Podcast by Princeton Alumni Weekly
PAWcast: Gigi Georges *96 Tells the True Story of Rural Maine
On the north coast of Maine, about as far as you can go before reaching Canada, lies a wild, poor, beautiful place known as Downeast. Many people there make their living on lobster boats, and many have deep family roots, interwoven over generations. Gigi Georges *96 spent four years here, starting in 2016, following the lives of five teenage girls, in hopes of telling a story about rural America more true than most we’ve heard: A story about tight communities, neighbors, friends, hard work and sacrifice, and the reasons why strong, bright, local girls who could go anywhere, decide to stay. Her new book is simply titled “Downeast.”
PAWcast: Robert Masello ’74 on Writing Historical Fiction and the Publishing Industry
Robert Masello ’74 has carved a niche in the writing world: His novels place real historical figures in fictional stories with a touch of the supernatural. One follows Albert Einstein into a battle between good vs. evil at Princeton; the latest sends H.G. Wells through a haunted adventure. With a second edition of his nonfiction book about writing due out in September, Masello shared his story on the PAWcast along with advice for aspiring writers.
PAWcast: Novelist Cate Holahan ’02 Probes Psychology in Domestic Thrillers
As a journalist, Cate Holahan ’02 covered some dark stories, like the Bernie Madoff scandal. Today, she uses what she learned to write domestic psychological thrillers. Karma always comes for her characters, but there are no perfect villains, and no one emerges a complete hero. In her fifth and latest book, “Her Three Lives,” Holahan probes the way security technology can twist a mind pushed to the edge by violence and paranoia.
PAWcast: Taishi Nakase ’21, Valedictorian for the Class of 2021
Taishi Nakase, an operations research and financial engineering concentrator who hails from Melbourne, Australia, was named Princeton’s valedictorian for the Class of 2021. He spoke with PAW about his research into measles vaccinations campaigns, his plans for medical school, and the challenges and lessons of being a Princeton student in this pandemic year.
PAWcast: Thomas Nelson *04 on Saving a Wisconsin Paper Mill
Wisconsin’s Appleton Coated nearly became the next American paper mill to go under, even as state officials fought to bring in a massive new electronics plant, Foxconn, with public subsidies. But Appleton didn’t go under, thanks to a fight by the mill’s workers and the county executive, Thomas Nelson *04. Nelson’s book, “One Day Stronger: How One Local Union Saved a Mill and What it means for American Manufacturing,” details that victory and why it reinforces his belief in American labor unions.
PAWcast: Writer Julia Zarankin *04 on Falling for Birding
Birds arrived in Julia Zarankin’s life at a moment of change. In her memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, she writes that the career she worked so hard for had become unfulfilling, and her first marriage had fallen apart. Her search for meaning took her to a birding group in Toronto, where she fell hard for the red-winged blackbird. That sighting began a decade-long love affair with the avian world that took Julia to many places to find birds, including a sewage lagoon, the first of many, and to a rain-soaked tent on Straten Island, Maine, to count black-bellied plovers. Along the way she learned life lessons, including how to really listen, how to leave perfectionism at the door, and how to cultivate a sense of wonder.