New year’s roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

In an essay for the New York Times, Margaret Renkl names two WVU Press books—The Secret Lives of Church Ladies and Appalachian Reckoning—as evidence in support of her thesis that “University Presses Are Keeping American Literature Alive.” Secret Lives also appears on the year-end gift-giving guide from NPR’s Here & Now and (with Neema Avashia’s Another Appalachia) on David Joy’s list of annual favorites in Garden & Gun.

In other best-of-2022 news, Another Appalachia is named one of the year’s best books by the New York Public Library (!), Writer’s Bone, Reckon South, and Newtonville Books in Newton, Massachusetts. It is (alongside The Secret Lives of Church Ladies) one of 2022’s bestselling titles at Pittsburgh’s White Whale Books, and it’s featured on the “Ask a Bookseller” segment from Minnesota Public Radio. Book Riot‘s roundup of “The Best LGBTQ+ Books of 2022” has it as the year’s top memoir.

William H. Turner’s The Harlan Renaissance is recommended by Jenisha Watts in the newsletter from the Atlantic: “What I love about this book is that it places Black people in Appalachian history.”

Davon Loeb, author of The In-Betweens, writes in the Los Angeles Times about “How I Learned to Embrace My Black and Jewish Heritage.” His book is named one of 2023’s most anticipated titles in the Chicago Review of Books, and it’s praised in Kirkus as “engagingly delivered, candid reflections on heritage and identity.”

Bratwurst Haven also earns a rave in Kirkus, where it’s called “an excellent collection that’s likely to appeal to fans of Alice Munro and Tobias Wolff—or to anybody with a taste for emotionally resonant short fiction.” Rachel King’s book is a staff pick at Powell’s in Portland, and it’s featured in both North American Review and the Colorado Review.

Courtney Sender’s forthcoming In Other Lifetimes All I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me is recommended as “a stunner from the very first page” in Deesha Philyaw’s “Year in Reading” feature from the Millions.

The “Editor’s Letter” from Garden & Gun praises Charles Dodd White’s A Year without Months as one of the year’s “great Southern reads.”

Publishers Weekly reports that Kristen Gentry, author of our forthcoming Mama Said, has been chosen as part of the inaugural cohort for the new Poets & Writers publicity incubator.

Kristine Langley Mahler’s Curing Season is praised as “jarring, unusual, and deeply moving” in the magazine Full Stop.

Tom Bredehoft’s Foote is reviewed in both the Southern Literary Review and the West Virginia Humanities Council Broadside, which finds it “a delightfully odd noir melange.”

Aeron Haynie and Stephanie Spong, authors of Teaching Matters, offer “Teaching Advice for Grad Students” in Inside Higher Ed.

The Teaching in Higher Ed podcast talks with Rob Eaton and Bonnie Moon, coauthors of WVU’s forthcoming Improving Learning and Mental Health in the College Classroom.

And in other higher education news, Susan D. Blum, editor of Ungrading, appears on the podcast Lecture Breakers.

That’s a wrap on 2022! Check back for our authors’ spring launch events and tour dates, and don’t miss our year-end highlight reel, narrated by Neema Avashia.

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