CAMP’s Books & Browse Authors Announced

By Michele Weldon

Four amazing and critically acclaimed nonfiction authors with new books earning rave reviews nationally will dazzle the audience as panelists at the annual Books & Browse event at CAMP this year on Saturday, October 14 5:30-7 p.m. at Columbia College, Chicago. JAWS Conference and Mentoring Program (CAMP) is Oct. 13-15. See all the details at the CAMP page.

It’s difficult to prioritize these authors and their books, so the list is alphabetical.

Mona Gable, Searching for Savanna: The Murder of One Native American Woman and the Violence Against the Many.

“A gripping and illuminating investigation into the disappearance of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind when she was eight months pregnant, highlighting the shocking epidemic of violence against Native American women in America and the societal ramifications of government inaction.”

Mona writes: “I specialize in stories about gender, conservation, nature and travel, but I have also covered subjects such as parenting and books about Barack Obama. My writing has appeared in AFAR, Outside, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Vogue, LA magazine, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. My essays have appeared in several anthologies, including the bestselling Salon anthology, Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood.

In May 2014, my memoir Blood Brother: The Gene That Rocked My Family, was published by Shebooks. “Searching for Savanna” arose out of a story I wrote for the late Pacific Standard magazine, sadly, one of the few publications devoted to longform journalism.

Brooke Kroeger, Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism. “An essential history of women in American journalism, showcasing exceptional careers from 1840 to the present.

Undaunted is a representative history of the American women who surmounted every impediment put in their way to do journalism’s most valued work. From Margaret Fuller’s improbable success to the highly paid reporters of the mid-nineteenth century to the breakthrough investigative triumphs of Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell, and Ida B. Wells, Brooke Kroeger examines the lives of the best-remembered and long-forgotten woman journalists. She explores the careers of standout woman reporters who covered the major news stories and every conflict at home and abroad since before the Civil War, and she celebrates those exceptional careers up to the present, including those of Martha Gellhorn, Rachel Carson, Janet Malcolm, Joan Didion, Cokie Roberts, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.”

From her website: Brooke Kroeger is a journalist, professor emerita at NYU, and the author of six books, the latest of which is Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism,  published by A.A. Knopf in May 2023. It explores how women have fared in American journalism’s most competitive and highly valued bastions, the ones men have dominated in the 180 years since mass media began.

Her earlier books are  Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist (1994, an NPR Best Books of the Year);  Fannie: The Talent for Success of Writer Fannie Hurst (1998, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of the Year); Passing: When People Can’t Be Who They Are (2003, a Post-Dispatch Best Books of the Year); Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception (2012, finalist, Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award of the American Journalism Historians Association), and The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote (Gold Medal in US History in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards and a finalist for the 2018 Sally and Morris Lasky Prize of the Center for Political History.)

At NYU, she served on the journalism faculty from 1998 to 2021 and from 2005 to 2011 was department chair and founding director of NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She created the MA unit Global and Joint Program Studies and directed this joint program field of study from 2007 to 2020.

Early in her career, she was UN Correspondent for Newsday and deputy metropolitan editor for New York Newsday. Over eleven years with United Press International (in its Scripps Howard days), she reported from Chicago, Brussels, London and Tel Aviv, where she was bureau chief before returning to London to become the agency’s division editor for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

She led the team of scholars who created the database and American Journalism‘s April 2019 special issue, “Women’s Suffrage and the Media.” She contributed to and co-edited a volume of essays with Linda Steiner and Carolyn Kitch, for which Dr. Steiner took the lead, the 2020 Front Pages, Front Lines.

She was a Senior Fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University from 2013 until its closing in 2019, the editorial board of the scholarly journal, American Journalism: A Journal of Media History, and on the awards committee for the Helen Bernstein awards, administered by the New York Public Library. A member of the board of managers of the East Hampton Library since 2012, she currently serves as its president.

Her digital projects include the online database; a major independent report on WNYC’s digital transformation from 2010-13;  Blowing Minds: The Rise of Underground Comix and the Alternative Press (1965-72) about the life and times of the East Village Other; Primary Sources, an archive of significant journalism-related conversations with major figures, produced on video; and, in collaboration with other NYU Journalism colleagues and the New York Times, the Local East Village (2009-2013), and from 2013-2020, Bedford + Bowery with New York Magazine.

Bonnie Newman Davis, Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960.

“Bonnie Newman Davis’ book, Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960, tells the stories of 24 Black women whose journalism careers spanned the last forty years of the 20th century. They are print and broadcast journalists who courageously bore the burden of being a Black woman in America’s newsrooms.

Norma Adams-Wade to Lynne K. Varner, Wanda Lloyd to Barbara Ciara, and Patrice Gaines to Sandra Daye Hughes, the stories Davis tells are of Black women journalists who took on the challenges of being what W.E.B. DuBois called the ‘two-ness’ of being an American and Black.”

“The stories of the Black women journalists in Truth Tellers mirror those of numerous women who entered journalism during a time America was undergoing extraordinary change — equal rights for women and racial minorities, economic and social justice, demographic shifts, urban unrest, the war on poverty, the war in Vietnam and growing cultural wars. Many of those issues steeped in the past continue today. Black women often were at the forefront in telling the stories (in mainstream newsrooms) of Black men and women who were on the frontlines of the modern civil rights movement seeking justice and equality in education, housing and human rights. Black women journalists’ reporting, editing and leadership in America’s majority white news organizations led to more balanced and nuanced coverage of Black people in this country. My book serves as a reminder to Jaws’ audiences about how far we have come and the long road still ahead. ”

From her website: Bonnie Newman Davis has been a journalist for more than four decades. But long before she understood the meaning of journalism, Davis, at age three or four, was writing stories “out loud” by recounting the exploits of her maternal grandparents’ 10 children – five boys, five girls. Years later, while in college at North Carolina A&T State University, Davis became more fully aware of the civil rights movement and how, based on the findings of a 1968 Kerner Commission report, much of it tied in with the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy years earlier when Davis was in sixth grade.

It also was at A&T that Davis, an English major, wrote her first article after taking a journalism course during her junior year. Her professor published the article in the student newspaper, The A&T Register, and it later was picked up by the local Black newspaper, The Carolina Peacemaker. Other articles followed, along with a summer internship at the Wilmington Star News in Wilmington, N.C.

When Davis graduated from A&T in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in English, she not only understood journalism’s meaning and power, she was eager to learn more. A Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship that summer in Louisville, Kentucky was followed by graduate school at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she earned a master’s degree in journalism in 1980.

After graduate school, Davis became a reporter and editor for the Richmond News Leader and, later, the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Virginia. Her areas of coverage included education, government, urban affairs, business, and arts and culture. She also has worked for newspapers in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan, as well as for MSNBC’s and

Additionally, Davis has served as a journalism professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina A&T State University. At NCA&T, Davis held the Greensboro News & Record-Janice Bryant Howroyd Endowed Professorship. Other academic appointments have included Hampton, Norfolk State, St. Augustine’s, Virginia Union, and Washington and Lee universities.

In 2011, Davis was named Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, and she has received several awards and recognition for her work, including a 2007 NABJ Ethel Payne Fellowship to report in Ghana, West Africa.

In 2016, Davis founded the BND Institute of Media and Culture, Inc., a nonprofit organization that presents programs and events focused on African American culture and news media. Her institute also sponsors a summer media camp for middle and high school students.

In May 2022, Davis became managing editor of the Richmond Free Press, a 30-year-old Black-owned newspaper in Richmond, Virginia.

In October 2022, Davis was inducted into the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Hall of Fame at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The award “honors the pioneers who helped pave the way in Journalism at North Carolina A&T and beyond.”

Rachel Louise Snyder, Women We Buried, Women We Burned: A Memoir.

“For decades, Rachel Louise Snyder has been a fierce advocate reporting on the darkest social issues that impact women’s lives. Women We Buried, Women We Burned is her own story.
Snyder was eight years old when her mother died, and her distraught father thrust the family into an evangelical, cult-like existence halfway across the country. Furiously rebellious, she was expelled from school and home at age 16. Living out of her car and relying on strangers, Rachel found herself masquerading as an adult, talking her way into college, and eventually travelling the globe.”

From her site: “Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, the novel What We’ve Lost is Nothing, and No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times magazine, the Washington Post and on NPR, and she was a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. No Visible Bruises was awarded the 2018 Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, the 2020 Book Tube Prize, the 2020 New York Public Library’s Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Sidney Hillman Book Award for social justice. It won Best Book in Translation in Taiwan in 2021 and has been translated into Russian, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, and others. It received starred reviews from Kirkus, Book Riot and Publisher’s Weekly and was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Amazon, Kirkus, the Library Journal, the Economist, and BookPage; the New York Times included it in their “Top Ten” books of 2019.  No Visible Bruises was also a finalist for the Kirkus Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the LA Times Book Award, and the Silver Gavel Award.

Over the past two decades, Snyder has traveled to sixty countries, covering stories of human rights, gender-based violence, natural disasters, displacement and war. She lived, for six years, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and two years in London before relocating to Washington, DC in 2009. Originally from Chicago, Snyder holds a  B.A. from North Central College and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2020-2021. Originally from Chicago, she has a joint appointment as a professor in journalism and literature at American University.”

All the authors will discuss their new books on the panel moderated by Michele Weldon. Book signings by the authors follow with book sales available by the woman-owned independent bookstore, Bookends & Beginnings, owned by Nina Barrett.