Four New Books from Local Authors
History, fiction and more from Montgomery County writers
Bethesda resident Andrew Gifford was 10 in 1985 when his family’s D.C. area-based ice cream business closed and his father vanished. The mystery was big local news. His father, who eventually resurfaced, died in 2007. Now 43, Andrew Gifford says he’s tired of being asked if he’s “Gifford of Gifford’s Ice Cream?” and having people go on about his parents and grandparents. In We All Scream: The Fall of the Gifford’s Ice Cream Empire (Stillhouse Press, May 2017),Gifford—who works in the books department of the American Psychological Association—reveals the dark details of the ice cream company’s demise and his tragic experience as a child of abuse. “I hate to burst a bubble in these nice memories that people have, but I needed to speak up,” Gifford says.
Paul Dickson has loved baseball since he went to his first Yankees game in 1944 at the age of 5. The Garrett Park author has written 66 books, a dozen of which are about baseball, including The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. His latest, Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son (Bloomsbury, March 2017), is a biography about one of the game’s most controversial and flamboyant characters. Durocher was a true sports celebrity, known for being combative and relentless in his quest to win while also a regular on the Hollywood social scene. “Durocher bridged these amazing eras in baseball—from Prohibition in the ’20s with the Yankees to the space age with the Houston Astros,” Dickson says. “He was involved in some of the biggest games and pennant tries in history.”
The world is getting to be a significantly better place, in large part because of the left’s accomplishments over the past 50 years, according to Ruy Teixeira. In his new book, The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think (St. Martin’s Press, March 2017), the Silver Spring resident writes that his historical analysis of American politics found that “pessimism is neither useful nor justified.” Talking about things being bad is not a “program” and not productive, Teixeira says. Instead, the left should project a vision of how things should be in order to get voters excited about candidates. “You shouldn’t assume the more miserable people get, the more likely they will support the left—in fact, it’s exactly the reverse,” says Teixeira, who is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in D.C.
The Distance Home (Forge, May 2017) by Orly Konig is about friendship, trying to be accepted and overcoming heartache. Main character Emma Metz returns to her hometown in Maryland following her father’s death. She faces guilt over past choices, tries to mend a friendship and rediscovers the healing power of riding horses (Konig says she drew from her experience at riding stables near Poolesville). “Women will see bits of themselves in Emma. We all want others to like us,” says the Gaithersburg author. “To some extent we put our own needs on the back burner to accommodate what other people want of us.” This is a debut novel for Konig, who helped found the Women’s Fiction Writers Association in 2013 to provide networking, education and career support for its members.