William F. Tolmie at Fort Nisqually: Letters, 1850–1853

Edited by Steve A. Anderson

WSU Press: 2019

Scottish-born William Fraser Tolmie served as chief trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trading post Fort Nisqually, the first white settlement on Puget Sound. Hand-written letters to and from Tolmie—sometimes sent by canoe—present a British perspective on the region in the early 1850s. Tolmie State Park near Olympia is named for him. So is Tolmie Peak in Mount Rainier National Park. Steve Anderson, who managed the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma from 1980 to 1990, first learned of Tolmie’s letters in 1983, then spent decades locating and transcribing them. The introduction by Tacoma historian Jerry V. Ramsey provides additional context.


The Eulogy

Debra Yergen ’92 Comm.

Whole House Publications: 2019

Isabelle, a self-proclaimed progressive, aims to make peace with her aunt, a staunch conservative. Aunt Harriet raised Isabelle and her brother, Zach, after their parents died in a car crash when Isabelle was eight and Zach was ten. At the beginning of the book, set in 2015, Aunt Harriet suffers a life-threatening stroke, and Isabelle bickers with both her brother and her estranged husband, the father of their daughter, Grace. The story about learning to accept differences continues in the other two volumes of the trilogy: The Bench and The Gathering.


Lights Up: A Collection of 20 Ridiculous Scenes for Young Actors

Written by Joshua Evans ’03 Theatre Arts

Illustrated by Sean Hall ’02 Theatre Arts


This round-up of short scenes for child actors features characters such as Old Man Raisin, Mascot One, and a time-traveling teen. Evans, who began writing for children’s theater programs in 2004, says young actors prefer lively characters to heavy, dramatic plots. His mantra: “Write characters, and have fun.”


A Nadie le Importa el Cielo Nocturno

Maria Adare ’78 Lib. Arts, ’79 Ed.


When someone decides to end a relationship, it’s often a unilateral decision. This slim volume of poems, written in Spanish, explores feelings of loss and pain—and the ambiguity of looking for answers—after the end of a friendship. The title translates to “Nobody Cares About the Night Sky.” Poems are divided by years. Maria Adare is a pen name.