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

Jim Lewis’s Ghosts of New York has been named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of two titles from university presses honored on the list. John Warner reacts to the Times picks at Substack, “noting little excitements like the fact that West Virginia University Press, which had such incredible success with Deesha Philyaw’s The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, has scored another notable book with Ghosts of New York.”

Foreword Reviews has one of the first published reviews of Kate Daniels’s Slow Fuse of the Possible, which it calls “a compelling memoir about tense and turbulent experiences within an analysis relationship.” Daniels will launch the book at winter events in Charlottesville and Nashville.

Neema Avashia makes two appearances to talk about her highly anticipated March book Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in Mountain Place—on the podcast Appodlachia, and in a reading with the WVU Humanities Center. Watch for news about Avashia’s launch events in Pittsburgh, Boston, and more.

In a major essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Ryan Boyd discusses Susan D. Blum’s Ungrading: “The book does not just diagnose and criticize: it is a working collection, drawing from both K–12 and college teachers in a range of disciplines.” Blum appears in Times Higher Education, and her book—which is the #1 title on Library Journal’s bestseller list for education—is reviewed in Teaching Sociology. An essay from Slate on the practice of ungrading mentions Blum’s book, saying: “As I read I found myself nodding along so fervently that my neck got sore.”

Also appearing in Times Higher Education is Susan Hrach, who has an essay drawn from her book Minding Bodies. Hrach writes as well in Thriving in Academe from the National Education Association, and her book is praised as “a cheering inspiration for enlivening classroom practices” in Recursive Reviews.

In other higher education news, four titles from our teaching and learning series (by Jessamyn Neuhaus, Kevin Gannon, Susan D. Blum, and Thomas Tobin and Kirsten Behling) are named to the list “Best Books about Teaching” from the podcast Lecture Breakers.

Deesha Philyaw and her book The Secret Lives of Church Ladies continue to generate attention, with appearances on the Poetry Question podcast, and in the Jacksonville Times Union, Coachella Review, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Fierce and Delicate is named a holiday pick by Longreads and one of “Six New Titles for Bunheads” in Dance Teacher. Renée Nicholson’s book is a finalist in the performing arts category from American Book Fest.

In a review for Adroit Journal, Lisa Slage Robinson writes: “Reading Perfect Dirt: And Other Things I’ve Gotten Wrong by Keegan Lester is like a long, beautiful conversation with a stranger you just met at a backyard barbeque.”

William H. Turner makes a number of appearances in support of his book The Harlan Renaissance—on Kentucky Public Television, WAVE-TV in Louisville, and the Black News Channel. Turner will discuss the book as part of the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch with Books program in February.

100 Days in Appalachia interviews John Hennen about his book A Union for Appalachian Healthcare Workers.

WHYY public broadcasting in Philadelphia talks with Chuck Keeney, author of The Road to Blair Mountain.

Kirk Hazen’s Appalachian Englishes in the Twenty-First Century is called “a useful guide . . . accessible for both linguists and non-linguists” in the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

The WVU launch event for Nicholas Stump’s Remaking Appalachia forms the basis for a piece in the UCLA Law Review.

Writing in the Moundsville blog, John W. Miller calls Geoffrey Hilsabeck’s American Vaudeville, new in our series In Place,  “a gem.”

The Cleveland Review of Books praises A Place Remote, saying that author Gwen Goodkin “elicits thoughtfulness and reflection.”

Nancy McKinley, author of St. Christopher on Pluto, talks with Radio Free Brooklyn.

CHOICE recommends James Tyner’s Red Harvests: “This original study will appeal to scholars interested in the agrarian policies of revolutionary governments and the alternative historical geographies of capitalism.”

And Stacey Balkan, author of our forthcoming Rogues in the Postcolony, appears as November’s “Scholar of the Month” from the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. She also talks with the podcast from the Dean of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University.

That’s a wrap on 2021! Hear a conversation with our director on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, don’t miss our year-in-review highlight reel, and thanks for your support over the course of this big year!

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