Monthly Archives: May 2016

In Memoriam: Yang Jiang

Credit: Caixin

The renowned Chinese writer Yang Jiang passed away on Wednesday, May 25 in Beijing at age 104. In 1984, University of Washington Press published her account of life during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76),  Six Chapters from My Life ‘Downunder’ (Ganxiao liuji), translated by Howard Goldblatt, who is known for his translations of works by major Chinese novelists, including Nobel Prize-winner Mo Yan. Yang’s New York Times obituary notes that “Goldblatt called [Six Chapters] ‘deeply personal and broadly representative of the “mundane” lives of intellectuals during that time’ — in contrast . . . to the tales of violence and victimization often found in other Cultural Revolution-era memoirs.”

The book brought literary fame to Yang, who was 70 when it was published in Chinese. Judith Shapiro reviewed Goldblatt’s translation of the memoir in the New York Times Book Review:

In richness, moral urgency, and drama, there can be few events of history with greater literary potential than the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Yang Jiang’s “Six Chapters from My Life ‘Downunder,’ ” her slender account of being sent ‘down’ for two years to a re-education school in the countryside, is one of the few memoirs of the period and all the more precious for that. . . . The book was published in China, if only briefly, because Yang Jiang focused on mundane activities. But her avoidance of obviously sensitive subjects in no way diminishes the work’s impact as a commentary on the Cultural Revolution. Many of her major themes have an allegorical quality, and many of her gently stated ironies are powerful indictments of Cultural Revolution policies. . . . In a brilliant inversion of the political lessons of the day, she finds that through collective labor directed by arrogant supervisors, toadies and politically correct spies, “I grew closer to grasping the meaning of ‘class sympathies.’ ”. . . . Yang Jiang’s is a memoir marked by the dignity, absence of recrimination, deep love of country and fatalism typical of her generation.

University of Washington Press also published Goldblatt’s translation of Market Street by Xiao Hong. Goldblatt remarked to us on the pairing of Six Chapters and Market Street: “Of interest to me is that both were written by women born in the same year (1911, the year of the revolution that brought down the monarchy). One, Xiao Hong, died at 30; the other, Yang Jiang, lived to be 104! Both wrote powerful memoirs with neither bombast nor rancor.”

In Memoriam: Anne Gould Hauberg


Anne Gould Hauberg at the Seattle Art Museum (now the Asian Art Museum), 1987. Photograph by Mary Randlett.

The University of Washington Press shares in the Pacific Northwest’s remembrance of Anne Gould Hauberg, an arts patron and advocate for the learning disabled, who passed away on April 11, 2016, at the age of 98.

Anne was born in Seattle, the daughter of the prominent Seattle architect Carl Gould, who designed the original Seattle Art Museum, now the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and 28 buildings on the University of Washington campus, including Suzzallo Library.

Anne and her husband, John Hauberg, founded the Pilchuck Glass School with Dale Chihuly in 1971. She donated most of her vast glass art collection to the Tacoma Art Museum and gifted pieces to Harborview Medical Center, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and The Bush School. She also co-founded the Museum of Glass and helped found the Municipal Arts Commission, which preceded the Seattle Arts Commission. Over the years, Anne supported the Press’s publishing goals as well.


Anne Gould Hauberg, at home in Seattle, 1966. Photo by Mary Randlett.

The Press is proud to have published Anne’s 2005 biography, Fired by Beauty: Anne Gould Hauberg, by Barbara Johns, and a 1995 biography of her father, Carl F. Gould: A Life in Architecture and the Arts, by T. William Booth and William H. Wilson. Anne’s devotion to the Pacific Northwest’s art and artistry plays a crucial role in Seattle’s history and we honor her memory this week. Her life will be celebrated on Sunday, May 22 at 1 p.m. at The Ruins.

From the Desk of Katherine Tacke: An Ode to Independent Bookstores

In this guest post, University of Washington Press exhibits, advertising, and direct mail manager Katherine Tacke writes about moderating a panel with independent booksellers at the recent 2016 AAUP Financial Officers Meeting, held from April 13-15 in Seattle.

Before coming to the press to work in marketing, I sold books and coordinated events at a small indie bookstore. I sometimes miss the thrill of the new Tuesday releases, carrying teetering piles of used books, searching for a book for a customer that had “a blue cover with a person in water,” and holding events with people stretched out the door. Now that I’m on the other side of the book biz, I realize the extent to which our press relies on our local booksellers. They are devoted readers. They have curatorial prowess. They are ambassadors for university press books.


From left to right: Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company; Karen Maeda Allman, Elliott Bay Book Company; Pam Cady, University Book Store; Robert Gruen, Village Books

This year the annual AAUP Financial Officers Meeting was held in our lovely book city and I was happy to have the chance to lead a panel of local booksellers in a discussion of all of the things independent bookshops do on behalf of publishers.

We were lucky to have four brilliant and experienced booksellers on our panel who have been working with books in Seattle (and Bellingham!) for years. Each one brought a unique contribution, and we discussed everything from selling university press books on commission (which is a good way to work with short discounts and return windows), to how to use the resources of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, to tips for collaborating with bookstores to hold events at museums or cultural venues. Booksellers hold positions on our advisory board, and in many instances we seek the advice from the shops because they have their finger on the pulse of the book world and our specific community.

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The spellbound AAUP finance officers.


A University of Nebraska Press and University of Chicago Press book are displayed side by side.

Most heartening of all was the unanimous praise from the panel: “We LOVE university press books!”

A lot of this information is commonplace in marketing circles, but was new material for an audience of business managers who are often more focused on rolled-up sales figures and organizational budgets than they are on the details from the shops. But there were many relevant crossover points: short discounts make special orders difficult, return windows could be longer, and some price points are hard to sell. But more than that, the booksellers illustrated not only all the consideration and hard work that goes into choosing and selling press books, but all of the extra steps they take to offer excellent customer service, going above and beyond to provide their readers with the easiest way to purchase press books. Combined, the area bookstores have hundreds upon hundreds of events each year and regularly work with sales reps and publicists to highlight press books.

At the end of the session, it was clear presses and independent retailers share the same goals: to disseminate knowledge, to champion underrepresented voices, and to encourage creative and critical thinking through reading. And that’s why we LOVE independent bookstores!

Native American and Indigenous Studies Association 2016 conference preview

Later this week, we head to the 2016 annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The meeting runs from Wednesday, May 18, to Saturday, May 21, and we can’t wait to take part in this new round of scholarly conversations and to debut new offerings in Indigenous studies with scholars, activists, artists, and all attendees!

University of Washington Press director Nicole Mitchell and exhibits, advertising, and direct mail manager Katherine Tacke will represent the press in the exhibit hall, so come say hello at booth 201! Use the hashtag #NAISA2016 to follow along with the meeting on social media, and use promo code WST1614 for 30% off books and free shipping.

If you’ll be attending the meeting in Honolulu, we hope you will stop by to check out our new and forthcoming titles, including new books in the Indigenous Confluences series, as well as to learn more about the new collaborative Mellon-funded Indigenous studies digital publishing platform initiative spearheaded by UBC Press (flyer below).

New and forthcoming from our Indigenous Confluences series:

Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community
By Andrew J. Jolivette

Meet the author at NAISA on Wednesday, May 18!

“This excellent book helps to fill a huge gap in the Native studies literature about mixed-identity gay men and their struggles with multiple oppressions.”—Renya Ramirez, author of Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond

Indian Blood makes a significant contribution to the field as the first major work on Native Americans, HIV/AIDS, mixed-race identity, gender and sexuality, and the urban environment. The scholarship is superior.”—Irene Vernon, author of Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS Continue reading

What did the first HMS “Endeavour” voyage bring back?

In this guest post, Kathleen Pike Jones, University of Washington Press catalog and metadata manager, gives a preview of our spring 2016 book, Endeavouring Banks: Exploring Collections from the Endeavour Voyage, 1768–1771 by Neil Chambers and with contributions by Anna Agnarsdóttir, Sir David Attenborough, Jeremy Coote, Philip J. Hatfield, and John Gascoigne.

Last week we heard the exciting news that wreckage discovered off the coast of Rhode Island is believed to be that of the HMS Endeavour. (After its history making voyage, the Endeavour was sold in 1775 and renamed Lord Sandwich and was used as a troop transport ship during the Revolutionary War.)

The Endeavour voyage of August 1768 to July 1771 was the first captained by James Cook and was commissioned to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun as a means of calculating the distance of the Earth from the Sun. However, it was Joseph Banks that became the real hero of the voyage.

Joseph Banks. Benjamin West RA, 1771–72. Oil on canvas.

Joseph Banks. Benjamin West RA, 1771–72. Oil on canvas.

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Bracero Railroaders: The Forgotten World War II Story of Mexican Workers in the U.S. West

In Bracero Railroaders: The Forgotten World War II Story of Mexican Workers in the U.S. West, historian Erasmo Gamboa shows us just how important Mexican workers were to the U.S. war effort during World War II. While most people associate braceros with farm work, Gamboa reveals a parallel story of Mexican workers being lured to grueling railroad work by major railroad companies and both the U.S. and Mexican governments.

With the majority of the U.S. labor force off fighting the war, Mexican workers were needed to quickly build railroad lines so that key supplies could be transported across the country for shipping to the frontlines. Though the bracero railroad program was sold to these workers as a noble cause—and they were promised suitable housing and fair pay—it quickly became clear that they were being exploited by all sides. If it wasn’t the railroad companies cheating them out of pay or making them live in inhumane conditions, it was the Mexican banks denying them access to the accounts that held their earnings; and of course there were always corrupt government officials on both sides who turned a blind eye to the workers’ complaints.

This particular excerpt details the squalor many braceros railroaders were forced to live in: pest-ridden boxcars in the middle of nowhere often without running water or electricity. The work was grueling and thankless but nonetheless crucial. This Cinco de Mayo, as we sip margaritas and eat endless baskets of chips and salsa, let us also not forget how Mexican workers helped us during one of our nation’s darkest hours, and how their hard work not only aided that war effort but also left us with an infrastructure that enabled our nation to develop as rapidly as it did throughout the rest of the twentieth century.

—Ranjit Arab, Senior Acquisitions Editor

Box cars represented the most degraded type of housing. Originally constructed to haul freight or passengers, but now well beyond their useful life, these wooden cars were converted by the railroads into makeshift living quarters. During the summer, when temperatures reached 90 degrees or more in many areas of the West, the old steel freight cars became unbearably hot. In the winter, when temperatures plummeted, the cars were excruciatingly cold. Being mobile, however, the box cars were practical. Companies could easily move the laborers from work site to work site or situate the cars somewhere as semipermanent quarters. Inside, a single wooden partition often divided the interior to lodge separate groups of workers or two or more nonbracero families per unit. Continue reading

May 2016 News, Reviews, and Events


GiveBIG-book-heartOn this #GiveBIG Day, thanks for giving big today and every day! This year your support helped us publish some of the region’s most talented nonfiction writers, offer fellowships in scholarly publishing, and ensure a future for smart, accessible books. Thank you for being part of the University of Washington Press community!

We are also thrilled to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of British Columbia a three-year $509,000 grant to support a new collaborative digital publishing platform for multimedia books in Indigenous studies between UBC Press and the University of Washington Press. Read more at Library Journal‘s InfoDocket and the full announcement on our blog, or contact Beth Fuget at bfuget [at]

Congratulations to senior designer Tom Eykemans, winner of the 2016 Standing Ovation Award from UW’s Professional Staff Organization. Winners and nominees will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 4, from noon till 1:30 p.m. in the Lake Washington Room of the UW Club.

Jerry Franklin displays his Pinchot Medallion award. Photo via University of Washington / UW Today.

Congratulations to UW forest ecologist and The Olympic Rain Forest co-author Jerry Franklin, who was recently awarded the Pinchot Medallion by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation (via UW Today).

Last, our Fall 2016 catalog is hot off the presses—we hope you’ll be as excited about what we’re publishing over the next months as we are!

Reviews and Interviews

The Utne Reader publishes an excerpt from Ana Maria Spagna‘s Reclaimers.
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