Recent Books by Alumni and Faculty

ELIZABETH SILANCE BALLARD ’94, Three Letters from Teddy and Other Stories, Eslyn Publishing. This short book of inspirational stories features works of fiction that have sprung from the imagination of the author. The title story, about the special relationship between a teacher and an underachieving fifth-grader, was first published in 1976 and has been almost continuously in print somewhere since then. It was used by Marian Wright Edelman in her 1994 Annual Report of the Children’s Defense Fund.

JOHN A. FAHEY (emeritus faculty), Kremlin Kapers: Adventures Behind the Iron Curtain During the Cold War, B & J Books. A Russian linguist and student of the language and people, Fahey encountered some fascinating situations behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. The adventures occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, when he led many ODU study tours to the Soviet Union, studied in a Moscow State University program and conducted a site visit to Moscow for an American contractor. Kremlin Kapers follows on the heels of Fahey’s Licensed to Spy (Naval Institute Press), a firsthand account of the author’s activities as a U.S. naval officer in East Germany during the Cold War.;

VANESSA J. JAMES (M.S.Ed. ’91), Koala Kan Learns About Respect, Pentland Press Inc. The second children’s book in James’ Koala Kan series, this work is filled with colorful illustrations and offers a valuable lesson. The lovable, playful Koala Kan teaches readers, via rhyme, how hurtful it is to call someone fat, dumb, weird or ugly. James, a Chesapeake resident and former kindergarten teacher, notes that a portion of the proceeds from the book will go to children’s literacy programs.

JOHN KARR ’87, Dark Resurrection, Barclay Books. When prominent surgeon Victor Galloway suffers a heart attack, he claws his way to the phone and dials 911. But when the “paramedics” arrive, he is given a lethal injection and rushed to Holy Evangelical Lady of the Lake, where Randolph Tobias, CEO of H.E.L.L., greets him in the emergency room. “I need your skills as a surgeon to harvest the living and feed my people, Victor. Join us and you may remain with your family. Join us and you will never die again.” Victor rejects the offer, but Tobias is too powerful to be denied.

SUSAN KENT (faculty), Ethnicity, Hunter-Gatherers and the “Other”: Association or Assimilation in Africa, Smithsonian Institution Press. Kent is the author of three chapters in her edited work: “Interethnic Encounters of the First Kind: An Introduction,” “Autonomy or Serfdom? Relations Between Prehistoric Neighboring Hunter-Gatherers and Farmer/Pastoralists in Southern Africa” and “Dangerous Interactions: The Repercussions of Western Culture, Missionaries, and Disease in Southern Africa.”

WENDY HOWELL MILLS ’96, Callie and the Dealer and a Dog Named Jake, Oak Tree Press. Mills currently pursues the same profession as her book’s heroine, Callie McKinley, as manager of a hotel restaurant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Callie is occupied with finding her niche among a staff of culinary oddballs, while coping with missing plates and disturbing memos. As the Outer Banks is evacuated in preparation for a hurricane, Callie stumbles across a dead body in the walk-in freezer. It’s a race against time as she must stop a killer before it’s too late. Mills’ debut work won the Dark Oak Mystery Award.

KATHERINE S. ROBESON (M.S.N. ’95), A Home for Chloe, Falcor Books. Robeson’s first book in a new middle-grades series, Tales from Wind Creek, follows Chloe the cat as she finds a new home with an American Indian family – a family that has the mysterious Cherokee gift of being able to understand animals. In this, Book One, the spirited feline takes matters into her own paws as she realizes that she is doomed to go to the animal shelter. She embarks on an adventure to find safety in the nearby Big Woods.When she is caught by the animal control officer, her new animal friends help save her from certain death.

LINDA JEANNETTE WARD (M.S. ’76), A Delicate Dance of Wings, Winfred Press. This is Ward’s second poetry publication, but the first to feature haibun, a prose-poetry form that has developed from 17th-century Japanese literary tradition. Haibun, she explains, are “short prose pieces, usually autobiographical in nature ... portraying a moment keenly perceived.” One reviewer calls Ward’s chapbook a collection of “true life mini-dramas.” The work was funded by a North Carolina Arts Council grant, and the author is the winner of several poetry awards.

HAROLD S. WILSON (faculty), Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War, University Press of Mississippi. Wilson’s work, an alternate selection of the History Book Club, debunks the myth that the South was nothing but agriculture. In fact, the author explains that it was the strength of the Southern business community, particularly manufacturers and quartermasters, that made it possible for the Confederacy to survive as long as it did. Southern mills, Wilson points out, were appropriated by the Confederate Army to make weaponry, clothing and other materials for war. For more information, including the book’s index with references to specific towns, mills and families involved in manufacturing during this era, visit

Calling All Authors

If you have published a book recently, let us know.
Please send a copy, along with any promotional material or reviews, to:

Steve Daniel, Old Dominion University magazine, 100 Koch Hall, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. 23529. All submissions will be considered for review.