Great reading from the DU community

A funny “Bunny” of a novel   

In “Bunny” (Viking, 2019), the latest offering from alumna Mona Awad (PhD ’18), readers embark on a darkly humorous exploration of female cliques and the competitive culture of MFA creative writing program.

The story is set at the fictional Warren University, which in-the-know critics have identified as a stand-in for Brown University. That’s where, before enrolling in DU’s celebrated PhD program in creative writing, Awad completed her MFA.  

Awad’s debut novel, “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” (Penguin, 2016), propelled her into the publishing limelight, winning the Amazon Canada Best First Novel Award, the Colorado Book Award and accolades from the national press. The critically acclaimed “Bunny,” meanwhile, has already caught the attention of AMC Networks, which has announced plans to shape the book into a television series.  

Bunny,” Awad told a group assembled for a June reading at Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore, grows out of her fascination with the dark side of fairy tales and a chance cottontail sighting on the DU campus. The bunny encounter happened just as Awad was mulling over an idea about the mysterious lives of a gang of modern-day Snow Whites. They show up in the novel as a group of mean girls who lure the book’s loner protagonist to their circle.  

With that plot development, the book reflects Awad’s longstanding interest in outsiders—and in what happens when they become insiders. 

Learn more and hear an audio sample: Bunny

Forecasting the future: the model demystified

Decision- and policymakers all over the globe wish they could predict the future. 

Thanks to a computer model developed by professor Barry Hughes, founding director of DU’s renowned Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, they can forecast how trends will play out over the span of decades. 

Hughes brings readers up to speed on his creation in “International Futures: Building and Using Global Models” (Academic Press, 2019). The book covers what is widely regarded as one of the most advanced systems for long-term forecasting analysis available today. In addition to discussing the system’s major benefits, the book also takes a close look at other major modeling efforts, pointing out how they compare to Hughes’ system.

Just as important, the book offers suggestions on how forecasting systems can be creatively and productively used in the years ahead. That’s exactly the kind of information that can shape public investments, yield high-impact results and even reduce global poverty. 

The plot twists, turns and thickens  

With her fourth installment in a mystery series featuring amateur sleuth and literature professor Lila Maclean, alumna Cynthia Kuhn (PhD ’02) delivers on the suspense that keeps cozy lovers turning the page. 

The Subject of Malice” (Henery Press, 2019) takes Maclean, who teaches at a prestigious Front Range school with an address on University Boulevard, to a literary conference at the Tattered Star Ranch. When an influential scholar meets an unfortunate end, Maclean takes time off from preparing for her panel discussion to consult on the murder investigation. 

The Maclean series kicked off in 2016 with “The Semester of Our Discontent,” which promptly won an Agatha Award for best first novel. When she isn’t penning whodunits, Kuhn teaches literature, writing and film at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She also blogs with Chicks on the Case and is a member of Sisters in Crime, a group of authors, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians created to support women who write mysteries. 

Learn more: Cynthia Kuhn at Henery Press

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