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

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies makes its national television debut when it’s recommended on the Kelly Clarkson Show from NBC. Secret Lives is also included in a Mother’s Day feature from Electric Lit, which notes: “When this collection blazed onto the scene in 2020, it won every award possible, putting West Virginia University Press on the map.” Nearly three years after publication, the big book from a small press continues to drive national conversations. Congrats to author Deesha Philyaw!

Forbes magazine celebrates “20 Must-Read Asian American Authored Books For AAPI Month,” including Another Appalachia: “This book lives beautifully in the gray area of trying to navigate a divisive environment while growing up queer and Asian American.” Neema Avashia’s book receives additional attention in Well Read, the 19th News, and all over Book Riot, where it’s part of “An Alphabet of Queer Books“; recommended as a nonfiction accompaniment for those who liked Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead; cited (along with The Secret Lives of Church Ladies) as an example of the future of Appalachian literature; and discussed among three Appalachian memoirs worth a visit. Avashia will appear at Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum in June.

In North Carolina, the Ocracoke Observer profiles Kelley Shinn and her book The Wounds That Bind Us, previewing the title’s June launch event at Ocracoke’s Books to Be Red bookstore.

The In-Betweens is named one of the best books of 2023 (so far) by Style Caster and included on the Jewish Book Council’s reading list for Jewish American Heritage Month as a book that “highlights and speaks to the American Jewish experience throughout history.” On July 11, author Davon Loeb will appear as part of the Maven online event series from American Jewish University; register free at their site.

Kristine Langley Mahler’s Curing Season is lauded in Good Life Review as a book that “pushes boundaries on what a memoir and an essay collection can look like.”

Congratulations to Jason Kapcala, whose novel Hungry Town won a silver medal IPPY for Best Regional Fiction, Great Lakes.

Acclaimed writer Idra Novey praises Nicholas Stump’s Remaking Appalachia in an interview at Littsburgh: “Stump’s take on the intersection of law, climate, and gender in Appalachia has been illuminating.”

John Hennen’s A Union for Appalachian Healthcare Workers is reviewed in the Journal of Southern History, where it’s called “an important contribution to the scholarship that examines the complexities of labor organizing.”

Andrea Brower featured in the Gonzaga Bulletin after giving a talk about Seeds of Occupation, Seeds of Possibility on campus, with student attendees calling it “impactful and insightful.” Find Brower’s segment on Spokane Public Radio’s “Thursday Arts Preview” (beginning at 11:37) where she talks about cynicism and the possibility of change. She’ll be presenting at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane in June.

Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education recommends four books from our series on teaching and learning: The Spark of Learning, Minding BodiesHow Humans Learn, and Improving Learning and Mental Health in the College Classroom. Improving Learning and Mental Health is also featured on the podcast Intentional Teaching, which talks with coauthors Robert Eaton and Bonnie Moon.

And in other higher education news, Susan D. Blum, editor of Ungrading, is part of a discussion at the podcast Teaching in the CTEI.

Visit our calendar for the full roster of upcoming WVU Press events, including Courtney Sender, author of In Other Lifetimes all I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me, at the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore. And if you missed Kristen Gentry’s selection from Mama Said as part of the “Get the Word Out” reading earlier this spring, a recording is now available from Poets & Writers.

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