How rewarding to read Grace Talusan’s beautifully written story, “The Book of Life and Death” (Summer
2007). I am a student of Ms. Talusan, and have been captivated by her talent
both as a teacher and as a writer. She is truly a voice to be heard. I
am so glad that you featured her in Tufts Magazine, which, by the way,
is a gorgeous and insightful publication.
LINDA D. FOTIS, J74
In all my years of following Tufts Magazine, I have never read a better, more poignant and powerful piece than Grace Talusan’s “The Book of Life and Death.” Fantastic!
More of her work coming, I hope.
LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE
“The Book of Life and Death” is a beautiful story, and one that touches upon so many critical and complex issues in the lives of migrant women. It also arrived at a perfect time, as I was looking for short stories to use for a class I teach at the University of Massachusetts at Boston on gender, development, and globalization.
By the way, the magazine has been really great lately—lots of interesting
articles and stories. Keep up the great work!
SONIA JORGE, A02
Grace Talusan’s story gave your readers a glimpse of Filipino culture and way of life. As a Filipino and Fletcher alumna, I was delighted to see that you have featured a Filipino-American writer. According to the 2000 census, Fil-Ams are the second largest Asian group in the United States, and this number continues to grow. Given that Filipino-Americans are so much a part of modern U.S. history and the fabric of American life, it’s
about time Fil-Ams are given a voice in the American mainstream, and your magazine
certainly provided the opportunity. More power to you!
ROQUEÑA R. DOMINGO, F98
ONCE AND FUTURE GAELOPHOBE?
on the fine article “Books of Another Time” (Summer 2007), in which three Tufts authors commented on novels that inspired them. I’m certain they never had to slog through Berk and Berk, our old text in freshman English. I was especially interested in Gregory Maguire’s comments on The
Once and Future King, which inspired him to write Wicked. I’d be interested in his opinion of T.H. White’s anti-Irish satire in Book II. Here, the inhabitants are the Gaels, who speak in brogues, dance jigs, and idolize el-
derly priests. At one point, White refers to “the enormous, the incalculable
miasma which is the leading feature of the Gaelic brain.”
SHUCKS, ’TWEREN’T NOTHIN’
To say that the Summer 2007 issue of Tufts Magazine was impressive would be
a gross understatement. It reads like a copy of The New
Yorker in style and
composition. This publication has progressed a long way from those I received
many years ago. Like so many other new and comprehensive changes at Tufts,
it, and they, make us proud to be Tufts University alumni.
ROBERT JAMES FRIEDMAN,
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK
Tufts Magazine looks and reads great—I mean, it’s really good. It’s one of the few university publications I’ve ever read (and I’m
talking about magazines from Vanderbilt, George Washington, Brandeis, and others)
that reads like a news magazine and not a pile of marketing slop.
JOHN A. LODICO
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS
MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
Wow! The Summer issue is scrumptious, delightful, and gorgeous. The content and art make my mind buzz with ideas, writers, and thinkers. As my teen grandsons Sean and Spencer would say: “WORD!”
E. ROMER, J60
I enjoy the articles in Tufts Magazine much more than those I have ever read
in the magazines of Boston College Law School or Williams College, my other
alma maters. Congrats on your great work.
MARYAM ELAHI, F87
OLD SAYBROOK, CONNECTICUT
REMEMBERING NILS WESSELL
In the late summer
of 1942, when I was a rising senior at Somerville High School, I walked into
the office of Nils Y. Wessell, then dean of men and director of admissions
at Tufts. It would be an understatement to say that I was anxious. Dr. Wessell
welcomed me and soon assured me of admission. When my attempts to join the
service were rebuffed, and I suffered a bout of depression, his suggestions,
given in a relaxed and respectful manner, helped me to turn lemons into lemonade.
A decade and a half after receiving my degree, I decided to undertake graduate
work, and I asked him for a reference. He responded warmly. My first impression
of Dr. Wessell—as a source of perceptive but challenging and encouraging support of students—was
reinforced many times.
ROBERT H. MACPHERSON, A47, CRANE48
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
SERVICE AND DISCOURSE
“The Opposite of Fear” (Spring 2007), on Marine Lieutenant Elliot Ackerman’s courage, leadership, and concern for his troops, was well done. It provided a good example of the character, quality, and diversity of recent graduates of the university. I was in Navy ROTC during the turmoil of the Vietnam War in the late sixties. I have always felt that Tufts’ decision
to terminate the ROTC programs was a mistake. Not only did Tufts lose a significant
source of tuition funding, more importantly, it lost the opportunity to influence
the military by infusing it with liberally educated officers to balance those
graduating from the service academies and more conservative schools. I want
to thank Tufts Magazine for having the courage to print such an article. It
helped heal some of the feelings of alienation I have had since 1969.
CAPTAIN, CIVIL ENGINEER CORPS,
Thank you for “The Opposite of Fear,” and for the subsequent letter to the editor, “Not West Point” (Summer 2007). Democracies exist as places of free and civil discourse, and the protection of these rights often falls to the men and women of the armed forces who are willing to sacrifice their lives in the name of liberty. I applaud you for recognizing one individual’s
experience of the challenges and rewards of this career choice. We are incredibly
lucky to have the freedom to disagree, and I encourage you to continue to publish
articles celebrating the diverse choices of our distinguished alumni and to
be a forum for divergent viewpoints.
DEBORAH L. BOBEK, J95, G01, G09
A TALE WITHOUT SPIN
I much enjoyed the article “A Day at the Beach” (Spring 2007), the more so because it was free of argumentative bombast. Whenever a journal publishes such a slice-of-life capsule about a highly contentious setting like this one [Israel and the West Bank], it will predictably be criticized by passionate supporters of one or another of the contes-
tants in the underlying struggle in which such incident occurred for failure to further the propaganda interests of the critic’s agenda. You were commendably undeterred from printing this low-key, factual description of the hoops the young people concerned had to go through to get things done in this awesomely contentious setting. Writing from the nation’s
capital, where spin is the constant effort of almost all in almost everything,
I note how pleasant it was to read the non-spun account of this day at the beach.
Thanks to the author, Michael Maria, E05.
ROBERT A. ACKERMAN, A46
CREDIT WHERE DUE
The errant seabird described in “At Length Did Cross an Albatross” (Summer 2007) was nursed at the Center for Wildlife, in Cape Neddick, Maine, before receiving care at Tufts, points out Bill Wieting, spouse of Amey (Pepin) Wieting, BOUVÉ60.
The Class of 1952 is even more impressive than we stated
in “Reunions’ Banner Year” (Summer 2007). It has won a participation cup for each of the past 11 years, not 8. The Centennial Class Committee’s cochairs, Beverly Peterman, J52, G53, J78P, and Bud Fischer, E52, say they’re
prouder still of the Centennial Scholars Program, which has enabled 19 students
to attend Tufts.