Tayler Lord and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP who share a cubicle currently filled with next season’s galleys. Today they also share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in August.
Anna Weir: From Monday Night Football to Superbowl Sundays, football is a much-celebrated sport in American culture—so much so that it’s hard to imagine a time when journalists, artists, and viewers weren’t really sure what it was. In The Art of Football, Michael Oriard shows us through contemporary art how the game was perceived—both a physical trial to play and a thrill to watch. I’m excited for it because “art” and “football” aren’t really words that one would easily connect, but here they are, over 200 illustrations that show, like political cartoons, the social climate and perception of this new sport. It’s also different from the usual books on our list, so I think it’s a tangible example of why UNP is the largest and most diversified press west of the Mississippi.
What are you looking forward to, Tayler?
Tayler Lord: One book I’m really looking forward to this month is the newest in our Outward Odyssey series: Outposts on the Frontier: A Fifty-Year History of Space Stations by Jay Chladek. This is the first book I’ve worked on in the Outward Odyssey series, and I’m so excited to delve in! As Chladek points out, a lot of available writing about space exploration focuses on high-profile missions like the Apollo moon landings. Outposts on the Frontier shares the often overlooked history of space stations, and lauds the astronauts and engineers who contributed to them. Learning about the space race has always fascinated (and kind of terrified) me, so it will be fun to read about this sort of unsung aspect of it.
What’s next for you, Anna?
AW: While I love the somewhat unconventional books on our list, I always get excited when we release something so classically Nebraska as Willa Cather. The eleventh volume in our Cather Studies series, Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux, edited by Ann Moseley, John J. Murphy, and Robert Thacker, focuses on her writing during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also makes full use of some of Cather’s letters which have only recently been made available.
I think these two books, one so different for UNP and the other practically synonymous with UNP, are a great way to end our current season. Tayler, what’s your last pick of Spring/Summer 2017?
TL: I’m ending the season on kind of an intense note, but it feels incredibly timely given the situation our current administration finds itself in. Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin is Andrei Kovalev’s memoir of his time as a successful diplomat and member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s staff. Translated by Steven I. Levine, Russia’s Dead End provides a nuanced and intimate look at the politics of this country we see in the news so often lately. I’m glad to work on a book with such relevance, and I think it will provide some insight into the ever-murky relationship between Russia and the U.S.
Tune in next month for more exciting titles from your friendly neighborhood publicists!