hayworth did concede Wednesday afternoon.) Paul Clements *92 *96, D-Mich., won 40 percent of the vote in his state’s 6th district but could not unseat Republican Rep. Fred Upton. Republican Peter Theron ’78 won 31 percent of the vote in Wisconsin’s 2nd district and fell to incumbent Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan. Continue reading
Election day is one week away, and several alumni are on the campaign trail as candidates for office, including 10 who are running for seats in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives.
Sen. Jeff Merkley *82, D-Ore., made headlines this week as the first U.S. Senator to support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, in a Talking Points Memo interview (the issue will be on the ballot as a statewide referendum). Princeton’s other Senate candidate, Kansas independent Greg Orman ’91, continues to attract national attention and local endorsements, including a nod from The Kansas City Star.
Two Princetonians are vying for Congressional seats in Colorado: incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Polis ’96, who represents the second district, and Ken Buck ’81, the district attorney for Weld County and the Republican candidate in the fourth district. Both sat down for election forums with moderator Aaron Harber ’75 earlier this month.
Former Rep. Nan Hayworth ’81, a New York Republican, is trying to recapture the Hudson County seat that she lost to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., in 2012, and the race is tightening, according to polls cited by CBS New York. D. Peter Theron ’78, a Wisconsin Republican, is making his second run for Congress — and his first since 2008. Continue reading
Princeton may not have won the football game, but Tiger tailgaters remain undefeated. Aleka Gürel ’15 captured images of Saturday’s colorful events before, during, and after the Princeton-Harvard game.