Friday, March 13, 2015

Short Takes

Booklist reviews ALONE ATOP THE HILL, Alice Dunnigan's "indelible self-portrait." The book "gives deserved recognition to a principled and hardworking reporter whose array of singular accomplishments makes her worthy of further scholarship and public attention," according to Foreword Review. The Root reviews ALONE ATOP THE HILL with two other recent books (Eye on the Struggle and The Presidency in Black and White) on black female journalists:
 [T]hese books provide a fascinating timeline of history to enlighten a generation that takes it for granted that a black woman can be the most powerful media personality in the United States or a confidante to a sitting president and first lady. [Alice] Dunnigan and [Ethel] Payne, the Jim Crow pioneers, could best be described as crosses between, say, the political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and the advocate-broadcaster Tavis Smiley.
Nieman Reports has an excerpt from ALONE ATOP THE HILL. Check it out, along with Simeon Booker's comments, here.

Advance review of the forthcoming book, LENS OF WAR, from Booklist:
This collection of images, many of them familiar to Civil War enthusiasts,were selected to serve as a jumping-off point for the essays of 27 scholars on topics suggested by the photos. The photos, topics, and essays are an eclectic mix. By themselves, many of the photos would seem unremarkable, but the often brilliantly written essays compel the reader to view the photos with a fresh perspective. . . . Together, the photos and essays make a superb addition to Civil War collections.
Check out the Way of Improvement Leads Home blog interview with Brian Craig Miller about his new book, EMPTY SLEEVES. Here's a sample:
JF: In two sentences, what is the argument of Empty Sleeves?

BM: The challenges amputees posed to southern society were not merely visual and symbolic: injured veterans depended on surgeons to make a proper medical recommendation; on women to provide continued medical care, emotional support, and often basic functioning; on employers to cheerfully accept diminished capacity without seeming to stoop to charity or pity; and on the state to provide prosthetics, validation, and, ultimately, a pension. The process by which this new level of white male dependency--on other men, on women, on employers, and on the state--became societally and culturally accepted (however ambivalently) and was, I argue, a critical facet in the remaking of white manhood in the postbellum South.

Library Journal calls THE CURIOUS MISTER CATESBY "a joy to behold."

The Ms. Magazine blog interviews Barbara McCaskill, author of LOVE, LIBERATION, AND ESCAPING SLAVERY, about her forthcoming book, which focuses on William and Ellen Craft.

Want to see the music playlist Monica McFawn would use for her short story collection, BRIGHT SHARDS OF SOMEPLACE ELSE? Check out it out at Largehearted Boy. Ploughshares praises  McFawn's book: "After reading this collection, you will be thankful that somebody so talented has been able to communicate such hidden, intrinsic details so clearly."

Fourteen Hills interviews recent Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction winner Siamak Vossoughi. His collection of short stories, BETTER THAN WAR, will be available this September.

Want to read Sarah Gorham's STUDY IN PERFECT but haven't gotten a copy yet? Check out the excerpt up on

Congratulations, Jeffrey B. Leak! His book, VISIBLE MAN, is the winner of the 2015 Nonfiction Book award from the Literary Awards Committee of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The awards ceremony will take place on June 28 in San Francisco.

Congratulations, John Lane! His book, MY PADDLE TO THE SEA, has won the fourth annual Allan D. Charles Award for nonfiction given by the University of South Carolina-Union. The prize will be given at the Upcountry Literary Festival on March 21.

Congratulations to our editorial, design and production departments! Three of our titles were selected for the 2015 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show in the trade typographic category:

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning, by Kate Sweeney
Designer: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Production Coordinator: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Acquiring Editor: Beth Sneed
Project Editor: Rebecca Norton

Study in Perfect, by Sarah Gorham
Designer: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Production Coordinator: Kaelin Chappell Broaddus
Acquiring Editor: Beth Sneed
Project Editor: Jon Davies

Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies, by Tison Pugh
Designer: Erin Kirk New
Production Coordinator: Kathi Dailey Morgan
Acquiring Editor: Walter Biggins
Project Editor: Jon Davies