Gary Krist ’79 tells the story of a dramatic moment in New Orleans’ history, when reformers launched a crusade to confine the city’s vices to a government-sanctioned red-light district. Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans captures the bitter 1890s battle for the city’s future.

Leaving Time, the latest novel from Jodi Picoult ’87, takes readers to Botswana, where a young scientist named Alice Metcalf is doing research on the way elephants express grief. After Alice’s mysterious disappearance, her daughter pores over the pages of her journal and enlists a psychic in a desperate — and revealing — search for the truth.

In The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait, W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 offers a sweeping narrative of the Brandywine River, which winds from southeastern Pennsylvania into Delaware, and the men and women who shaped the region’s culture and history. They include the DuPonts, who made their fortune there, and Andrew Wyeth, whose paintings captured the people and natural landscape of the region.

A cadre of 19th-century amateur astronomers and inventors played a significant role in the birth of modern astronomy. In Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe, Alan Hirshfeld ’73 describes these ambitious dreamers and the persistence and imagination required for scientific progress.