Spring 2016


U of A alumni share their new books, including a steamy romance, a literary perspective on energy production in Canada and an edition of illustrated travel memoirs by pioneering cyclists.

Compiled by Stephanie Bailey, ’10 BA(Hons)

Photo by Richard Siemens


No Return Ticket: A Memoir

by Nicholas Rety, ’64 MSc, self-published, authorhouse.com

After surviving the Second World War siege of Budapest and the trials of its aftermath, a young Rety enrols in an English private school with dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Now a retired urologist, Rety looks back at a life well lived, detailing his many travel adventures and the thrill of taking up flying at age 56.


Ransom’s Voice

by Gary Dvorkin, ’73 BA, ’79 MD, Brown Books Publishing Group, brownbooks.com

Dominique Stein hears many voices in her life. But which can she trust? When she’s found not guilty of horrific crimes due to temporary insanity, Dominique is sent to a psychiatric prison for women. The doctor in charge offers her early release if she participates in a secret research project, and Dominique must navigate her way out of a maze of institutional insanity.



by Katherine Prairie, ’83 BSc(Spec), Stonedrift Press, stonedriftpress.com

Explosive violence rocks Canada’s Slocan Valley after a bombing attempt at the Keenleyside dam. With the area in military lockdown, geologist Alex Graham sneaks into a restricted zone to locate a silver mine. But a fire derails her plans and almost takes her life. It wasn’t accidental — someone wants Alex out of the valley.


Integrated IT Performance Management

by Kenneth Bainey, ’72 BSc, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, crcpress.com

Drawing on the author’s 35 years as an information technology professional, this textbook demonstrates the value of integrating performance, strategic and operational management by creating a practical, results-driven measurement and accountability framework.


Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences

Ghada Ageel (editor); Samar El-Bekai, ’07 BSc(Spec) (contributor), University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

There are more than two sides to the conflict between Palestine and Israel: there are millions. This volume gathers stories that humanize the historic processes of occupation, displacement, colonization and, most controversially, apartheid.


Castrato: Eugenics Abuse Survivors

by Larry V. Harris, ’66 BEd, ’68 BA, self-published, eBook

Like thousands of other poor, Aboriginal and immigrant children who were sent to the residential Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alta., Jordan Larue was sterilized as a child and scarred for life. This novel is based on interviews with survivors of the school.

Tell us about your recent publication. Mail your write-up and book to New Trail Books, Office of Advancement, Third Floor, Enterprise Square, 3-501, 10230 Jasper Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB, T5J 4P6. Or email a write-up with a high-resolution cover image to alumni@ualberta.ca. Inclusion on this list does not denote endorsement by New Trail.

by James Osborne, ’72 BA


The Ultimate Threat

Endeavour Press, endeavourpress.com

When Mark returns from duty in Afghanistan to embark on his new life with Paige, something isn’t quite right. Hooded men dressed in camouflage and carrying assault rifles approach and attack. Mark manages to get Paige to safety but by the time they emerge, his stepchildren and the babysitter are gone. With enemies everywhere, including ISIS sleeper cells within the Mafia, can Mark save not only his family but the future of the country as well?

Short Fiction

Encounters With Life: Tales of Living, Loving & Laughter

Solstice Publishing, solsticepublishing.com

This collection of 34 short stories spans the spectrum of human emotion: from two city-raised men caught in an Arctic snowstorm to a widower finding new love to a practical joke gone awry.


The Maidstone Conspiracy

Solstice Publishing, solsticepublishing.com

Paul and Anne Winston are caught up in a storybook romance — that is, until they face death at the hands of an unknown assassin and fight to preserve the massive business empire they have created. The Maidstone Conspiracy is a murder mystery and love story complete with unexpected betrayals, international intrigue and a surprise ending.

by Adrian O’Sullivan, ’69 MA


Nazi Secret Warfare in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Failure of the German Intelligence Services, 1939-45

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, palgrave.com

This investigation into the secret world of wartime Persia (now Iran) tells a tale of catastrophic intelligence failure. O’Sullivan’s historical narrative exposes the problems, pressures and personalities among the competing German intelligence services that targeted Persia and describes the highly effective methods employed by the Allied security forces that resisted them.


Espionage and Counterintelligence in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Success of the Allied Secret Services, 1941-45

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, palgrave.com

A companion to Nazi Secret Warfare in Occupied Persia (Iran), this volume tells the other side of the same fascinating story, introducing us to spies, spy catchers and spymasters and examining how regional security forces successfully staved off Nazi attack. The book analyzes Anglo-American and Anglo-Soviet intelligence relations as the three Allies moved toward postwar realignment and the Cold War.



by Trent Portigal, ’12 MA, Top Hat Books, tophat-books.com

In a society split between formal European and Saskatchewan-style pragmatic socialism, Lora and Léon Chaulieu — a respected judge and a blacklisted writer, respectively — struggle to keep their family on the right side of the law. When Lora moves away from the family for work, turmoil ensues, leading the whole family down a path of increasing lawlessness.


Son of France: A Christopher Kruse Novel

by Todd Babiak, ’95 BA(Hons), HarperCollins, harpercollins.ca

After investigating the deaths of his wife and daughter in Come Barbarians, security agent Kruse again finds himself in a maelstrom of organized crime and dirty politics. When a politician is murdered by a grenade attack in the Jewish quarter in Paris, Kruse is hired to assassinate the killer. The mission leads him not to redemption but down a rabbit hole of deception, violence and unlikely romance.

Travel Memoir

A Canterbury Pilgrimage/An Italian Pilgrimage

by Elizabeth Robins Pennell and Joseph Pennell; edited by Dave Buchanan, ’92 MA, ’98 PhD, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

The illustrated travel memoirs of cycling pioneers Elizabeth and Joseph Pennell are still as entertaining today as they were in the 1880s. In this new edition, Buchanan provides cultural contexts surrounding the Pennells’ first two cycling adventures to England and Italy that will interest avid cyclists as well as scholars of travel literature, cycling history, women’s writing, Victorian literature and illustration.


Rita Just Wants to be Thin

by Mary Walters, ’70 BEd, self-published, createspace.com

At 29 years old, Rita finds herself dissatisfied with her lot in life: she’s overweight and married to a narcissistic widower whose kids don’t listen and whose dead wife makes Rita feel inadequate. She has tried every diet in the book, but it’s not until a family crisis forces her out the door that Rita discovers the easiest way to lose weight is to get rid of the baggage on the inside.


Rumi and the Red Handbag

by Shawna Lemay, ’95 BA(Hons), ’05 MA, Palimpsest Press, palimpsestpress.ca

Theodora’s Fine Consignment Clothing shop becomes a small world where Shaya, an academic who abandoned studying the secrets of female writers, finds in Ingrid-Simone a reason to begin writing again, on scraps of paper and Post-its. Rumi and the Red Handbag is a journey to the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam, and a journey to find Rumi, the soul and the secret hidden in a red handbag.

Literary Criticism

Carol Shields and the Writer-Critic

by Brenda Beckman-Long, ’09 PhD, University of Toronto Press, www.utpress.utoronto.ca

How do the novels of Canadian writer Carol Shields fit within her critical feminist project? Beckman-Long tackles this question through a reappraisal of Shields’ innovative books, including the award-winning The Stone Diaries. Beckman-Long reveals Shields’ critique of dominant masculine discourses and her deep engagement with women’s autobiographical writing.

Literary Criticism

Unsustainable Oil: Facts, Counterfacts and Fictions

by Jon Gordon, ’01 BA(Hons), ’07 PhD, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

Unsustainable Oil asks us to consider the ways that literature can shed light on the culture and ethics of energy production in Canada. Focusing on Alberta’s bituminous sands, Gordon argues that literature can help re-evaluate the current cultural-ecological crisis and open space for creative alternatives for the future.


Breaking Hearts

by MJ Summers (Melanie MacGillivray), ’97 BSc, HarperCollins, harpercollins.ca

In the last book of the Full Hearts series, handsome, devil-may-care cowboy Trey Johnson is shocked to discover that he’s about to become a full-time father to a son he barely knows. Travelling to Brazil, Trey embarks on the fight of his life in order to bring his little boy home, while sparks fly with Alessandra, his son’s nanny.