Tayler Lord and Anna Weir are publicists who have shared a cubicle at UNP for almost exactly two years now. In these posts, they enjoy sharing their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. This is Tayler’s last week at UNP.
Tayler Lord: This is my last Publicist Picks, so I’m going to cheat and mention a few books that I’m excited for throughout the season!
Awu’s Story: A Novel (May): Awu’s Story is about a woman grappling with the clash of tradition and the evolution of customs in twenty-first century Gabon. Stories from and about Africa have always been exciting and important but now, in the age of Black Panther, there’s a broader interest in these stories across all mediums. I’m glad that we’re active participants in publishing African literature.
Phoebe Apperson Hearst: A Life of Power and Politics (May): Most people know Phoebe Apperson Hearst as the mother of William Randolph Hearst and the wife of George Hearst. But she was a lot more than that: financial manager, businesswoman, reformer, and philanthropist. This book follows last year’s Ellen Browning Scripps, and I continue to be fascinated by the lives of these prominent society women of the Gilded Age.
The I-35W Bridge Collapse: A Survivor’s Account of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure (July): To be honest, this book terrifies me. Kimberly J. Brown survived the 2007 collapse of a Minneapolis I-35W bridge. This is the story of her experience and recovery, as well as her research into the collapse. It’s scary knowing that this kind of failing infrastructure exists all around us. At the same time, I’m grateful for people like Kimberly Brown who are speaking out and demanding change to prevent disaster like this from happening again.
The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us (August): America’s carbon dioxide emissions are among the highest in the world, and I know that I contribute to that daily. In The Five-Ton Life, Susan Subak explores various locations across America whose cultures result in drastically lower carbon footprints than the rest of the country. I’m hoping this book will inspire me and others to seriously consider our carbon footprints and take the steps to reduce them.
Anna Weir: I’m sad to see you go, Tayler, but Team Publicity must march forward! I’m excited to have the chance to work on these books publishing in April.
The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms: This is an anthology of hermit crab essays, the latest thing on the literary scene. Like a hermit crab will exchange one shell for another whenever it suits them, these writers swapping out the traditional essay format to write stories as to-do lists, cross-word puzzles, computer code. Kim Adrian has brought together writers who aren’t afraid to break with convention to write something truly unique and memorable.
Alou: My Baseball Journey: Felipe Alou details his life in the Dominican Republic, signing a pro contract for an American team in order to pay off his father’s grocery bill, and the challenges he faced in America both on and off the baseball diamond. This autobiography of a most beloved player is about much more than baseball. Most beloved is not an exaggeration; I’ve had the privilege of working with Felipe Alou and his co-writer Peter Kerasotis and it’s encouraging to hear so many friends, colleagues, teammates, and fans share how Alou has inspired them over the years.
Tune in next month for more picks from your friendly neighborhood publicists and perhaps a new guest!