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Harley Tat ('91)

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"Go ahead and try to argue with me on this one," writes Harley Tat ('91, Broadcast Media Studies), "but the cafeteria at Western has to be one of the most beautifully appointed eating establishments on the West Coast. Floor-to-ceiling glass serves as high-test goggles, illuminating the white-dusted mountaintops and cold-brewed bay. It is one of the greatest views ever, however in the quiet of the early morning, when you haven’t slept for days, and you don’t trust yourself, that beauty is replaced by a stillness that can drive you mad."

Tat's novel, "The New Boy" is a murder mystery set at a fictitious university in Bellingham that sounds a lot like Western.

An excerpt:

“Cramming?” The elderly cafeteria server said. “You must know how to exist pretty well in the pressure cooker.”

Andy brushed off the man and kept pushing his tray forward.

“I never did,” the man said. “It must be easy for you to stuff all that information into your mind’s short term parking.”

Andy made no effort to engage the man—so the man spoke up. “That’s it young Andy, ignore the old man. I know that it’s the memories you store in long term parking that’ll be the death of you,” he said.

“How do you know my name?” Andy demanded.

Read more about Harley Tat and "The New Boy" at