The Secret Lives of Church Ladies has received the Story Prize—the first book from a university press (or small press of any kind) to win this recognition as the year’s outstanding collection of short fiction. It has been named one of five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the first fiction category, and also (continuing its remarkable run of awards attention) advances from longlist to finalist status for the PEN/Faulkner Award. The book earns mentions in New York Magazine, the Rumpus, Pittsburgh Magazine, and the bulletin of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, and author Deesha Philyaw appears on the podcasts from Storybound, Read More, and Black and Published. Watch for the announcement of the LA Times winners on April 16 and the PEN/Faulkner winner on May 10.
Jim Lewis’s “continuously engaging” Ghosts of New York is reviewed in Booklist, which praises the author as “a master at painting developed characters captured in various moments in time.” Lewis will launch the novel—which is excerpted in Air/Light Magazine—at a free online event with Shakespeare & Co. on April 2. Harper’s magazine will cohost.
Volume editor Travis Stimeling and contributor Paige Zalman discuss The Opioid Epidemic and US Culture at 100 Days in Appalachia. The title is reviewed in the Southern Review of Books, where it’s praised for “bringing awareness to damaging stereotypes and further victimization of those caught in the opioid epidemic.”
Also at 100 Days in Appalachia, Eric Kerl reviews So Much to Be Angry About, praising author Shaun Slifer’s “insightful eye,” and calling the volume “a testament to the ingenuity of our social movements.”
In other higher education news:
- Inside Higher Ed interviews Jenae Cohn, author of our Skim, Dive, Surface, about academic technology during the pandemic.
- Susan D. Blum, editor of Ungrading, appears on the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast.
- The Tea for Teaching podcast features Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope.
- Sarah Rose Cavanagh, author of The Spark of Learning, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about play in the pandemic classroom (citing series authors Susan Hrach and Susan D. Blum).
The Daily Yonder has the first excerpt from William Turner’s forthcoming The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns.
Radio station WDIY in Pennsylvania interviews Kimberly Blockett about the Black evangelist Zilpha Elaw, the subject of her forthcoming book with WVU.
The journal Agricultural History praises Stian Rice’s Famine in the Remaking as “an elegant and impassioned comparative account.”
Our authors remain active on the virtual circuit. See all of their upcoming events on WVU Press’s calendar, including a panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book on March 13 sponsored by the National Book Foundation. It features Deesha Philyaw alongside Rumaan Alam and Megha Majumdar.