Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2009 | People

Oppenheimer is Watching Me by Jeff Porter and Little Lost River: A Novel by Pamela Johnston

By IAM Staff

Oppenheimer Is Watching Me by Jeff Porter University of Iowa Press

Atomic bomb drills by day and dreams of mushroom clouds, death, and mass destruction at night. In Oppenheimer Is Watching Me: A Memoir, UI assistant English professor Jeff Porter shares what it was like to be a child during the Cold War.

Porter weaves the discoveries he makes about his typical American family in with the frightening headlines and the cultural and political figures of the day.

Little Lost River: A Novel by Pamela Johnston, 91 MFA University of Nevada Press

"The day after my mom put the gun in her mouth, I went back to school." So begins this debut novel from Pamela Johnston, 91 MFA, which tells how a mourning teenager strikes an unlikely bond with a classmate over their struggles to understand adulthood, tragedy, and their mothers. While one copes with her mother's suicide, the other becomes a mom herself.

Set in Boise, Idaho, the book captures the voices of these mothers and daughters whose lives are marked by heartbreak but transformed by friendship.