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

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The rollout for Tom Hansell’s After Coal continues with a review and excerpt in the Daily Yonder, also picked up by the Huffington Post and 100 Days in Appalachia. It’s praised as “a forward-looking book” that “should be on the reading lists of any communities that wonder ‘what do we do now?'” Another portion of After Coal is excerpted in Pacific Standard, our first appearance in the magazine. Hansell will read from his book at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, on November 29.

In response to author J.D. Vance’s visit to Charlotte, NC, Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll, coeditors of our forthcoming Appalachian Reckoning, appear on NPR station WFAE to “argue that the ‘hillbilly culture’ Vance depicts is actually much more diverse, complex, and nuanced” than it’s made to sound in Hillbilly Elegy.

New Pages includes Natalie Sypolt’s The Sound of Holding Your Breath in its October roundup of new and noteworthy titles from independent publishers. Sypolt is interviewed on Shelf Life, from City Books in Pittsburgh, and will appear in cities across West Virginia and Kentucky in November.Read More »

Mid-fall roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

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Our forthcoming After Coal is reviewed in Publishers Weekly, which calls it an “optimistic” and “visually appealing” book about “community-building efforts by locals” in mining communities in Appalachia and across the Atlantic. Author Tom Hansell talks with the Trillbilly Worker’s Party podcast, and his After Coal project—an ongoing exchange between Appalachia and Wales that includes our book and a documentary film—makes an appearance on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia. We’ll launch After Coal on October 14 at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.

In Booklist, Natalie Sypolt’s The Sound of Holding Your Breath is described as a “bold collection” and praised for its “masterful storytelling.” Sypolt launches her book in Pittsburgh, Rivesville, and Charleston in October.Read More »

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

inside higher ed.jpgOur series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is well represented in the back-to-school reading roundup from Inside Higher Ed, with two of five recommended books—The Spark of Learning by Sarah Rose Cavanagh and How Humans Learn by Joshua Eyler—published by WVU. “One thing all these books have in common,” according to IHE, “is their capacity to spur and direct reflection about one’s own teaching practice.”

Natalie Sypolt’s The Sound of Holding Your Breath receives two national pre-publication reviews, with Kirkus praising the story collection’s “powerful images” and Foreword saying it is “full of inevitability and resignation and haunted by themes of class, family, and place.” Sypolt will launch her book at an event with Laura Leigh Morris, author of Jaws of Life, at Pittsburgh’s White Whale Books on October 20. See her full tour schedule on our calendar.

Jesse Donaldson’s On Homesickness has been named Appalachian Book of the Year in the nonfiction category by the Appalachian Writers Association and the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.Read More »

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

Sharon Harris’s “remarkable” new biography of Wheeling author and activist Rebecca Harding Davis is the subject of an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It’s the third time we’ve appeared in LARB since December—twice with books by or about women writing about West Virginia.

On the Seawall calls Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead “a singular masterpiece.” Catherine Venable Moore, who wrote the introduction to our edition, will speak about the book in Parkersburg on September 1.

Michael Clay Carey’s The News Untold has been named a finalist for the Tankard Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.Read More »

Midsummer roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

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The June issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine features eight pages of photographs from our Marked, Unmarked, Remembered—”an effort by brothers Andrew and Alex Lichtenstein to help us recall.” Photos from the book also appear in the Munich Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Our edition of The Book of the Dead is included in Sam Huber’s thoughtful essay on “Muriel Rukeyser, Mother of Everyone.” It’s WVU Press’s first time in the Paris Review.

Anthony Harkins, coeditor of our forthcoming Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, is mentioned in Nancy Isenberg’s (paywalled) New York Review of Books essay on recent books by J.D. Vance, Elizabeth Catte, and Steven Stoll.Read More »

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

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In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Maggie Messitt has an essay responding to our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead. She writes: ”The Book of the Dead is documentary poetry . . . at its most effective. The collection builds a narrative that carries through each poem, leading us into a disaster impossible to shake, illustrating the fight for accountability, and exposing the awful truth.”

Nancy Abrams’s The Climb from Salt Lick receives two major pieces of media attention. Booklist calls it “a reverse Hillbilly Elegy, the story of a young woman who flummoxes her family back in St. Louis by settling in remote, rural West Virginia, giving us a glimpse into hardscrabble living, small-town characters, and a slice of history.” And Chicago Reader says the author “paints a vivid picture of what it was like to make her way in an unfamiliar territory during a turbulent time.” Abrams’s photographs, including some from the book, are on exhibit at the Rare Nest Gallery in Chicago.

Marked, Unmarked, Remembered—a book that “seeks to shed light on events that have been left out of the national story, even as these issues continue to define political struggles today”—is also featured in Chicago Reader, in conjunction with the authors’ appearance at the Chicago Humanities Festival.Read More »

Spring roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

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Literary Hub features suggested reading to help explain and contextualize the West Virginia teachers’ strike, including Matewan Before the Massacre, Working Class Radicals, and The Book of the Dead, all from WVU Press.

Three WVU Press titles—Monsters in Appalachia, The Industrialist and the Mountaineer, and The Rebel in the Red Jeepwere among the finalists for the Weatherford Award, given by the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College for best Appalachian book of the year.Read More »

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

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Book of the Dead an “innovative, gorgeous, and deeply moving” work that “has lost none of its power—and, in fact, has gained resonance.” Catherine Venable Moore’s recent tour in support of the book received attention in Pittsburgh City Paper and the Wheeling Intelligencer. Her panel discussion with West Virginia University faculty was the inaugural event from the WVU Humanities Center.

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Booklist, in another starred review, says Todd Synder’s 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym “is a very special book, both in its focus on one man who did work that mattered and in its portrayal of a distressed region whose economy is based on a dying industry.” Snyder is touring West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Missouri in support of the book.Read More »

Midwinter roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

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The Los Angeles Review of Books calls Marked, Unmarked, Rememberedbrilliant and memorable,” and the book also makes BuzzFeed’s year-end list of “21 of the Most Incredible Photo Books from 2017.” Look for authors Andrew and Alex Lichtenstein at the Newberry Library in Chicago on March 8 and the Virginia Festival of the Book on March 21.

Gwynn Dujardin, Jim Lang, and John Staunton are interviewed in Inside Higher Ed about their book Teaching the Literature Survey Course, new in our series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Unruly Creatures by Jennifer Caloyeras makes Bustle’s year-end list of “13 Books By and About Women That You Might Have Missed In 2017—But Shouldn’t.” It’s “a can’t-miss collection for readers who love a blend of humor, magical realism, and surrealism.” The author is interviewed in Heavy Feather Review.Read More »