Monthly Archives: July 2016

Welcome to Seattle…

…the best literary, outdoorsy, artsy, techy, coffee-loving, dog-friendly, mountain-viewing, whale watching, ferry-riding, Sasquatch-sighting, beer-drinking, farmers market-strolling, rainy/misting/drizzling (but wow the summers and the green!), reading city in the world!

My favorite thing to do when I arrive in a new city is to find the closest local bookstore. Not only are they great spaces for relaxing or meeting people, but they often lead to the discovery of local authors and events and provide a sense of the histories, nuances, and people of the city.

Whether you’re new to Seattle, just passing through, or a local looking for new adventures, the University of Washington Press has an expansive array of books to help you discover our city. They cover everything from Seattle’s intertwined urban and Native histories, the evolution of Seattle’s gay communities, growing up Japanese American during World War II, local activism and civil rights, the plight and reclamation of our river, the history of music in Seattle, of animalstopography, food, art and architecture, and weather! We hope you’ll consider stopping by your indie bookstore and checking for our W logo in the stacks of books.


And once you’re ready, here are some fun places to read while exploring your new city!

Read: The Deepest Roots

Where: On the ferry heading over for a day trip to Bainbridge Island.

Read: Too High and Too Steep

Where: What used to be Denny Hill in South Lake Union.

Read: Classical Seattle

Where: At Benaroya or McCaw Hall during intermission.

Read: Once and Future River

Where: Before or after a kayak trip on the Duwamish.

Read: The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag

Where: Beneath the shadow of the industrial landmark at Gas Works Park.

Read: Shaping Seattle Architecture

Where: On a bench in historic Pioneer Square.

Read: Walking Washington’s History

Where: On the water taxi on route to an Alki walk.

Read: Birds of the Pacific Northwest

Where: Discovery Park, the largest city park in Seattle.

Read: Northwest Coast Indian Art

Where: wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House on the University of Washington campus.

A History of Dissent at National Conventions: Lessons from 1968’s Festival of Life

Based on the media coverage so far, the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions are looking to be among the most divisive and controversial in over fifty years. In this guest post, Craig J. Peariso—author of Radical Theatrics: Put-Ons, Politics, and the Sixties—revisits the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and how it might inform this month’s events.

At the turn of 1968, Abbie and Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Nancy Kurshan, Paul Krassner, and Ed Sanders began making plans to hold a music festival as something of a counterpoint to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that summer. It would be a “Festival of Life,” as they called it, in opposition to the Democratic “Party of Death.” The friends envisioned rock bands playing as America’s youth demonstrated not just their opposition to the war, but the version of liberation that the counterculture offered. To bring young people to Chicago, they would call their sponsoring organization the Youth International Party, a name that stressed their core constituency, of course, but also served as a bit of a pun. For those accustomed to traditional Party politics, the name would sound somewhat official, but for those who weren’t interested in politics-as-usual, the word “Party” could be read differently. Much as the mainstream political Parties tended to involve drudgery and compromise, the Festival of Life and the Youth International Party would be about celebration, a fact the group emphasized in the preferred way of pronouncing their acronym: Y.I.P. became “Yippie!”

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From the Desk of Rachael Levay: Fall 2016 Sneak Peek

While everyone is hitting the beach or the open road for a summer road trip, the book world is getting ready for fall, our biggest season. Sales reps are currently calling on accounts from coast to coast—independent bookstores, museums, and galleries—and we are working on events, ads, direct mail, and exhibits to ensure our titles reach the broadest audiences possible.

So in the spirit of summer, I’d like to share a few highlights from the Fall 2016 season, books that have already garnered some exciting feedback from buyers, reps, and readers.

Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture, edited by Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael-Hernandez, explores how visual media has shaped our ideas of diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self. Featuring a broad range of scholars and artists, this powerful volume features 21 color illustrations and its oversize trim has made it very popular with buyers at museums, particularly in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and has led many buyers to look more deeply at our backlist titles in African and African American art.

DeepestRoots_AlcalaThe Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, by Kathleen Alcalá, explores relevant questions about food and place by looking closely at how the cultural history of Bainbridge Island contributed to its culinary and agricultural makeup. More importantly, though, Alcalá uses this unique place to examine our current relationships to food and show how we can make savvy decisions about our present that will sustainably honor the future. It’s a smart and moving book that should be read by everyone interested in the ways in which food shapes our lives.

My personal favorite from this list is Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I, by Paula Becker. Yes, it’s funny and sweet and illuminates a part of the Pacific Northwest’s history that may be fresh to our region’s newcomers, but what’s made it such fun to work on is the sheer delight of my contacts when they remember their first experiences with The Egg and I or the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. A major library wholesaler buyer sent me pictures of her beloved childhood copies of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, an events coordinator for one of the country’s best independent bookstores talked at length about the emotional resonance of The Egg and I, a librarian in Illinois wrote to say she recommends MacDonald to patrons every week. We in university presses often get the chance to showcase important topics and spread scholarship that changes academia, but I don’t think I’ve worked on another book that has elicited such delight from early readers. It makes us feel like we’re part of the excitement!

Check out our full list of forthcoming titles in our Fall 2016 catalog.

Exhibitions on View: ‘Bhupen Khakhar’


Khakhar painting “Paan Beedi Shop” at Documenta IX, Kassel, 1992. Photograph by Benjamin Katz.

“I think your own weakness should also be reflected in painting. One can’t hide oneself behind a painting. It is standing naked in front of everyone—what you are.”—Bhupen Khakhar, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1983

The University of Washington Press recently copublished Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All, edited by Chris Dercon and Nada Raza, with Tate Modern in London. The book accompanies an exhibition on display until November 6, 2016. Bringing together Khakhar’s paintings and some of his ceramics, Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All is a rare opportunity to discover Khakhar’s work and his inspirational story. Continue reading

Walking Tacoma

Inspired by Judy Bentley’s Walking Washington’s History: Ten Cities, our staff is going on a series of history walks of featured Washington State cities. In this guest post, catalog and metadata manager Kathleen Pike Jones explores her hometown of Tacoma.

Learn more about Washington’s urban history and celebrate the publication of Walking Washington’s History at these author events:

Washington State Historical Society State Capital Museum and Olympia Historic Preservation (Olympia walk/talk starting at the Olympia Center, Room 100), Olympia, WA, July 9 at 1 p.m.

History Café (cosponsored by Seattle Public Library, MOHAI, and HistoryLink), MOHAI, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Guided hike with Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, Yakima Pass, WA, July 30 at 10 a.m. (For more information, see the PNWHG events page; please RSVP by July 15.)

After reading the Seattle Times article “$99 Road Trip to Zoo, Fort, Beaches, and Forest of Tacoma’s Point Defiance,” I decided to do a little Tacoma sightseeing as well. (Full disclosure: I grew up in Seattle, but moved to the suburbs of Tacoma a number of years ago.)

Point Defiance should definitely be compared to Shangri-La. It’s beautiful. Where else can you go from the zoo to the beach in less than five minutes? I suggest that you go to the Antique Sandwich Co. first and take your food down to Owen Beach. There are plenty of picnic tables at the beach, and the views of the water and Mount Rainier are spectacular. And it’s always a few degrees cooler by the water. . .

Since I go to Point Defiance on a regular basis, I decided to increase my knowledge of Tacoma by taking the Pioneer Walk: Old Town featured in Judy Bentley’s Walking Washington’s History: Ten Cities. (Bentley features a much longer walk through downtown Tacoma as well.)

Beginning at the Old Town dock, Bentley’s short walk (one mile round trip) is a great place to start learning more about the history of Tacoma, and Old Town is an easy stopping point on the way to or from Point Defiance.

Here are some highlights of the walk:


I’d driven by the Chinese Reconciliation Park many times and always promised myself I would stop, but never actually had. I’m so glad I finally did. The park serves as an “act of reconciliation and inclusivity toward appreciation of the people of diverse legacies and interests,” says the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation (CRPF). It’s a reminder of the Chinese workers who were forced out of Tacoma by municipal leaders in the late 19th century. The beautiful pavilion is a gift from Fuzhou, Tacoma’s sister city in China. Continue reading