Princeton figures in the debut novel by MICHAEL KARDOS ’92: Will Walker, the narrator of The Three-Day Affair (Mysterious Press), and his Prince­ton alumni friends get together for a weekend, but when one of them inexplicably kidnaps a young woman, the friends are left trying to right a situation gone bad. Kardos is co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.

YUVAL TAYLOR ’85 and Jake Austen examine the history and legacy of African-American entertainers performing minstrelsy in Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop (W.W. Norton). The authors argue that black performers have had an ambiguous relationship to the controversial tradition — some have attacked it while others have embraced it. Taylor is a senior editor at the Chicago Review Press.

In his latest collection of poetry, ROTC Kills (Harper Perennial), JOHN KOETHE ’67 mixes autobiographical anecdotes — including memories of his childhood and his mother — and philosophical reflections on the passage of time. Koethe is a professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

R.J. Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and his wife, Katharine, helped drive urbanization and shape social reform in Winston-Salem, N.C. MICHELE GILLESPIE *90 explores this influential couple and the social, cultural, and political changes in the New South during their lives in the ­biography Katharine and R.J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South (University of Georgia Press). Gillespie is a history professor at Wake Forest University.