Publicist Picks: Autofiction, Bourbon, and Other November Books

Jackson Adams and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP. Today they share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in November

9780827612655Anna Weir: One of my favorite classes in college, Biblical Archaeology, focused on the places (or what remains of them) mentioned in Jewish and early Christian scripture. Malka Simkovich delves into not only the places but the stories and commentaries of biblical history in Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism (Jewish Publication Society, 2018). From modern stories of where and how these texts were found, to the contemporary lives and worldviews the texts describes, to how it all impacts readers today, this history is an engaging and enlightening read for both Jewish and Christian readers.

What are you excited to read this month, Jackson?

9781640120853Jackson Adams: Seeing bourbon explode in popularity, with new small batches and a wider variety of options is exciting. And getting to learn a little more about the industry in Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America (Potomac Books, 2018) has been a treat. Author Brian Haara delves into the outlaw roots of the spirit as well as the way the legal battles over what exactly constitutes bourbon gives readers an appreciation for bourbon and how its rise coincides with changes in the American image.

9781496207579-JacketGray.inddAW: This next pick is one that has me excited both as a reader and a writer. I’ve had many conversations and heard both sides of the argument on whether a writer inserting himself into a fictional story gives or removes credibility to the message he’s trying to convey. Perhaps things didn’t happen exactly like this—but does that make the story itself any less true?

Welcome to Autofiction, a small town (populated mostly by men) and last stop between Memoir and Traditional Nonfiction that Marjorie Worthington explores in The Story of “Me”: Contemporary American Autofiction (Nebraska, 2018). From Kurt Vonnegut and Vladimir Nabokov to Philip Roth and Tim O’Brien, Worthington charts the history and development of this genre from postwar-fad to postmodern-cliché, analyzing its narratological effects and discussing its cultural implications.

9781496201829-JacketBlue.inddJA: I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life and am, naturally, a little defensive of the oft-overlooked states of the country. Finding a New Midwestern History (Nebraska, 2018), edited by Jon Lauck, Gleaves Whitney, and Joseph Hogan, establishes the plains as a region worthy of study in the same way the South, New England, and the West Coast have traditionally been. Essays on Midwestern voices, both in writing and musically, are particularly interesting in establishing the traditions of the region but others on the history of the region are just as important to understanding how a diverse, historically fascinating region is so often known as “flyover country.”

Tune in next month for more reading suggestions from your friendly neighborhood publicists!

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