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.
Minding Nature’s May 2016 issue includes an excerpt from chapter two of Michael Engelhard’s Ice Bear (November 2016), about Knut the polar bear (“The Life and Death of a Superstar”).

Alaska’s Skyboys author Katherine Johnson Ringsmuth speaks with Diane Tedeschi of Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine (online and in the June-July 2016 print issue).

Sarah Jilani reviews Emilie Raymond’s Stars for Freedom in the May 6th issue of the Times Literary Supplement: “Emilie Raymond approaches this subject through a comprehensive survey of six black activist Hollywood celebrities and their contributions to racial equality. Tracing the often uneasy relationship of Hollywood with black identity and culture from the 1940s to the present, Stars for Freedom also lays a thorough foundation between film and American racial politics today.”

The Bellingham Herald’s Whatcom Magazine lists Judy Bentley’s Walking Washington’s History in their round-up of recent books of interest.

Sharon Wootton includes Warnings against Myself by David Stevenson and Forest Under Story, edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick J. Swanson, in her Everett Herald round-up of outdoor books.

Bridget Hill includes Seattle Architecture by Maureen R. Elenga in a round-up of titles by Seattleites or about Seattle in the May 2016 issue of Alaska Beyond Magazine.

New Books

Unpleasantries: Considerations of Difficult Questions
By Frank Soos

Even from upside-down in his recently flipped truck, Frank Soos reveals himself to be ruminative, grappling with the limitations of language to express the human condition. Moving quickly—skiing in the dark or taking long summer bike rides on Alaska highways—Soos combines an active physical life with a dark and difficult interior existence, wrestling the full span of “thinking and doing” onto the page with surprising lightness. His meditations move from fly-fishing in dangerously swift Alaska rivers to memories of the liars and dirty-joke tellers of his small-town Virginia childhood, revealing insights in new encounters and old preoccupations. Soos writes about pain and despair, aging, his divorce, his father’s passing, regret, the loss of home, and the fear of death. But in the process of confronting these dark topics, he is full of wonder. As he writes at the end of an account of almost drowning, “Bruised but whole, I was alive, alive, alive.”

Endeavouring Banks: Exploring Collections from the Endeavour Voyage 1768-1771
By Neil Chambers

Published with Paul Holberton Publishing

When English naturalist Joseph Banks (1743-1820) accompanied Captain James Cook (1728-1779) on his historic mission into the Pacific, the Endeavour voyage of 1768-1771, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators. They returned with unprecedented collections of artifacts and specimens of stunning birds, fish, and other animals, as well as thousands of plants, most seen for the first time in Europe.

Along with contemporary portraits of key personalities aboard the ship, scale models and plans of the ship itself, scientific instruments taken on the voyage, commemorative medals and sketches, the objects (over 140) featured in this book tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead of the 250th anniversary in 2018 of the launch of this seminal mission.

The surviving illustrations are the most important body of images produced since Europeans entered this region (Tahiti, New Zealand, and the east coast of Australia), matching the truly historic value of the plant specimens and artifacts that will be seen alongside them.

SeawomenIceland-WillsonSeawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge
By Margaret Willson

Join us for these author events:

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park / June 16 at 7 p.m.

Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle / June 30 at 7 p.m.

This book is a glimpse into the lives of vibrant women who have braved the sea for centuries. Their accounts include the excitement, accidents, trials, and tribulations of fishing in Iceland from the historic times of small open rowboats to today’s high-tech fisheries. Based on extensive historical and field research, Seawomen of Iceland allows the seawomen’s voices to speak directly with strength, intelligence, and—above all—a knowledge of how to survive.

This engaging ethnographic narrative will intrigue both general and academic readers interested in maritime culture, the anthropology of work, Nordic life, and gender studies.

The Geology of Washington and Beyond: From Laurentia to Cascadia
Edited by Eric S. Cheney

Published with Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources

The 20 chapters of The Geology of Washington and Beyond-an outgrowth of a geologic symposium-present the substantial advances in recent research on the geologic history of Washington State. The 32 contributors used new conceptual developments such as sequence stratigraphy, identification and matching of terranes, and neotechtonics, as well as breakthroughs in technology such as lidar mapping, paleomagnetism, and new methods of radiometric dating, to examine the fascinating geology of Washington State and beyond. Also included is geologic mapping in areas previously known only by reconnaissance. This book will influence resource management decisions, as well as disaster and land-use planning in the region. The introductory chapters make the book accessible for undergraduate courses in geology and to the general public.

The New Way: Protestantism and the Hmong in Vietnam
By Tâm T. T. Ngô

In the mid-1980s, a radio program with a compelling spiritual message was accidentally received by listeners in Vietnam’s remote northern highlands. The Protestant evangelical communication had been created in the Hmong language specifically for war refugees in Laos. The Vietnamese Hmong related the content to their traditional expectation of salvation by a Hmong messiah-king who would lead them out of subjugation, and they appropriated the evangelical message for themselves. Today, the New Way (Kev Cai Tshiab) has some three hundred thousand followers in Vietnam.

Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese
By Jayde Lin Roberts

An intimate exploration of the Sino-Burmese, people of Chinese descent who identify with and choose to remain in Burma/Myanmar, and an illumination of twenty-first-century Burma during its emergence from decades of military-imposed isolation, this spatial ethnography examines how the Sino-Burmese have lived in between states, cognizant of the insecurity in their unclear political status but aware of the social and economic possibilities in this gray zone between two oppressive regimes. Mapping Chinese Rangoon examines the concepts of ethnicity, territory, and nation in an area where ethnicity is inextricably tied to state violence.

Roy Andersson’s “Songs from the Second Floor”: Contemplating the Art of Existence
By Ursula Lindqvist

Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson’s celebrated and enigmatic film Songs from the Second Floor, his first feature film in twenty-five years, won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. Lindqvist draws from interviews with Andersson and his team that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made and investigates its philosophical and artistic influences, providing a nuanced reading of a film that has both befuddled and entranced its viewers. This study of Andersson’s work considers his aesthetic agenda and the unique methods that have become hallmarks of his filmmaking, as well as his firm belief in film’s revolutionary function as social critique.


Tang: Treasures from the Silk Road Capital
Edited by Cao Yin
With Edmund Capon, Qi Donfang, Jessica Rawson, and Zhang Jianlin

This book presents wondrous and diverse artifacts from China’s ancient capital Chang’an and the surrounding area from temples and the tombs of the wealthy and the elite.

Exhibition on view through July 10, 2016


Walks Along the Ditch: Poems
By Bill Tremblay

These poems represent a turn in Bill Tremblay’s long, distinguished career. What’s new is the poems’ meditative interiority, the sense of a man alone with his faiths, failures, feelings, and thoughts as he walks daily along the irrigation ditch near his house.



David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, Renton History Museum, Renton, WA, June 14, 7 p.m.

Margaret Willson, Seawomen of Iceland, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, June 16, 7 p.m.

Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, Business and Professional Women at the University of Washington Club (Southeast Dining Room), Seattle, June 17 at 11:50 a.m. ($18/members; $$20/non-members)

James Longhurst, Bike Battles, Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis, MN, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Ana Maria Spagna, Reclaimers, Washington State Historical Society (presented by the Women’s History Consortium), Olympia, WA, June 27 at noon

Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska, Ketchikan Public Library, Ketchikan, AK, June 27, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Margaret Willson, Seawomen of Iceland, Nordic Heritage Museum, June 30, 7 p.m.


Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, Washington State Historical Society (Olympia walk/talk starting at State Capital Museum), Olympia, WA, July 9 at noon

James Longhurst, Bike Battles, American Family Insurance DreamBank (Gen Now Series), Madison, WI, July 12, 6 p.m.

Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Skagway, AK, July 12, 10 a.m.

Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, History Café (co-sponsored by Seattle Public Library, MOHAI, and HistoryLink), MOHAI, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Justin M. Jacobs, Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State, University Book Store, July 27, 7 p.m.