Early winter roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

The holiday season brings two blurbs not for WVU Press books, but for the press itself. In the Journal for the Anthropology of North America, West Virginia is referred to as an “intellectually ambitious press that prides itself on placing regional issues in dialogue with global concerns.” And writing in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman says the press “has in recent years put itself squarely on the map as one of the finest university publishers anywhere in America.” Thanks to all of our partners and friends for their support as we wrap up a big year and look ahead to another!

The publication of three new titles in our series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education means a new wave of attention. John Warner’s gift guide for educators in Inside Higher Ed starts by recommending “All of the West Virginia University Press Teaching and Learning Series Books,” saying “the series, overseen by James Lang . . . is (as the kids used to say, but probably don’t anymore) killing it.” In other series news:

In other holiday roundup news, Krista Eastman’s The Painted Forest makes the best-of-2019 list in The Progressive, where it’s praised as “such sweet, radical relief” from political generalizations about the nation’s interior. The book also appears in Milwaukee’s free weekly, and the author is interviewed on “The Morning Show” from Wisconsin Public Radio.

St. Christopher on Pluto is positively reviewed in both Kirkus (“warm, generous stories”) and Foreword, which praises its “endearing stories” of characters who “come to represent every boundary-defying small-towner who simultaneously loves their community and is compelled to test its rules.” Nancy McKinley will launch her book on January 9 at Wilkes University.

Kirkus also has the first published review of Wesley Browne’s Hillbilly Hustle, “a top-notch debut with a winning narrative voice and unexpectedly multidimensional characters.”

Rosemary Hathaway’s fall event at WVU for her forthcoming Mountaineers Are Always Free receives attention (and a follow-up interview) on WBOY television. Hathaway will officially roll out her book on February 24 at a Morgantown launch cosponsored by WVU Press and the Appalachian Justice Initiative at the WVU College of Law.

Angie Rosser, a contributor to our forthcoming I’m Afraid of That Water, on the Elk River chemical spill, appears on C-SPAN’s Book TV tour of Charleston, WV. The tour also talks with Candace Nelson, author of The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll.

Gastronomica, the University of California’s journal of interdisciplinary food studies, positively reviews two of our titles: Capitalist Pigs (“a history of the United States told from the perspective of a pig, suitable for the specialist as well as the general reader”) and Modern Moonshine (“Get yourself a bottle of local moonshine, take off your shoes, sit a spell, and read the book. You’ll enjoy it.”). Capitalist Pigs is also reviewed in Agriculture and Human Values, which calls it “a meticulously researched treasure.”

Keith Maillard’s Fatherless is reviewed in the Vancouver Sun, which says the author “displays considerable psychological insight and brings to life a whole cast of working class characters in mid-20th century America.” The book is also reviewed in the Toronto Star and Quill and Quire.

The Kenyon Review features an essay about our edition of The Book of the Dead: “No longer limited to grainy photocopies, it has already transformed the way I teach the poem.”

The rollout for Sadie Hoagland’s American Grief in Four Stages continues with attention in Writer’s Digest and Necessary Fiction. The author talks with KRVS public radio in Lafayette, LA, and will read from her work this winter in Pittsburgh and Houston.

LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia receives praise in Appalachian Journal: “I could read and re-read aloud the many lines of this book that I have underlined . . . and include my own penciled-in love notes back to the authors.” The title also appears alongside Appalachian Reckoning in the holiday gift guide from Pittsburgh Current.

Cassandra Kircher’s Far Flung is an award-winning finalist in the nonfiction narrative category of the 2019 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.

In The Sweet Science, Thomas Hauser praises the “well-drawn portraits and moving vignettes” in Todd Snyder’s 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym.

The Journal of Southern History says After Coal “should invite greater discussion regarding locally led regeneration” and will be “useful as a source for environmental or public historians and scholars of Appalachia.”

Michael Adamson’s Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast is called “meticulously researched [and] richly detailed” in Business History Review and “fantastic” in the American Association of Geographers Review of Books.

That’s it for 2019! Don’s miss the final days of our annual sale: use code Holiday19 at checkout to save 30% on all West Virginia University Press books through December 31.

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