A look at recently published works by UCR faculty, staff, and alumni



Perris, California
“Perris, California”

By Rachel Stark ’13

Penguin Press

March 2024, 368 pages

Abandoned first by her father and then her mother, Tessa is left to live with her abusive stepfather and stepbrother. She survives by finding strength in herself, discovering the transformative love of another teenage girl, and later becoming a mother. Filled with tragedy, tenderness, and the courage of women living in a mostly unseen America, “Perris, California” is the story of Tessa’s journey from trauma to healing.

Stark received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.

Those Beyond the Wall
“Those Beyond the Wall”

By Micaiah Johnson ’13

Del Rey

March 2024, 384 pages

In the desert community of Ashtown, the Emperor rules with an iron fist. There’s only one person the Emperor can fully trust — and her name is Scales. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is killed before her eyes. Johnson’s sci-fi thriller follows a woman reckoning with her past to solve a series of sudden and inexplicable deaths in the face of a coming apocalypse.

Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.

Chicano-Chicana Americana
“Chicano-Chicana Americana”

By Anthony Macías

The University of Arizona Press

February 2023, 272 pages

Macías presents a cultural history of Mexican Americans in film, television, and theater, and the actors who redefine what it means to be American. Through biographical sketches of performers such as Anthony Quinn, Katy Jurado, Robert Beltran, and Lupe Ontiveros, the book asserts Mexican Americans’ proper place in the national narratives of our collective imaginary.

Macías is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question
“Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question”

By Jade S. Sasser

University of California Press

April 2024, 192 pages

The study of environmental emotions and related mental health impacts is a rapidly growing field, but most researchers overlook a closely related concern: reproductive anxiety. “Climate Anxiety and the Kid Question” is the first comprehensive study of how environmental emotions influence whether, when, and why people today decide to become parents — or not.

Sasser is a professor in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Black Diamonds from the Treasure State
“Black Diamonds from the Treasure State”

By Robert A. Schalla ’74

Indiana University Press

February 2024, 264 pages

In the late 19th century, railroads played a crucial role in the development of Montana’s economy. Schalla examines early efforts to bring rail transport to the New World Mining District near Yellowstone National Park and Red Lodge Coal Field in Montana, a saga which began with a chance discovery in 1866.

Schalla received a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Plants of Mount Tamalpais
“Plants of Mount Tamalpais”

By Robert Steers, Ph.D. ’08

Backcountry Press

December 2023, 208 pages

Mount Tamalpais arises at the epicenter of one of the most biodiverse regions in California. Shaped by climate and unique geology, the San Francisco Bay Area harbors an eclectic mix of rare and endemic plant species. With detailed descriptions and photography, Steers explores this remarkable plant diversity in an accessible field guide.

Steers received a doctorate in plant science.

Return to UCR Magazine: Spring 2024