Recent literary offerings from Mills alumnae/i. If you have recently published a book and would like it to be included in an upcoming Bookshelf, please email a digital press kit (including a high-resolution image of the cover) to

The Proprietor’s Song 
By Janet Goldberg, MFA ’89 
This novel (Regal House Publishing, 2023) centers on an innkeeper and a Bay Area couple in the high Sierras who are each trying to solve their own family tragedies in one of the most beautiful yet brutal settings imaginable. Goldberg has taught writing at the City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and Golden Gate University, and she now serves as the fiction editor of Deep Wild

Power of Our Wombs 
By Jessica Hairston ’23 
Mills alums may remember Hairston’s poetry from the Convocation held virtually in fall 2020; her powerful words are now available in paperback form. Power of Our Wombs (Nomadic Press, 2023) delves into Hairston’s past as a former foster child and adult adoptee through the art she now uses as therapy. She participated in a reading and book signing in Mills Hall this spring before Commencement activities got underway. 

The Locksmith Journeys Into The Afterlife 
By Consuelo Underwood Marshall ’72, TCRED ’73 
Written under the penname C.I. Marshall, The Locksmith Journeys Into The Afterlife (Frosted Fire, 2023) is already the co-winner of the 2022 Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award. The collection of poetry is Marshall’s first, with previous work published in journals such as Verdad, Spillway, and Packinghouse Review. Reviews compliment the collection’s sense of play and whimsy, with fresh and familiar imagery. 

Love is a Pink Cake: Irresistible Bakes for Morning, Noon, and Night 
By Claire Ptak ’97 
The baker of Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake has released her second cookbook, one that’s appropriately themed on baking as an expression of love. In addition to 75 recipes—including huckleberry basil sugar scones and peaches and cream angel food cake—she also looks back on her childhood and the Chez Panisse-esque appreciation she has for fruit and vegetables. (And yes, the recipe for the royal wedding cake is included.) (Norton, 2023) 

Figure It Out, Henri Weldon 
By Tanita S. Davis, MFA ’04 

Davis’s third book follows Henri, a youngster with a math-processing disorder who struggles to balance home and school responsibilities and friendships. The title is geared toward students in middle school as a reminder that everyone with learning disabilities has other gifts to share with the world. (Katherine Tegen Books, 2023)

Alchemy and Individuation: The Colors of Transformation 
By Lynne Lee Ehlers ’65 

Ehlers is a Jungian psychologist, and in this book, she focuses on the archetypical significance of color which was one of Jung’s areas of study. Bringing together her own dreams (and a client’s) with Jung’s assertions, Ehlers examines how the sequences have repeated themselves across the centuries in patterns originally identified by Medieval and Renaissance alchemists. (Analytical Psychology Press, 2022) 

Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies 
By Lara Gabrielle Fowler ’10 

Written under the penname Lara Gabrielle, this book reflects years of research into the silent-screen star who was the longtime companion of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Fowler examined archives around the world and conducted dozens of interviews to present a fuller picture of a woman who authored the trajectory of her own career in a male-dominated Hollywood. (University of California Press, 2022)

Living the Practice, Volume One: The Way of Love 
By Rohini Ralby, MA ’73 

Prose reflections, poems, and paintings come together in this collection to illustrate Ralby’s three-decade spiritual practice. Living the Practice continues the journey she started in her first book, Walking Home with Baba, which brought together stories from her life with tools and techniques for educating readers on cultivating their own inner peace. (Bancroft Press, 2023) 

Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives
By Lyzette Wanzer, MFA ’08

Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from school and/or work due to hair discrimination compared to their white counterparts. This type of othering and surveillance starts from an early age and continues throughout Black women’s lives. The CROWN Act— legislation meant to prohibit race-based hair discrimination— has still not been passed in 32 states across the nation. Through essays from Black and Afro Latina women in Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives (Lawrence Hill Books, 2022), Wanzer captures how and why the Black body continues to be misunderstood. Complemented by a reader discussion guide and a resource guide, this book is meant to start a conversation, build community, and empower women to love their natural hair. 

The Adventures of Blu Pigtails: The Invisible Germ Bug
By Justin Williams Cloud ’01

Written under the name J. Kymberly Cloud, this is a charming narrative that helps impact the habit of washing one’s hands onto young readers. The Adventures of Blu Pigtails: The Invisible Germ Bug (Fulton Books, 2022) is full of vibrant artwork that brings Blu’s story to life. Blu is a curious and energetic young girl who thinks she doesn’t have enough time to properly wash her hands before meals or after using the bathroom. Though she initially thinks of it as a waste of time, those around her remind her of the germs she may be carrying on her hands, and she realizes the value of proper personal hygiene. 

Mini Memoir: Long Story Short–A Journal
by Lisa Ingram, MA ’01

Known professionally as Lisa Nola, Ingram is the author behind the bestselling Listography series. Her newest offering, Mini Memoir: Long Story Short–A Journal (Chronicle Books, 2022), aims to help readers craft their own stories through guided practices. With 70 topics, the pages invite you to capture meaningful parts of your life through briefly written snapshots. Each topic starts with a list prompt to help spark ideas followed by a few questions for reflection, and then plenty of space to explore memories in more detail. From reflecting on best childhood friends and memorable trips to embarrassing moments and toughest experiences, this journal can be used as a tool for self-discovery to create a mini memoir that will keep stories alive for generations. 

Yerba Buena
By Nina LaCour, MFA ’06

In Yerba Buena (Flatiron Books, 2022), Sara Foster runs away from home at 16, leaving behind the girl she once was. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her cocktails as for her mystery. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern, yearning for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated, but unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena. The morning Emilie and Sara first meet at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But Sara’s old life soon catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted.

Les Beaux Châteaux
By Dorothy Mackevich Marks ’82

Inspired by a headline about French bakeries shuttering, Les Beaux Châteaux (DMM Press, 2022) is the story of a father and son who must learn a new way forward as traditional French life evolves. Following the death of his wife, Victor’s relationship with his adult son, JP, is fractured. Knowing JP can’t stay in France with his curmudgeonly father, Victor proposes a joint business venture: a New York storefront managed by JP, selling beautiful, traditional French artifacts he selects. JP seizes the opportunity to leave Victor and Paris, and Les Beaux Châteaux is born. But when unforeseen accidents and betrayals occur, can JP and Victor save their store, or will their partnership be shattered by greed? 

Maps and Tapes
By Adrienne Robillard, MFA ’01

In this memoir, Robillard interweaves lyrics written for her indie-rock bands between stories of first guitar lessons, young love, adventures in studying abroad, and gigging and touring with her bands. Her poignant prose paints a vivid portrait of the ways in which music soundtracked and shaped her teen and young adult years. The callouts of favorite bands, albums, and songs in Maps and Tapes (Legacy Isle Publishing, 2022) will make readers want to cue up their own nostalgic playlists—good and loud, to be felt in the bones, the way the best music and memories should. 

3rd & Orange
By Joshua Peralta, MA ’15

A novella composed of poetry and prose, Peralta’s debut book is set during 2003, when a young man arrives in Long Beach, California, to search for independence and his voice as a writer. In the midst of college and everyday struggles, he stumbles into a blissful but brief romance. 3rd & Orange is a work of nostalgic force full of clear but painfully belated insights, leading readers down alleys, through new apartments, and toward loss that slowly begins to feel like growth. (ZQ-287, 2022)