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Writers

Winter 2009

Yolandé McVey ’07—Taking life back

The heroine of Love’s Secrets puts on perfume, goes to a barbecue, and meets Rod: caramel skin, wavy hair, muscles, and commitment issues.

The author of Love’s Secrets can never do two of those three things. Exposure to perfume or barbecue smoke could kill Yolandé McVey ’07, who suffers from severe asthma and allergies. “I’m so allergic to everything that when I was given an allergy test, I went into shock,” she said. “They had to call an ambulance to take me to a hospital.”

McVey began to lose ground in her lifelong battle with respiratory problems in 1997. She had just moved to Arizona … » More …

Winter 2009

Nöel Riley Fitch ’65, ’69—At Julia’s table

As a graduate student at Washington State University in the late 1960s, Noël Riley Fitch found her calling in an issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. A two-page story about Sylvia Beach and her little bookshop called Shakespeare and Company in Paris in the 1920s sparked her interest.

Her professor, John Elwood, encouraged her to pursue Beach as a subject for her master’s thesis. Elwood had long had a love for French café society. When he was in the armed services in World War II, he met writer and critic Gertrude Stein in Paris. He loved that period of literary history, says Riley Fitch.

She enjoyed … » More …

Summer 2004

Stories about growing up

Pamela Smith Hill isn’t one to forget her roots.

Born and raised in Missouri, Smith Hill set one of her novels, A Voice from the Border, in the Show-Me state, and another, Ghost Horses, in South Dakota, where she lived and worked for nearly a decade.

And her early training as a newspaper reporter-long ago in Springfield, Missouri-is part of the reason for her success today as a writer of award-winning books and short stories for young women and girls, she says. “As a reporter, I had the chance to listen to people, to the way they talk, and to observe details of their own … » More …

Spring 2004

Crossing the line

Snoqualmie singer-songwriter Garr Lange released a new CD last fall. Crossing the Line, recorded at Rainstorm Studios, Bellevue, and released by Sentry Records, includes a 12-song mix of the blues, country, and rock.

Lange (’79 English) tested his skills for writing music and plays in New York City after graduating from Washington State University. One play, The Water Table, was produced by the Renegade Theater Co., Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1989. On the music front, he formed The Big Rig band, Boston musicians with a bent for country-rock-rhythm and blues. He also had a short stay in Nashville during the mid-90s. In both cities, he … » More …

Winter 2008

Carol Edgemon Hipperson – Writing History

When Carol Edgemon Hipperson was growing up in Coulee City, the eastern Washington community was too small for a library. However, every other Thursday during the summer, the Bookmobile from the North Central Regional Library pulled into town. “I was allowed to check out as many books as I could carry,” says Hipperson ’75. “I’d go straight home and curl up with my books until dinner time.”

The idea that one day books with her name on the spine would appear on library shelves and in book stores didn’t occur to her. “I never intended to become a writer,” she says. “I just wanted to … » More …