Arts & Culture


To have your book, CD, app, or other work considered for Output, please send a copy to Arts Editor, Yale Alumni Magazine, PO Box 1905, New Haven CT 06509; or e-mail a copy or link to

View full image

Love and Miss Communication: A Novel
Elyssa Friedland ’03
William Morrow/HarperCollins, $14.99

One afternoon in New York City, Internet-addicted Evie Rosen decides to cut the cord—or rather, turn off the Wi-Fi. Evie, an up-and-coming lawyer who was fired for sending out too many personal e-mails on company time, walks to the Central Park Reservoir and flings her MacBook into the water. “Going dark...changed the course of her life. Evie just hoped it was for the better,” writes Friedland. Her engrossing beach-read of a book explores the connections that become possible when you disconnect.


Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat
John McQuaid ’83
Scribner/Simon and Schuster, $26

Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, savory— these and probably a sixth (fat) are the basic tastes, or flavors, that humans can detect. But while scientists and philosophers once viewed these as “less-than-worthy subjects for study,” Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist McQuaid travels “from the food labs of large corporations to the kitchens of the world’s finest restaurants” to explore emerging insights into “flavor’s once mysterious, closed-off domains.”


Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX
Ginny Gilder ’79
Beacon Press, $26.95

“In rowing, we say fly and die,” writes Olympic silver medalist Gilder: if you push yourself too hard, you collapse. But there’s a sweet spot just within the limits of human endurance. In a graceful memoir, Gilder, now a successful businesswoman and co-owner of a WNBA basketball team, retraces her trajectory to find it. This gritty journey takes her from love-at-first-sight rowing to international accomplishments in her sport to coming to grips with her lesbianism and her relationships with her parents.


The American People, Volume 1: Search for My Heart—A Novel
Larry Kramer ’57
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $40

Part polemic, part satire, and part cri de coeur, Kramer’s first volume (of at least two) about the modern plague known as AIDS takes readers on a 775-page roller-coaster ride. The virus, he proposes, began among ancient primates, and he imagines the course it followed up to the early 1950s. Along the way, the author and activist includes among his gay characters George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many members of the ill-fated Jamestown Community. Kramer’s alma mater, renamed Yaddah, also features prominently in “the saddest story anyone should have to write, or read.”


Invisible Cities
Christopher Cerrone ’09MusAD, ’10MusAM
The Industry Records,; $9.99, or $45 for a limited-edition boxed set

When the modern opera Invisible Cities—based on an Italo Calvino novel—was first presented at Yale in 2009, it was all about the music. The orchestra was even divided into two halves, the better to represent the relationship between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. It’s nice to appreciate Cerrone’s sultry, intoxicating, surreal, and romantic score again, exquisitely sung by Cedric Berry and Ashley Faatoalia and conducted for maximum juxtapositional impact by Marc Lowenstein.


Parallel Universe
Arthur Levering ’79MusM
New World Records,; $15.99, $9.99 digital

The much-lauded Arthur Levering is described in Robert Kirzinger’s liner notes as a “musical mosaicist” known for his “fascination with repeating patterns.” But don’t mistake that to mean minimalism or monotony. These major Levering works from the last decade or so range grandly in tone, volume, melodicism, and orchestration— from the voices and pianos in the exuberant set of four “Drinking Songs” to the full Boston Modern Orchestra Project for the extravagant 11-minute title track. The patterns are provocative, not lulling. The arrangements are rich and full. The Donald Berman/John McDonald piano duet on “Partite sopra Ciaccona” may jolt you out of your seat.

The comment period has expired.