January 2015 News, Reviews, and Events


The University of Washington Press community was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Naomi Brenner Pascal, our longtime editor-in-chief, on December 5. Naomi’s achievements as an editor were legendary in the scholarly publishing community. A celebration of her life and work is planned for February 20. Read more about Naomi’s life and career here.


Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo, reviewed by the International Examiner:

“This graphic memoir has a unique place in the literature for its presentation of the experience through the eyes and hands of a great artist. Get a copy and study the drawings. It will come as a revelation for the many who have never seen it.” –Chizu Omori, International Examiner, December 2014


StirringSeattle-CampbellStirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape by R. M. Campbell, reviewed in The Seattle Times:

“Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer arts writer R.M. Campbell brings the organization’s accomplishments to light in “Stirring Up Seattle.” The book is lucid and informative. It’s also oddly yet felicitously structured in the way it gets a handle on what a hydra-headed beast Allied Arts was.” —Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times



The Wilderness Writings of Howard Zahniser, edited by Mark Harvey, reviewed by Choice:

“Howard Zahniser (1906–1964) lived and worked in a world of words, and Harvey (North Dakota State Univ.) has done an exemplary job of arranging Zahniser’s own words to reveal his heart and soul, from his spiritual foundations as a child to his eight-year battle to secure passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.” –Choice, January 2015

Building a Sacred Mountain: The Buddhist Architecture of China’s Mount Wutai by Wei-Cheng Lin, reviewed by Choice:

“Reflects a remarkably ambitious and rigorous scholarly undertaking. It illustrates the reciprocal relationship between a unique geographic phenomenon and a sensitive and enlightened human response. The wide-ranging and exhaustive research that supports this book will give it enduring value to a wide range of scholars.”  –Choice, January 2015

New Books

Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage
Edited by James K. Barnett and David L. Nicandri
Preface by Robin Inglis

Captain James Cook is justly famous for his explorations of the southern Pacific Ocean, but his contributions to the exploration of the northern Pacific and the Arctic are arguably equally significant. On his third and final great voyage, Cook surveyed the northwest American coast in the hopes of finding the legendary Northwest Passage. While dreams of such a passage proved illusory, Cook’s journey produced some of the finest charts, collections, and anthropological observations of his career, helped establish British relations with Russia, and opened the door to the hugely influential maritime fur trade. Accompanying an exhibition of the same name, Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage sheds new light on Cook’s northern exploration. A collection of essays from an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, the book uses artifacts, charts, and records of the encounters between Native peoples and explorers to tell the story of this remarkable voyage and its historical context.

SanyanStories-FengSanyan Stories: Favorites from a Ming Dynasty Collection
Compiled Menglong Feng
Translated by Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang

Presented here are nine tales from the celebrated Ming dynasty Sanyan collection of vernacular stories compiled and edited by Feng Menglong (1574-1646), the most knowledgeable connoisseur of popular literature of his time in China. The stories he collected were pivotal to the development of Chinese vernacular fiction, and their importance in the Chinese literary canon and world literature has been compared to that of Boccaccio’s Decameron and the stories of One Thousand and One Nights. Peopled with scholars, emperors, ministers, generals, and a gallery of ordinary men and women in their everyday surroundings-merchants and artisans, prostitutes and courtesans, matchmakers and fortune-tellers, monks and nuns, servants and maids, thieves and imposters-the stories provide a vivid panorama of the bustling world of imperial China before the end of the Ming dynasty.

Market Street: A Chinese Woman in Harbin
By Hong Xiao
Translated by Howard Goldblatt

“Market Street, first published in China in 1936, was written by the young woman writer Xiao Hong, who is best known for her two short novels, Field of Life and Death and Tales of Hulan River. In Market Street, the twenty-year-old author recounts in fictional autobiographical form two years of her short life when she lived in Harbin between 1932 and 1934. . . . Goldblatt has furnished a translation up to his usual high standard.”—Pacific Affairs

“Intensely personal, lyrical, evocative, these poignant sketches detail with urgent beauty two years in the life of a young writer who confronts, first, the misery of hunger and cold, and later, the fear of seizure by the occupation police. The book is powerful in its confinement, vivid in its simplicity. . . . Howard Goldblatt has preserved in graceful, supple, often poetic English the acuity of insight and the nuances of tone.” —Los Angeles Times


Aaron Glass and Barb Cranmer, film screening of the fully restored Edward Curtis film, In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), Seattle Public Library, January 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Aaron Glass and Barb Cranmer with Feliks Banel, Return to the Land of the Head Hunters book talk, Town Hall Seattle, January 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Dean Adams, Four Thousand Hooks, Ballard Historical Society and Sunset Hill Community Association, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.