Books by Lauren Kessler

A GRIP OF TIME by Lauren Kessler
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 2019

"An incisive, welcome look at prison life in the U.S."
An intrepid journalist immerses herself in a maximum security prison. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"An amusingly shrewd memoir of following a lifelong dream."
Kessler (Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-aging, 2013, etc.) chronicles her obsession with dancing The Nutcracker.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 4, 2013

"An entertaining and informative investigation into growing old."
One woman's quest to halt the aging process. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 4, 2007

"Offers an informative lesson and a comforting message for anyone with an afflicted family member. "
Close-up look at life inside an Alzheimer's care facility. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2007

Back for a third adventure, Emily Windsnap, half-human/half-mermaid, has settled into life with both parents on and around Allpoints Island, where she's found a new best friend, Shona, a mermaid "all girly and sparkly, with shiny long blond hair." But her parents' arguments worry her. Perhaps they are planning to split up. On a class trip she finds a diamond ring King Neptune wants, but it won't come off her hand. Neptune's angry response is to send her far away where she finds a castle inhabited by a dark-haired, green-eyed boy, a semi-mer like herself. Together, the three young people find the ring's missing counterpart, undoing a 500-year-old curse and making possible peace between humans and merfolk—including her own parents. The improbable plot is told in first person, quickly paced and supported by plenty of descriptive detail about the appearance of the characters and the colorful underwater life. This should be an easy sell to girls looking for a friendship story with more than a touch of make believe. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 1997

A passionately argued and timely study about the issues surrounding gender, amateur sports, and the law. In her eighth book, Kessler (Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese-American Family, 1993, etc.) writes, ``The inherent drama of athletic competition is that somebody always wins and somebody always loses.'' The drama that serves as the focal point of her book, however, appears to have less to do with players' wins and losses on the hardwood court than with a coach's battles before the civil court. An up-and-coming coach on the assistant level, Jody Runge leapt at the chance to take over in 1993 as head coach for the University of Oregon Ducks. When she arrived, she was welcomed by a team that had enjoyed little success but appeared ready and willing to improve. The problem was that the university athletic department accorded to women's basketball (a non-revenue producing sport), and to women's sports in general, facilities and funding that were a significant step down from those of such prominent and profitable sports as football and men's basketball, especially where coaching-staff compensation was concerned. Runge knew that these and other inequities were violations of Title IX. So she hired a prominent sports lawyer in hopes of strong-arming the school into giving her and the team equal standing—a status well earned as Runge led the Ducks to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. Nominally a story about women's basketball, one of the fastest-growing sports in America, this book generally centers on the efforts to correct common misperceptions about women and athletics. While many big-time college sports powers' athletic directors are slow in accepting it, both Kessler and Runge make a strong case that athletes are athletes, regardless of gender. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

A harrowing recounting of a shameful chapter in American history. Kessler (Journalism/University of Oregon; After All These Years, 1990) is writing as much about one particular immigrant family as about all those malevolent ills that lie beneath the surface only to burst into virulent bloom in times of national stress. By the early 1930's, and despite the Depression, Japanese immigrant Masuo Yasui could be described as a success. Emigrating from Japan at the age of 16, he'd settled in Hood River, Oregon, converted to Christianity, and come to own more than a thousand acres of prime land, a flourishing general store, and numerous franchises. Meanwhile, his son became the first Japanese-American to graduate from law school, while Masuo's six other children were either in, or en route to, college. But Pearl Harbor ended it all, although Kessler notes the growing anti-Asian sentiment in the preceding years: In 1922, the Supreme Court ruled that Japanese immigrants could not become naturalized citizens; the Oregon Alien Law made Japanese land-ownership illegal; and the 1924 National Origins Act defined Japanese immigrants as ``undesirable.'' After war was declared, Masuo's wife and most of his children were interned, while Masuo himself, arrested and not freed until after the war, lost most of his property, as well as his standing in the community, and later committed suicide. Masuo's son led the legal fight for reparations, his generation understanding how fragile their place was in American society and determined to ``prove themselves better in order to be considered equal.'' Now, the third generation, after an ``almost aggressive acculturation at the hands of their parents,'' struggles to find its own identity. A somber but illuminating reminder of the perniciousness of prejudice—and of the terrible toll it exacts. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen) Read full book review >