Publicist Picks: Native Voices, Diplomatic Memoirs, and other December Books
Tayler Lord and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP who share a cubicle and cannot stop talking about books (or the much-awaited fall weather, for that matter). 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 December.
Anna Weir: During the South Dakota Festival of Books last month, a reader walked up to our booth and lamented the difficult time he’d had trying to find a copy of A Pictographic History of the Oglala Sioux, which has been out of print for some time. Imagine my joy in being able to announce that in just a few short months we’d have the 50th Anniversary Edition available for his researching needs!
Originally published in 1967, this updated pictographic history—much beloved by Nebraska writer Mari Sandoz—provides a fresh perspective on Bad Heart Bull’s distinctive drawings. The text, resulting from nearly a decade of research by Helen H. Blish, provides ethnological and historical background and interpretation of the content. This book is not only an important contribution to Native history, but a testament to passionate scholarship. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
What’s are you looking forward to reading this month, Tayler?
Tayler Lord: I’m really looking forward to the first title in the new Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series: The Politics of Female Alliance in Early Modern England. This edited volume of essays investigates historical documents, drama, and poetry, insisting that female alliances had political meaning in early modern England. The essays cover works by female authors like the Cavendish sisters and Anne Clifford, as well as male-authored texts like The Maid’s Tragedy and Romeo and Juliet. The subject matter seems interesting, but I must confess that I’m most excited about this book’s cover. The cover image is one of my favorite paintings, Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemesia Gentileschi. It’s a really badass depiction of an Old Testament story, and I think a perfect fit for this book.
What’s next for you, Anna?
AW: My next pick is Saga of Chief Joseph, Bison Classic Edition. Originally published in 1941 as War Chief Joseph, author Helen Addison Howard continued to research the Nez Perce War even after her book was published. In preparing her book for a new edition—and with previously unavailable materials now available to her—Howard found herself reappraising her original conclusions, to the point where the new edition warranted a different title: Saga of Chief Joseph. I think Howard’s attention to detail, both in her own work and in the work of other scholars, shows both passion and humility that I admire in a writer.
What’s next for you?
TL: My second pick is Diversifying Diplomacy by diplomat and professor Harriet Elam-Thomas. Elam-Thomas’s memoir is a firsthand account of her decades-long career as one of few black women in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service. I think this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally. Since Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss, I’ve needed stories of inspirational women to remind me that we have a place and a voice in this country. And, as a biracial woman, Elam-Thomas’s story of diversity feels even more personal and engaging. Harriet Elam-Thomas is a graceful, honest, and compassionate figure—the kind of person whose story we need right now.
Tune in next month for more picks from your friendly neighborhood publicists!