75 Significant Books, Part Seven

75thStacked_smallAs the largest and most diversified press between Chicago and California, the University of Nebraska Press is best known for publishing works in Native studies, history, sports, anthropology, geography, American studies, and creative works.

In celebration of the press’s seventy-fifth anniversary, the staff has selected seventy-five of the four thousand books UNP has published since 1941 to represent what is most distinctive and significant about our list. We have included books we originally published under the Nebraska imprint, the Bison Books imprint, the Potomac Books imprint, and the Jewish Publication Society collaborative agreement. When we have selected a book series we have listed the year the first book in the series was published.

Here are the next eight significant books, click here for the previous seven titles.

  1. Willa Cather Scholarly Editions (1992).
  2. Winter Wheat (1992) by Mildred Walker. James Welch, the acclaimed author of Winter in the Blood (1986) and other novels, introduces Mildred Walker’s vivid heroine, Ellen Webb, who lives in the dryland wheat country of central Montana during the early 1940s. He writes, “It is a story about growing up, becoming a woman, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, within the space of a year and a half. But what a year and a half it is!”
  3. Covered Wagon Women, Volumes 1-11 (1995) edited by Kenneth L. Holmes. The stories seem simple—they left, they traveled, they settled—yet the restless westering impulse of Americans created one of the most enduring figures in our frontier pantheon: the hardy pioneer persevering against all odds. Undeterred by storms, ruthless bandits, towering mountains, and raging epidemics, the women in these volumes suggest why the pioneer represented the highest ideals and aspirations of a young nation.
  4. Prairie University: A History of the University of Nebraska (1995) by Robert E. Knoll. The author focuses on the men and women who made a difference, for good or ill. He locates the University’s place in the changing intellectual and academic context of the United States and charts its passage through hard times and prosperity. He notes the contributions of the University to Nebraska, from the early experiments in sugar beet cultivation to the national fame of its football team. Most important, its education of generations of Nebraskans has lifted state goals and achievement, and its outreach has made the University an international community.
  5. The Night Country (1997) by Loren Eiseley. The Night Country is a gift of wisdom and beauty from the famed anthropologist. It describes his needy childhood in Nebraska, reveals his increasing sensitivity to the odd and ordinary in nature, and focuses on a career that turns him inward as he reaches outward for answers in old bones.
  6. This Death by Drowning (1997) by William Kloefkorn. A memoir with a difference—an artfully assembled collection of reminiscences, each having something to do with water. The book’s epigraph, from Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, proclaims, “I am haunted by waters.” So—and in most rewarding ways—is William Kloefkorn.
  7. Onitsha (1997) by J. M. G. Le Clèzio, translated by Alison Anderson.  Onitsha tells the story of young Fintan, who travels to Africa in 1948. Initially enchanted by the exotic world he discovers, he gradually recognizes the intolerance and brutality surrounding him. Fintan’s youthful perspective provides a direct, horrified view of racism and gives this startling account—and indictment—of colonialism the clear forthrightness that ably portrays both Nigeria and a boy’s outrage.
  8. Out of the Dark (1998) by Patrick Modiano, translated by Jordan Stump. Out of the Dark is a moody, expertly rendered tale of a love affair between two drifters.

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