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Book group to discuss 'Code Talker Stories'

January 15, 2013

The ASU Book Group will discuss “Code Talker Stories” by ASU professor of English Laura Tohe from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Emeritus College, lower level of Old Main.

The group is open to all ASU faculty, staff and students. Tohe will be present to talk about the book.

Tohe, whose father was a Navajo Code Talker, interviewed 20 Code Talkers, both in English and Navajo, and also some of their descendants. The Code Talkers provided battlefield details and revealed how their war experiences affected them and the generations that followed.

The February meeting, on Feb. 27, will feature "Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran" by Shahla Talebi, assistant professor of religious studies. In this haunting account, Talebi remembers her years as a political prisoner in Iran. Talebi, along with her husband, was imprisoned for nearly a decade and tortured, first under the Shah and later by the Islamic Republic.

Writing about her own suffering and survival and sharing the stories of her fellow inmates, she details the painful reality of prison life and offers an intimate look at a critical period of social and political transformation in Iran.  

Also in February, the Book Group will have an additional meeting, at noon, Feb. 21, at the Emeritus College, to discuss a new historical fiction book by Maryka Biaggio, a professor of psychology for 30 years at a university in Oregon.

Biaggio’s book, titled “Parlor Games,” is about May Dugas, branded by the Pinkertons as a crafty blackmailer, but whose Dutch Baron husband thought she was the most glamorous woman to grace Europe’s shores.

“Parlor Games” is based on the true story of the woman who made headlines not only in her Michigan hometown, but also in New York and London. For more information about the book, go to

The ASU Book Group, sponsored by the Department of English and the Piper Center for Creative Writing, meets the last Wednesday of every month. For more information, contact Judith Smith,

The Department of English and the Piper Center for Creative Writing are academic and research units in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.