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Gifts for the graduating gator

April 28 , 2011 -- Congratulate this year's graduate with a gift with a gator connection. The following gifts showcase the creative talents of SF State alumni and faculty.

DVD cover of "The Kids are All Right"

More than "all right"
The comedy-drama "The Kids are All Right," now available on DVD, stars alum Annette Bening (B.A. '80) as one half of a lesbian couple whose world is rocked when their teenage children decide to track down their biological father. Directed and co-written by alum Lisa Cholodenko (B.A. '87), the movie earned a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture as well as four Oscar nominations.



Album cover of "¡Bien Bien!"

Eclectic musical offerings
Treat the music lover to some new tunes courtesy of several Grammy-winning gators. The smooth voice of Johnny Mathis (attended '54 – '57) can be heard on his new pop country album "Let it Be Me: Mathis in Nashville." This Grammy-winning album also features guest vocals from country stars Alison Krauss and Lane Brody.

Music maestro Kent Nagano (M.A. '76) conducted the score for "Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin," an opera about love and relations between East and West, which won a Grammy for Best Opera Recording.

Latin Jazz fans will enjoy "¡Bien Bien!" by trombonist Wayne Wallace (attended '70 – '73) and his Latin Jazz Quintet. This Grammy-winning album includes compositions by Wallace, alongside songs by jazz heroes Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. 


Book jacket of "Octavia Boulevard"

Only in San Francisco
For graduates wanting to remember San Francisco, "Octavia Boulevard" is a memoir of the city written by Professor of Journalism Yvonne Daley. An award-winning journalist, Daley describes inner city living and quirky neighborhood characters in a place where decadence and poverty often share close quarters.

"Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man" will enlighten anyone intrigued by the annual art and community gathering known as Burning Man. In this book, with accompanying DVD, alum and anthropologist Lee Gilmore (B.A. '93) explores the cultural and spiritual significance of the festival. Gilmore traces how Burning Man grew

from an effigy-topped bonfire on a San Francisco beach to a seven-day celebration in the Nevada desert.


Book jacket of "Theater in a Crowded Fire."

Crossing cultures
Treat poetry lovers to a collection that crosses cultural boundaries. "Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry" reflects on the complex identities of South Asians living in the U.S. and is the first anthology of its kind. This Northern California Book Award winner was edited by alum Neelanjana Banerjee (M.F.A. '07) and includes contributions from alum Tanu Mehrotra Wakefield (M.F.A. '06).

In her first novel "Anya's War," alum Andrea Alban (B.A. '08) tells the story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees Ukraine just before World War II, in search of a safer life in China. Based on the author's family history, the book is a coming-of-age story that chronicles Anya's adolescence in Jewish Shanghai.

Book jacket of "Anya's War"

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Camille Dungy's poetry collection, "Suck on the Marrow" won a 2011 Northern California Book Award for poetry. Dungy's poetry explores the experiences of African Americans, both slaves and free, in the 19th century, and illuminates a lesser-known view of the collective American experience.


Alumni Association
Give the SF State alum an Alumni Association membership and they will enjoy lifelong benefits including Library and Career Center access, discounted medical benefits and interesting events at which to reminisce and reconnect with fellow gators.
For other gator gift ideas, visit previous listings at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2010/spring/41.html and http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2009/spring/45.html  

-- Elaine Bible


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