Alumni in the News: December 6, 2021

Natalia_by Julian Budge

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela ’00

Julian Budge

The New York Times December 1 list of the 10 Best Podcasts of 2021 includes “Welcome to Your Fantasy,” by historian Natalia Mehlman Petrzela ’00. The show details the rise and fall of Chippendales, the male strip show that was a global phenomenon in the 1980s.

Tony Kushner ’78 is the subject of a November 30 New York Times Style Magazine feature, “Tony Kushner, Oracle of the Upper West Side.” Kushner has had a busy year: In addition to his 2004 musical Caroline, Or Change returning to Broadway, he wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which opens on December 10.

Maggie Gyllenhaal ’99 was a big winner at the 31st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, held on November 29. Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, earned prizes for best feature, best screenplay, breakthrough director for her and outstanding lead performance for actress Olivia Colman. The Lost Daughter will be in theaters on December 17, and streaming on Netflix starting December 31.

Klancy_Tara Donne

Klancy Miller ’96

Tara Donne

A November 29 New York Times article, “Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.” includes Klancy Miller ’96. Miller, the author of Cooking Solo and founder of the online magazine For the Culture, questioned how original any recipe can truly be. “Isn’t there just one platonic version of X,” Miller asks, “and we are all just making modifications, some of us better than others?”

Dr. Ashish K. Jha ’92 wrote the November 27 New York Times guest essay, “3 Questions We Must Answer About the Omicron Variant.” Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, outlines key questions that help scientists understand how consequential any variant might be, and makes suggestions as to what the Biden administration can do to prepare the country.

Philip Montgomery

Patrick Radden Keefe ’99

Philip Montgomery

Patrick Radden Keefe ’99’s book Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty won Britain’s leading nonfiction book prize on November 16. Radden Keefe was awarded the Baillie Gifford Prize, worth £50,000, during a ceremony at London’s Science Museum.

Alicia Guevara ’94 was featured in The Cut column “How I Get It Done” on November 15. Guevara is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters New York City, matching more than 2,500 kids from across the five boroughs with “bigs” who support and advise them.

Also on November 15, Beto O’Rourke ’95 announced a run for governor of Texas. The New York Times reported: “O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, presented his campaign as a corrective to what he said were the ‘extremist policies’ of the state’s Republican leadership.”

A new mural by Maurice “Pops” Peterson ’73 was unveiled in Pittsfield, Mass., on November 10. Walk With Her reinvents the image of Ruby Bridges from Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting The Problem We All Live With, considered an iconic emblem of the Civil Rights Movement. Peterson says: “When the neighborhood below Jubilee Hill was razed for urban renewal, the tenants had to bravely walk on in their lives much like little Ruby Bridges, whose historic walk to school at the age of 6 changed the world and inspired generations. We have brought ‘Rainbow Ruby’ to Pittsfield to inspire a new generation.”