Monthly Archives: June 2016

Summer Reads: Staff Picks

As staff members start heading out on adventures and taking advantage of the long, sunny days, we wanted to find out which books they are most excited to read (or re-read) this summer.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (Picador USA)

“As a kid I spent most summers away—either visiting family in India or studying dance in Virginia—and to me, the hot season was a time for calibrated isolation. Three months simultaneously far from my school friends but immersed in an alternate reality, unnervingly familiar but frustratingly different. John Darnielle, known for his dynamic songwriting as the Mountain Goats, wrote a novel about a kid who knows situational dissonance well, only for very different reasons. Maybe a little summer escapism can be a good thing?”—Intellectual property manager Puja Boyd

Just Be Yourself by Mary Bard (J.B. Lippincott, 1956)

“Like the Brontës before them, authing was a family pastime for Bard sisters Betty and Mary. So after a springtime steeped in the life and works of Pacific Northwest writer Betty MacDonald, I asked her biographer (Looking For Betty MacDonald author Paula Becker) for a book recommendation by the elder sister. With Just Be Yourself in hand, I am ready to experience the literary stylings of Mary Bard (no doubt comparing the sisters to each other) as she recounts the time she agreed to be her daughters’ Brownie leader when all their local troops were full. Never one to be held back by having no training, Mary is sure to take on this role with confident aplomb. I can’t wait to be inspired and entertained.”—Senior project editor Nancy Cortelyou

Scent of Apples: A Collection of Stories by Bienvenido N. Santos (University of Washington Press)

“Although I have now been with UW Press for just over two years, in that time I have only worked my way through a tiny fraction of the backlist. Considering there are literally a hundred years’ worth of books down in the basement stacks, this lack of progress is totally reasonable and entirely forgivable. Less forgivable is that Bienvenido Santos’s Scent of Apples is on the list of Press books I have yet to read. The spare, workmanly cover gives a nice little nod to the style of the stories themselves. Not knowing that much else about Santos, but having read my share of economical and elliptical short stories, I am expecting sort of a Visayan-inflected John Fante.”—Chief financial officer Tom Helleberg

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (Book #1 of The Dandelion Dynasty; Saga Press)

Liu’s book recently won the 2016 Locus Award for First Novel. I was introduced to his work by the award-winning story “The Paper Menagerie,” which then led me to his translation of The Three Body Problem. Ken’s writing is, quite simply, beautiful and it is used to highlight a new voice and insight into a field and genre that has often felt stale. I’m really excited to see what an extended world looks like through his lens and to meet his characters.”—Assistant editor Whitney Johnson

Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt (Drawn & Quarterly)

“I have been utterly entertained by artist and ‘Bojack Horseman’ producer Lisa Hanawalt since I started listening to the Baby Geniuses podcast she co-hosts with comedian Emily Heller.  Some of the pieces in the book have their origins in illustrated columns Hanawalt put together for Lucky Peach, which you should also read. In expanded form, this project promises to combine all of the things I crave during the summer: art, culture, and food-related exploits tied together with irreverent humor.”—Publicity and communications manager Casey LaVela

Find Me by Laura van den Berg (FSG Originals)

“While I was working toward my MFA in creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, my first foray into publishing was working as co-editor of The Greensboro Review. I called dibs on a story right off the bat as my pick for our next issue: “The Language of Their Youth,” about a dying Russian submarine admiral who remembers a young woman he once loved and lost. It was by a fellow MFA writer at Emerson College named Laura van den Berg and I loved everything about her voice, her writing, and her style.

While I haven’t written anything in years, I’ve been thrilled to see van den Berg’s writing progress. Her first collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (2009), is an incredible, beautiful,  masterful next step (and what a title, am I right?) and The Isle of Youth (2013), her next collection, was all that too but her work also evolved into something darker, more complex.

So this summer, I’m itching to read her first novel, Find Me, which takes a dystopian future and makes it both ordinary and extraordinary (something that happens with all her stories, too). I can’t wait to read it slowly, carefully, and thoroughly. And you all should too, trust me – both the today me and the me from 2006 because we knew then and still know now Laura van den Berg’s going to be a lasting voice in American fiction.”—Marketing and sales director Rachael Levay

The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter by Kia Corthron (Seven Stories Press)

“This debut novel from one of my favorite social justice indie publishers has been peripherally compared to Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (which I madly and sadly consumed). The author is a renowned playwright and wrote for the HBO series ‘The Wire,’ and her language is beautiful, masterful, and alive with the dialects of the South during WWII. It’s also a whopping 789 pages long, and there’s nothing like starting a book knowing I can savor it for weeks to come.”—Direct marketing, exhibits, and advertising manager Katherine Tacke

Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick J. Swanson (University of Washington Press)

“If you can’t visit the serene temperate rain forest of the Pacific Northwest yourself this summer, Forest Under Story will take you there. ‘Bees hum, seeking manzanita. Contrails drift. Black spiders shuttle in the scree,’ writes John R. Campbell in one of the book’s many gems. ‘Sometimes place just scratches out words.’ Indeed, that is exactly what Oregon’s H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest has done: it inspired this book’s contributors, and their reflections, musings, and observations are as absorbing as they are atmospheric. It is of course a joy to be thoroughly transported just by opening a book. No matter where I open this one, I know I will be.”—Editing, design, and production manager Jacqueline Volin

Q&A with ‘Indian Blood’ author Andrew J. Jolivette

In his new book Indian Blood: HIV & Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community, Andrew J. Jolivette examines the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, and provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQ “two-spirit” identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact—and religious conversion—attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco’s two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.

We spoke with Jolivette about his book, published this spring.

What inspired you to get into your field?

Andrew J. Jolivette: American Indian studies is in my blood. I felt I had a commitment and a responsibility to give back to my community and I also felt that it was important that more Native perspectives be centered and not just represented or driven by outsiders.

What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about Native American studies and what you do?

AJJ: I think the biggest misunderstanding about the field of Native American studies is that it limits students from working in any field or area that they want and I would also have to say the general sentiment that Native peoples don’t exist in great numbers. What about the millions of people we call Latino or African American or European American—many of them are also Native and this book is also about recognizing how Indigenous peoples of mixed descent are missed in areas like public health because of invisibility and colonial trauma.

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Excerpt: Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater

For a close-up look at transgender expression in another time and place, this Pride Month we wanted to share a selection from Maki Isaka’s book Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater. Onnagata, usually male actors who perform the roles of women, have been an important aspect of kabuki since its beginnings in 17th-century Japan. Isaka examines how the onnagata‘s theatrical gender “impersonation” has shaped the concept and mechanisms of femininity and gender construction in Japan. The implications of this study go well beyond the realm of theater and East Asia, informing theory about gender more broadly.

—Lorri Hagman, Executive Editor

Quatercentenary kabuki theater in Japan is a “queer” theater. That is not so much to say that kabuki is an all-male theater, in which male actors play women’s roles, as to note how radically this art form has altered the connotations of the word “kabuki.” Just as with the word “queer,” the implication of which has changed fundamentally over the years, the meanings of the word “kabuki”—nominalized from a verb, kabuku (to lean; to act and/or dress in a peculiar and queer manner)—have transformed dramatically. Not only did it shift from a generic word (that which is eccentric, deviant, queer, and the like) to a proper noun (this theater), but its connotations also altered tremendously from something negative to something positive. That is, kabuki theater was born as a kabuki thing—merely another stray entertainment among many, which was considered akin to prostitution—and ended up proudly styling itself the kabuki theater. With a checkered past marked by bans, shutdowns, exile, and even capital punishment for the parties concerned, kabuki—once a theater of rebellion for the common people—is now one of four classical genres of Japanese theater that the nation proudly presents to the world, along with noh (a medieval Buddhist theater a few centuries older than kabuki), kyōgen (a theater of mime and speech that accompanies noh), and bunraku (a puppet theater), all of which are all-male theater.

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Announcing the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows

SEATTLE, WA—The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today announce the recipients of the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships. The program is the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry.

The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship was established in 2016 by the four university presses and the AAUP as a pipeline program to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. The program will create cohorts of four fellows per year for three years.

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding candidates who have significant personal experience and engagement with diverse communities and a demonstrated ability to bring the understandings gleaned from such engagement to the daily work of academic publishing.

The yearlong appointments offer each fellow opportunities for one-on-one mentoring as well as monthly cross-press video conferences led by staff at the partner presses covering a range of topics to supplement the hands-on training. Fellows are given the opportunity to connect with one another and engage with industry colleagues at two AAUP annual meetings.

The fellowship program aims to develop best practices for fostering diversity at all levels of the profession. Further, this collaboration will focus attention on the centrality of diversity to the future of global academic discourse and, it is hoped, will inspire related efforts to prioritize diversity more broadly in the publishing industry.

Although university presses have long fostered and supported diversity-related fields such as Native and Indigenous studies; African American studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and Asian American studies, the fellowship program represents a significant investment in creating career development opportunities and a supportive environment for diversity in publishing.

The 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows:

Maryam Arain comes to Duke University Press from Chicago, where she has been working as a freelance editor and volunteering at the Crescent Learning Center, a day care that serves refugee populations from Somalia and Burma. She previously worked as a junior commissioning editor at Oxford University Press in Karachi, Pakistan, and as a communications coordinator at the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago. Maryam received her BA from Dartmouth and her MA in postcolonial studies from SOAS, University of London.

Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins comes to the University of Washington Press from the department of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently a PhD candidate working under the direction of Paul Spickard. Her research interests focus on Hawaiian history as well as on identity and mixed-race youth. Niccole’s work with underrepresented communities includes participation in a local hula hālau (school) and various student life programs. Niccole received her BA from Carleton College and her MA in religion and society from the Graduate Theological Union.

Jesús J. Hernández joins the MIT Press. He held two visiting assistant professorships at Williams College and Mount Holyoke College, where his scholarly interests were in the areas of American/ethnic studies, Latina/o studies, literary studies, diaspora studies, and queer theory. He received his BA in ethnic studies from Brown University and his PhD in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Christian Pizarro Winting comes to the University of Georgia Press from Chicago, where he has been freelance copyediting and working as a research associate for a corporate recruiting company. Christian has also worked as a graduate intern on the Hemingway Letters Project at Pennsylvania State University and tutored underperforming high school students in the Chicago public school system. Christian has a BA in liberal arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and an MA in humanities (American literature emphasis) from the University of Chicago.

The fellowship program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a four-year, $682,000 grant.

Media Contact: Casey LaVela / Publicity and Communications Manager / University of Washington Press / 206.221.4994

June 2016 News, Reviews, and Events


Niccole Coggins staff news photo

We are pleased to announce that Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins has joined us as the 2016-2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow, effective June 1. Niccole comes to us from the department of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Please welcome Niccole to the Press!

Congratulations to artist, author, and University of Washington alumna Barbara Earl Thomas, recently awarded the 2016 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award from Artist Trust, and a nominee for a 2016 Stranger Genius Award in visual arts. Thomas is the author of Storm Watch (1998) and co-author of Never Late for Heaven (2003) and Joe Feddersen (2008).

College Art Association has awarded a grant through the Millard Meiss Publication Fund for Painting by Candlelight: The Art of Resistance in Mao’s China by Shelley Drake Hawks (Fall 2017). Congratulations to the author and all involved!

Congratulations to Antje Richter, awarded an Honorable Mention for Letters and Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China (2013) by the Eugene M. Kayden Book Award at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

We also congratulate Barbara Goldstein, editor of Public Art by the Book, winner of the 2016 Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Award.

spring-sale-2016Our Spring Sale 2016 is on now! Visit our site through June 30, 2016 to save 50% off hundreds of titles. Use code WSPR to order online or call 1-800-537-5487.

The University of Washington Press shares in the remembrance of three remarkable people. Anne Gould Hauberg, a major figure in Seattle’s cultural life, advocate for the learning disabled, and subject of the biography Fired by Beauty: Anne Gould Hauberg by Barbara Johns, passed away on April 11 at age 98. Arthur (Art) R. Kruckeberg, influential botanist and author of Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, among other books, died on May 25 at age 96. Renowned Chinese writer Yang Jiang—author of Six Chapters from My Life ‘Downunder’ (Ganxiao liuji), translated by Howard Goldblatt—passed away on May 25 at age 104.

Reviews and Interviews

An excerpt of Once and Future River with photographs by Tom Reese and essay by Eric Wagner appears online at the Seattle Times and in print in Pacific NW Magazine.
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Meet the 2016-2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow: Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins

Niccole Coggins staff news photoOn June 1, 2016, University of Washington Press welcomed our first Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow, Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins, who joins us from the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Niccole’s research interests focus on Hawaiian history as well as identity and mixed race youth. Niccole is currently a PhD candidate working, under the direction of Dr. Paul Spickard. on her dissertation titled “‘I Wish They Would Leave Those Negro Soldiers Alone’:  Native Hawaiian and Japanese American Perceptions and Interactions with Blacks in World War II Hawai’i,” which focuses on how the military changed the identity of Hawaiian society during the territorial period.

Niccole’s work with underrepresented communities includes participation in a local hula hālau, and student life programs at Carleton College, Macalester College, and UCSB. She characterizes her scholarly research as profoundly personal, given her mixed race identity as both Black and Native Hawaiian.

With a BA in American studies, an MA in religion and society, and as a PhD candidate in history, with special emphasis on Pacific Islander studies and Native American studies, Niccole’s academic interests intersect with a number of areas of our lists here at the University of Washington Press.

Please welcome Niccole to the Press!

Read more about the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program from UW Press editor in chief and principal investigator Larin McLaughlin // Read the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program press release

Exhibitions on View: ‘View From Up Here’

This spring, the University of Washington Press is proud to co-publish the corresponding catalog in conjunction with a key international art exhibition at the Anchorage Museum, “View From Up Here.”

We hope you will be able to see this powerful exhibition in person in Anchorage and as its installations travel to additional venues, and that the armchair art lovers among you will find much to appreciate in the accompanying book:

Up Here: The North at the Center of the World
Edited by Julie Decker and Kirsten J. Anderson

The North is a complex place that is beautiful, moody, and anything but untouched. The Arctic, part of the international North that is pivotal to the world because of climate change, is no longer a frontier of the past. The same interest in the North that preoccupied artists and explorers of the Romantic era has returned greater than ever, but rather than merely depicting its grandeur, today’s artists, scientists, and explorers question the future of the landscape.

Up Here connects art, science, and environment at a time when unprecedented climate change requires unprecedented innovation. The contributors explore the ideas of “wilderness” and “remoteness,” the lessons to be learned from cold places and indigenous knowledge, and how the Arctic is a signal for global change.

The Anchorage Museum is also celebrating with a number of related programs and special events–check out more on their site, and use and follow the hashtags #anchoragemuseum and #thisispolarlab on social media.

Participating artists include: Nicholas Galanin (Alaska), Anna Hoover (Alaska/Washington), Jeroen Toirkens (Holland), Derek Coté (Michigan), Marek Ranis (North Carolina), Christoph Kapeller (California), Paul Walde (Canada), John Grade (Washington), Magali Daniaux and Cedric Pigot (France), Mary Mattingly (New York), Annesofie Norn (Denmark), Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson (Iceland/England).

Exhibition Tour

Anchorage Museum, AK / May 6, 2016 – October 2, 2016

After the exhibition closes at the Anchorage Museum this fall, installations from “View From Up Here” will travel to Canada and additional venues, with public programs occurring in New York, Iceland, and Norway.

Anchorage Museum Director Julie Decker talks about the museum’s Polar Lab that works with artists, scientists, and you to share a more complex view of the North:

Here Decker speaks about the museum’s role in critically examining the past, present, and future of the North:

Click through for a sampling of stunning photos of and from the exhibition:

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In Memoriam: Arthur (Art) R. Kruckeberg

Credit: Mary Randlett

Arthur (Art) R. Kruckeberg, University of Washington emeritus professor of botany, died on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at age 96.

University of Washington Press is proud to have published several books with him over the years, including Geology and Plant Life (2002), The Natural History of Puget Sound Country (1991), as well as the classic Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Times called the book, “[T]he bible on how to grow in our own gardens plants native to our mountains, meadows, seasides, and forests.” Sunset magazine said, “This book contains so much well-organized, well-written material that it should become a standard guidebook for anyone who gardens with Northwest natives.”

In an obituary published on the Kruckeberg Gardens site, Richard Olmstead, professor of botany and curator of the UW Herbarium at the Burke Museum, writes, “Art left a legacy as a scholar, teacher, promoter of gardening with native plants, and conservation activist. . . . [Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest] has turned on generations of gardeners to the joy and conservation value of using our native flora in home gardens. . . . A legion of friends, colleagues, and many who never met him, but were influenced by his work, will mourn his passing.”

University of Washington Press will publish the third edition of Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest with Linda K. Chalker-Scott in Fall 2017.

Congratulations, Barbara Earl Thomas!

Congratulations to artist, author, and University of Washington alumna Barbara Earl Thomas, nominated for a 2016 Stranger Genius Award in the visual art category. She and the 14 other nominees will be celebrated at the Stranger Genius Awards party on September 24 at the Moore Theatre.

Thomas was also recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award from Artist Trust.

Credit: Kelly O / The Stranger

The Press is proud to have published Thomas’s Storm Watch: The Art of Barbara Earl Thomas, with foreword by Jacob Lawrence and introduction by Vicki Halper. Thomas also co-authored Never Late for Heaven (2003) and Joe Feddersen (2008).

Thomas’s solo exhibition Heaven Is Burning opens June 24 at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. The 30-year survey of her paintings, prints, paper cuts, and other newer works will be on view at the Museum’s Rachel Feferman Gallery through October 2, 2016.