Wendy Barker, Ph.D.
Professor; Poet in Residence

Nothing Between Us: The Berkeley Years

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"Wendy Barker’s riveting Nothing Between Us traces the bittersweet, erotically compelling love affair between a young white married high school teacher and one of her African-American colleagues. Set against a brilliantly detailed portrait of Berkeley in the late sixties and related in a series of poignantly lyrical prose poems, this narrative is unforgettably moving. I couldn’t put it down myself and I’m sure countless other readers—of all generations!—will have the same experience.”

—Sandra M. Gilbert


“Nothing Between Us is a captivating page-turner. With perfect pitch, Wendy Barker weaves the tale of an interracial love affair set in the anything-goes sixties, when bending the rules seemed not only possible but easy—“Easy as the time when I was a little girl and my mother’s friend said, ‘Go ahead, honey, it’s just custard—milk, eggs, cream, they’re all good for you.’” This is flash-fiction with a twist—the irony is quiet, the beauty and loss are real, and when you’re done, you’ll want to lick the bowl.”

—Alicia Ostriker


“Wendy Barker’s Nothing Between Us examines a time and place—Berkeley in the 60s—that resonates profoundly with the now. The politics of race and the complexities of infidelity infuse this book of secrets, taboo, community, and the women’s movement. Barker’s language is luminous; the revelations of her characters are both surprising and inevitable. Miniskirts and macramé, Betty Friedan and VW’s, hot tubs and The Whole Earth Catalogue infuse this exciting tribute to a decade of change.”

—Denise Duhamel

Available online here.

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