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

Anne T. Lawrence’s oral history of the Mine Wars, On Dark and Bloody Ground, is excerpted in Harper’s. Lawrence will join fellow WVU Press authors Chuck Keeney, Ginny Savage Ayers, and Catherine Venable Moore at the roundtable “New Books about the Mine Wars” on September 4. The event, which is previewed in the Charleston Gazette Mail, is hosted by Taylor Books as part of the Blair Mountain Centennial celebration. In other Mine Wars news, Chuck Keeney and his book The Road to Blair Mountain are the subjects of a profile from Pittsburgh’s WESA radio.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies has been named a nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in the debut fiction category, with the winner to be announced at a ceremony on October 15. It is praised in Elle Magazine, where Jasmine Guillory writes: “I loved every single one of these short stories.” Deesha Philyaw and her book also receive attention at and in Vineyard Gazette, Kirkus, Book Riot, and Revealer (“West Virginia University Press gave Philyaw a book contract and the autonomy to write boldly”). In Poets & Writers, Walton Muyumba connects Philyaw’s success to praise for university press publishing: “After the great success that Deesha Philyaw had publishing The Secret Lives of Church Ladies with West Virginia University Press, we all ought to give more attention and love to university presses.”

Geoffrey Hilsabeck’s American Vaudeville is excerpted in LitHub and reviewed in Broadway Direct, which finds: “Hilsabeck brings the seedy, magical world to life while unraveling its sudden death.”

Berea College Magazine talks with William H. Turner about his forthcoming The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns. “It’s a book only Turner could write,” they say, “and without it, this slice of American culture would be lost forever.” Turner also talks with the Appalachia Meets World podcast.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Cyndi Kernahan—author of Teaching about Race and Racism in the College Classroom—provides perspective for anxious faculty preparing to teach about race in a politically charged environment.

CHOICE recommends Susan D. Blum’s Ungrading as “nuanced and well balanced.”

And rounding out higher education news, Jessamyn Neuhaus, author of Geeky Pedagogy, appears on the inaugural episode of the podcast Around the World.

Shaun Slifer’s So Much to Be Angry About is reviewed in Anarchist Review of Books, which finds it “a respectful and rigorous account of the Appalachian Movement Press.”

I’m Afraid of That Water is called “required reading” in the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

Appalachian Reviews calls Valerie Nieman’s To the Bones “a heart-pounding, cinematic, and multi-layered story.”

Renée Nicholson, author of Fierce and Delicate, appears on Big Blend radio, KUCI radio, and the blog Book Q&As. Her book is reviewed at Bibliophage, which finds: “Every essay is tightly crafted, and every paragraph has a purpose.” Nicholson interviews WVU Press author Anne Lawrence for the WVU Humanities Center’s “short talks” series.

WVU Press staff continue to participate in public discussions of publishing, with marketing manager and acquisitions editor Sarah Munroe appearing in Olive Fellows’s survey of the Pittsburgh book scene, and director Derek Krissoff interviewed for the “meet a press” feature from Hub City Books.

Finally, don’t miss recordings of authors William H. Turner and Keegan Lester reading from their forthcoming books. And visit our calendar to keep up with this fall’s author events, including Hal Gorby, author Wheeling’s Polonia, at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center!


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