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Written by Ezra Christopher

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The Wanderer

Manuel Aven (A&S ’51, ’55G), a scientist and author, writes of sacrifice and love in The Wanderer (Xlibris), a memoir in three parts: “The War Bride,” “Tale of Two Cities,” and “Pursuit of the Wind.” In part one, Aven describes how World War II ravaged his country, Estonia. He shares his war adventures and how he reunited with his first love. Part two contrasts Aven’s life in America with his life in Germany: He spends time in both countries visiting sons who live in each. He ends the book by examining whether he pursued his career for vanity or for the common good.

Circle of Life: Verses From My Journey

After the death of her husband, Beatrice Vasser (EDUC ’75, ’84G) often sat up at night alone and unable to sleep. Then she began putting her thoughts to paper. Moved by grief, she wrote Circle of Life (Pneuma Publishing International), a soulful collection of poems on the genesis of life, its evolution, and its end. Vasser escapes sorrow by penning poems about her world travels. Later, she accepts her circumstance and goes on in “I Will Forever Grieve.”

Defenders of the Realm: The World Mystic Arts Tournament

The realm of Gaea is under threat. The High Priestess of magic revives an ancient tournament to find new mystical warriors to defend Gaea from Sovereign, a renegade Kindred fighter. Defenders of the Realm illustrates the struggle for moral goodness in a world of magic. Cameo Rowe (ENGR ’08, A&S ’08) initially wrote the story as a retirement gift for his 10th-grade English teacher. But in high school, the Maryland native never aspired to be a writer. Instead, he loved math and science and wanted to be an engineer, like his father. He accepted the Donald M. Henderson Engineering Scholarship at Pitt, where he majored in industrial engineering and English. While working on his degree, Rowe continued to develop Defenders of the Realm, turning his interest in writing from a “joy into an obsession.” To improve his craft, he wrote for Blackline—the Black Action Society newsletter—and for the National Society of Black Engineers. He is the founding editor of the society’s engineering magazine, The Torch. Rowe self-published his novel in his senior year. He hopes that the ethnically diverse characters will have a strong fan following, ideally for the release of a sequel.

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