A collection of books written by international MHC alums
Mount Holyoke alums love reading and writing! This collection includes works written by members of our international alums community This list is by no means exhaustive, as it includes books recently recommended by fellow alums. Help us add to this collection by mailing any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last Day of Paradise – Kiki Denis ’94 – France A family saga set in Greece that highlights the magic of language and the cycle of generations. Read more about Kiki at https://www.kikidenis.com/
The Secret Shore – Liz Fenwick ’85 – UK
A glorious sweeping novel full of intrigue and passion from the “queen of the contemporary Cornish novel”. NOTE – the book has a MHC connection! Read more about Liz at https://www.lizfenwick.com/
The Magic of Lenka’s Wool Socks – Magdalena Georgieva ’10 – Bulgaria An illustrated children’s book about a little girl who feels that magical things happen to her when she is wearing the socks knitted by her grandmother. This is a story is dedicated to grandparents and their powerful love. Read more about Magdalena at https://mgieva.medium.com/
This Messy Mobile Life – Mariam N. Ottimofiore ’05 -Pakistan/Portugal
A guidebook for those who are moving abroad with their family and kids, adding different cultures and languages to their lives. NOTE – one scene takes place at MHC! Read more about Mariam at https://andthenwemovedto.com/
Julian Assange In His Own Words – Karen (Loeb) Sharpe ’67 – France Compiled and edited by Karen Sharpe, this book provides a a highly accessible survey of Assange’s philosophy and politics, conveying his views on how governments, corporations, intelligence agencies and the media function.
The Startup Wife – Tahmima Anam ’97 – Bangladesh/UK
A powerful character study about newlyweds who build an app that replaces religious rituals and soon find themselves running one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
Harmattan Rain – Ayesha Harruna Attah ’06 – Senegal
Shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best First Book, it follows three generations of women in Ghana as they cope with family, love, and life. Read more about Ayesha at https://www.ayeshaattah.com/
Family in Six Tones – A Refugee Mother, an American Daughter – Lan Cao ’83- Vietnam/USA A dual first-person memoir by the acclaimed Vietnamese American novelist and her thoroughly American teenage daughter. Lan Cao was one of the commencement speakers at MHC in May 2023. Read more about Lan at https://lancaoauthor.com/
The Human Zoo – Sabina Murray ’89 – Philippines/US
A blistering new novel that follows a Filipino American journalist’s return to dictatorship-ruled Manila. Read more about Sabina at https://www.sabinamurray.com/
Build Your House Around My Body – Violet Kupersmith ’11 – Vietnam/US
Feverishly energetic and playfully creepy, an unforgettable book that hurtles through the ghostly secrets of Vietnamese history. A book that brings to life a century of Vietnam’s history and folklore. Read more about Violet at https://www.violetkupersmith.com/
The Korean Herbal Apothecary – Grace Yoon ’07 – Korea/US
The first book focusing specifically on Korean herbalism and ancestral healing practices. Grace and her book were featured in the Winter 2023 edition of the Alumnae Quarterly!
Undressing: Life in Hidden Poems – Rita Banerji ’90 – India
A collection of poems in from the personal diaries the author has kept over the last twenty-five years. They are about the emotional turbulence of her life, her journey for identity and self, and her search for a home amidst constant re-locations across towns and countries. NOTE: One of the poems is titled “Road to South Hadley” and it elaborates on her experiencing the feeling of “home” for the first time in her life. Read more about Rita at https://ritabanerji.wordpress.com/
The Divining Thread – Anjum N. Choudhury ’15 – Bangladesh
A book that weaves in myth and folklore to bring readers a lyrical story with strongly etched characters.
The Milk Lady of Bangalore – Shoba Narayan ’87 – India
A witty and tender story that endears readers to Indian culture and one of their most sacred symbols, the cow. The book immerses the reader in the culture, customs, myths, religion, sights, and sounds of a city in which the twenty-first century and the ancient past coexist like nowhere else in the world. Read more about Shoba at https://shobanarayan.com/
Sita’s Choice – Athena Kashyap ’91 – India
A remarkable collection of poems that explores issues relating to women, especially in India. These mythical and magical poems explore the duality of nature, the sacrifices that women make daily and the deeper societal ills that affect women.
The Prince – Samhita Arni ’08 – India
An eloquently written book that is a re-imagination of a famous Tamil epic.