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

In Slate, Nadia Owusu reports on the publishing story behind Deesha Philyaw’s The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, quoting the author, WVU Press staff, and others. She finds: “This is the kind of acclaim that most books—much less a short-story collection, much less a debut, much less a debut collection published by a university press—never receive.” John Warner comes to a similar conclusion in the Chicago Tribune, saying: “There is no better publishing story this year.” Philyaw appears in Sojourners, Bitter Southerner, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and Left of Black from Duke University. She moderates a conversation among debut Black writers for Kirkus.

Ghosts of New York, previously reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, lands in the Memorial Day Weekend edition as one of “10 New Books We Recommend This Week.”

Renée Nicholson’s Fierce and Delicate is excerpted in Longreads, and receives a rave in Library Journal, which calls it “an elegant collection of essays from a dancer’s soul that will uplift all readers.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education provides teaching tips from Susan Hrach’s Minding Bodies, new in James Lang and Michelle D. Miller’s series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Hrach also appears on the Think UDL podcast, and her book is joined by others in West Virginia’s series by Jenae Cohn, Joshua Eyler, and Sarah Rose Cavanagh in Tophat‘s “Ultimate Summer 2021 Reading List for Professors.”

In other news from our higher education series:

  • Joshua Eyler is interviewed in Inside Higher Ed, where Joshua Kim calls How Humans Learn “the book I’ve been waiting for.”
  • College and Research Libraries praises Kevin Gannon’s Radical Hope as “a small, moving book” that is “downright enjoyable to read.”
  • Susan D. Blum’s Ungrading is called “a close, collegial, and engaging book” in the International Journal for Educational Integrity.

The West Virginia Observer reviews Shaun Slifer’s So Much to Be Angry About: “Handsomely designed and visually appealing, Slifer’s book is an invaluable work of recovery and historical memory.”

Rosemary Hathaway’s Mountaineers Are Always Free is praised by the Journal of Southern History as “an engagingly thoughtful analysis of West Virginia’s arguably most iconic figure.”

In Activist History Review, Z. Zane McNeill writes: “I implore activists, scholars, students, and lawyers to add Remaking Appalachia to their summer reading list.”

Larry Thacker’s Working It Off in Labor County is judged a “highly recommended read” in Cowboy Jamboree.

Weatherford Award winners Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll talk with Berea College about their book Appalachian Reckoning.

If you missed Nicholas Stump’s launch event for Remaking Appalachia, a recording is available here. And be sure to register for the West Virginia University Press showcase with White Whale Books on June 16, featuring Renée Nicholson, Geoffrey Hilsabeck, Deesha Philyaw, and Shaun Slifer.

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