Books, music, art, theater, film, and dance

The Woman in the Woods: Linked Stories , By Ann Williams '80, '90G

Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly Fishing and a River Journey through the Heart of Alaska, by Lou Ureneck '72
Ghana: An African Portrait Revisited, by Peter Randall '63
Baby, by Joseph Monninger '84G
Also of Note...
Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and his American Volunteers, 1941-42, by Daniel Ford '54
Perl for Exploring DNA, by Mark D. LeBlanc '87 and Betsey Dexter Dyer
Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict, by Paul Lewis '77
Legislating Indian Country: Significant Milestones in Transforming Tribalism, by Laurence Armand French '68
Gods of Asgard: A Graphic Novel Interpretation of the Norse Myths, adapted and illustrated by Erik Evensen '01
I Witness and Wait: A Novel, by Elwyn Dearborn '42
New Hampshire's General John Stark: Live Free or Die, Death is Not the Worst of Evils, by Clifton La Bree '55
Captured!: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience: The True Story of the World's First Documented Alien Abduction, by Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden '71
Broken Hallelujahs: Poems, by Sean Thomas Dougherty '92
Searching for Joy, by Tim Barretto '74, '82G
Food-Borne Parasitic Zoonoses, by Bernard Fried '56

The Woman in the Woods: Linked Stories
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Ann Joslin Williams' first book of short stories, The Woman in the Woods: Linked Stories (Eastern Washington University Press, 2007), is a collection about love and loss in the life of one New Hampshire family. Her writing is as textured as the landscape she so closely observes—the trees, the fields, the stones all have life in her fiction—and the small moments in her sentences explode into whole worlds. Climbing down the dark mountain that is her home, her protagonist, Kate Hagen, thinks, "Though I'm still inching along, rock under my feet, I have the feeling that I'm scaling the dark wall of the sky. I am walking my way down the shell of the stratosphere, following the curve of the globe. Below is a black ocean, full of fire-spouting creatures and drowning yellow stars. My lover has vanished. My husband, my parents. My son. I lift my arms to fly."

Ann Williams '80, '90G

Williams comes from a hunting family, and as a child, she spent a lot of time in the woods. Writing, too, is a family legacy. Her father was Thomas Williams, Esquire columnist, National Book Award winner and much-loved professor of creative writing at UNH; he died of lung cancer in 1990. As an undergraduate, she took her father's classes—"We pretended we didn't know each other"—and although he advised her not to pursue the writer's difficult path, it is as much a part of her nature as interpreting the woods. Later, her father became one of her readers, and when he didn't like some of the names for places she used in her fiction, he told her to take his. Mount Cascom and Leah, N.H., the setting of her book, is the same setting in her father's collection of stories, Leah, New Hampshire.

book cover

"When I was young and read my father's novels, there was definitely some astonished discomfort—'Is this my Dad?! That's my bedroom he's describing, and he's killed us off!'" she says. "But later, I studied his craft—his stories are so smart, and he had quite a mature imagination at a very young age."

After earning a master's in creative writing from UNH, she earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and then received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. As an assistant professor at the California College of the Arts, she developed and chaired the M.F.A. in writing program. When she was ready to come back East, there happened to be a visiting writer position open at UNH, although ending up in Durham doesn't feel like happenstance. "It does seem a little like I'm taking this cosmic journey, following in my father's footsteps," she says. "I was born in Iowa City when my dad was getting his degree from the Writers' Workshop, and I returned years later to get my own degree, so I guess it was inevitable that I end up back here at some point." ~

Anne Downey '95G, a freelance writer who lives in Eliot, Maine, received her Ph.D. in English from UNH.