Visit from a Truth Teller
When Sir Salman Rushdie came to Wellesley for the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities’ Distinguished Thinkers series in November 2015, it was standing room only in Alumnae Hall. He began the evening reading from his new book, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, but generously spent much of the evening in a humorous and relaxed conversation with Newhouse Center director Anjali Prabhu and answering students’ questions. Responding to one student, he declared: “The business of writing is to try to tell the truth, just to try to tell as much truth as possible. But I don’t have solutions. Any two-bit politician has solutions. It’s not really the business of art to offer solutions. But it may be much more to find interesting ways of stating the problem….”
Photo by Richard Howard
Ella Mae’s Shoes
Set in the segregation-era South, English professor Susan Lynn Meyer’s children’s book, New Shoes (Holiday House), tells the story of Ella Mae, an African-American child who comes face to face with discrimination when she wants to try on a pair of shoes. Into the 1960s, in the South and many other places around the country, black people were not allowed to try on clothes, hats, or shoes before buying them. “When I was a kid, I often said furiously, ‘It’s not fair,’ about one thing or another. That’s the response I am hoping to evoke in young readers,” Meyer says. The book was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Last year, the Science Center used more than 8,000 disposable water bottles at events. Not any more. Three hydration stations have been installed, and reusable BPA-free water bottles were distributed to all staffers. The bottles and the stations resulted from the research and grant-writing efforts of Annie Blumfield ’17.