Awards

Our Fantastic Mrs. Paley

November 15, 2010
By
Our Fantastic Mrs. Paley

This past Friday, one of New York City’s most venerable cultural institutions, the 92nd Street Y (136 years strong and still kicking!) bestowed a unique honor upon one of the University of Chicago Press’s most beloved authors. In all of the years that the 92Y has been creating and playing host to vibrant lectures, readings, conferences, community service opportunities, and city-wide programming, it had yet to endow and bestow an award named after a living figure—that is, until now. Please join us in celebrating the 92Y Vivian Gussin Paley Award for Early Childhood Education and its inaugural recipient, the “playful” visionary and early childhood education pioneer, Vivian Gussin Paley. From the 92Y’s commendation: Vivian Gussin Paley examines children’s stories and play, their logic and their thinking, searching for meaning in the social and moral landscapes of classroom life. A kindergarten teacher for 37 years, Mrs. Paley brings her storytelling/story acting and discussion techniques to children, teachers and parents throughout the world. In addition to her direct contributions to children and teachers, she is a MacArthur fellow and recipient of numerous awards, including: the Erikson Institute Award for Service to Children (1987); American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for . . .

Read more »

Anna Politkovskaya wins translation prize

October 26, 2010
By
Anna Politkovskaya wins translation prize

Earlier today, over at the New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog, Jenny Hendrix alerted us to the news that the late journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been awarded PEN English’s first-ever award for literature in translation for her book, Putin’s Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy. According to Hendrix, the book “is the story of a democracy in collapse, in which soldiers are slaves, judges are corrupt, and provincial oligarchs rule,” and it paints a particularly brutal portrait of Vladimir Putin. It was Russia’s war in Chechnya that ignited Politkovskaya’s fury with Putin, and her experiences there are documented in A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya. Centered on stories of those caught in the crossfire of the Chechen conflict, A Small Corner of Hell recounts the horrors of living in the midst of the war, examines how the war has affected Russian society, and takes a hard look at how people on both sides are profiting from it, from the guards who accept bribes from Chechens out after curfew to the United Nations. (You can read an excerpt from the book here.) The conclusion of Hendrix’s post is a moving testament to the legacy of this courageous journalist, who was . . .

Read more »

Congratulations to this year’s MacArthur Foundation award winners!

September 28, 2010
By
Congratulations to this year’s MacArthur Foundation award winners!

There are your everyday, humdrum grants and awards and prizes, and then there are the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius awards.” They’re special. They’re an event. It’s not just that they’re valuable, or that the money comes with no strings attached. It’s that they’re shrouded in secrecy: recipients receive a phone call out of the blue informing them that they’ve won—in other words, that, unbeknownst to them, someone has been quietly paying attention to their work and thinks it worthy. Whether an honoree is famous or obscure—and this year’s list includes both—surely there’s a moment, holding the phone, when they feel like they’ve fallen into a fairy tale? Today’s MacArthur-sponsored fairy tale features a University of Chicago Press author as one of its characters. Shannon Lee Dawdy, an anthropologist here at the University of Chicago, was honored for her work combining archaeological scholarship with historical preservation to reveal the dynamics of intellectual and social life in New Orleans from its establishment as a French colony to the present day. That research is the basis of her book Building the Devil’s Empire, a fascinating, picaresque account of the early years of New Orleans that traces the town’s development from its origins in 1718 . . .

Read more »

Judging a Book by its Cover

June 28, 2010
By
Judging a Book by its Cover

The saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. And that’s good advice, except when jurying a publishing design prize. So we’ll forgive AIGA, the professional association for design, and its annual list of the best book covers and designs. And, since it recognized the work of our outstanding designers at the Press, we’ll even celebrate it. Narrowed from more than 800 entries, the “AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers” is the definite list of the best book and book cover design produced in 2009. The University of Chicago Press is honored to have two of its books recognized this year. Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals and Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, both designed by Isaac Tobin (who’s been racking up accolades recently), were named to the prestigious list. Congratulations to Isaac and many thanks to AIGA for this honor! . . .

Read more »

Seasick wins Grantham Prize

June 22, 2010
By
Seasick wins Grantham Prize

Congratulations to Alanna Mitchell, whose book Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth won the 2010 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Environmental Reporting. Awarded by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, the prize honors outstanding coverage of the environment and recognizes reporting that has the potential to bring about constructive change. Seasick is first the book to be named a Grantham Prize winner. Mitchell will receive $75,000. Seasick is an engaging work that clearly and eloquently explains the specific dangers facing global marine ecosystems,” said Dr. Sunshine Menezes of the Metcalf Institute. “Reading Alanna Mitchell convinces you that the ocean is at least as important as the atmosphere when we worry about climate change,” added Phillip Meyer, chairman of the Grantham Prize Jury. Editorial Director of the Sciences at the University of Chicago Press Christie Henry said, “Alanna Mitchell possesses exceptional empathy for and understanding of the natural world, inclusive of our role within in. We’re thrilled that she’s being recognized by this prestigious award. In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, the ocean and its health are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Seasick could not be more timely.” The first book to . . .

Read more »

Michael Camille honored by the Dedalus Foundation

June 1, 2010
By
Michael Camille honored by the Dedalus Foundation

The Dedalus Foundation, founded by Robert Motherwell to promote understanding of modern art and modernism, recently announced the winner of the annual Robert Motherwell Book Award, Cézanne’s Other: The Portraits of Hortense by R. Bruce Elder, published by the University of California Press. The foundation also announced a special commendation award for the posthumously published book by Michael Camille, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame: Medievalism and the Monsters of Modernity, which we released last year. In announcing the special commendation, the Dedalus Foundation said: This study of the ‘monsters’ of the cathedral restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the nineteenth century explores the complex position of these creatures between past and present. Narrating their conception and realization on the basis of impressive archival research, Camille proceeds to track their impact in shaping the modern imagination—not only in the arts but in science, politics, and popular culture as well—from Victor Hugo and Jules Michelet to Disney and the Internet. These are our monsters. The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame is an expansive, interdisciplinary cultural analysis that questions defining assumptions of modern history and art history. Michael Camille (1958–2002) was professor of art history at the University of Chicago and we were pleased to also publish his . . .

Read more »

Roger Ebert Finds His Voice Online, Wins Webby Person of the Year Award

May 6, 2010
By
Roger Ebert Finds His Voice Online, Wins Webby Person of the Year Award

Not long after Roger Ebert published Awake in the Dark with the Press in 2006, he lost the ability to speak. But anyone who has been keeping up with his career over the past several years knows that he hasn’t been silent. Far from it, in fact. In addition to publishing two additional books with the Press (2008’s Scorsese by Ebert and the forthcoming The Great Movies III), he continues to review films for the Chicago Sun-Times and has even found time to compile his favorite rice cooker recipes into a cookbook, due out this fall (sadly, not from the UCP). But perhaps his most notable achievement is his robust cyber presence; indeed, as Chris Jones posited in his moving profile of the critic in the February issue of Esquire, he needed to lose his speaking voice to find his voice again online. Jones writes, “More than five hundred thousand words of inner monologue have poured out of him, five hundred thousand words that probably wouldn’t exist had he kept his other voice.… He spends several hours each night reclined in his chair, tending to his online oasis by lamplight. Out there, his voice is still his voice—not a reasonable . . .

Read more »

Five press authors elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 22, 2010
By
Five press authors elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has recently announced its new 2010 members. The University of Chicago Press is pleased to note that five of our authors have made the list: Eric Posner, professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School has published several books with the Press including his 2009 publication The Perils of Global Legalism and his 2001 Cost-Benefit Analysis: Economic, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives with co-editor Matthew D. Adler. His newest book co-edited with his colleague at the U of C law School, Cass R. Sunstein, engages in a fascinating study of the notion of happiness—or “hedonics”— as it relates to law and public policy. Law and Happiness brings together the best and most influential thinkers in this burgeoning field to explore the question of what makes up happiness—and what factors can be demonstrated to increase or decrease it. Marc Shell, professor of English and comparative literature at Harvard University, has dedicated much of his published work to the study of the intersection between economics and aesthetics, including his 1995 publication Art & Money—a frank, provocative, and entirely unconventional look at two worlds in tandem, focusing on what binds together and drives apart the . . .

Read more »

Seth Lerer wins the 2010 Truman Capote Award

April 15, 2010
By
Seth Lerer wins the 2010 Truman Capote Award

Seth Lerer, author of Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter has won the 2010 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. Lerer’s book—a comprehensive survey of children’s literature, from Aesop’s Fables to Harry Potter—offers a fascinating exploration of the various ways that tales like these have helped shape the Western literary imagination. According to the award press release: “The book is also a kind of ‘intellectual autobiography,” touching on Lerer’s own youthful passion for reading and his experience as a parent. “I thought about it from a personal view, watching how my son grew into a reader,” he said. Maria Tatar of Harvard University called the book “a breathtakingly powerful and complex history of children’s literature that energizes rather than depletes.” “Lerer gives us the facts” Tatar said, “but he also weaves experiences and stories into an account that moves in registers ranging from the ecstatic to the elegiac. An ideal guide for students new to the field of children’s literature as well as for scholars familiar with the territory.” The award, administered by the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, will be presented during a public event at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6, in the . . .

Read more »

Bruce Smith recieves 2010 Academy Award in literature

March 25, 2010
By
Bruce Smith recieves 2010 Academy Award in literature

Bruce Smith, author of several books of poems including Songs for Two Voices, The Other Lover, and Mercy Seat, was recently awarded a 2010 Academy Award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award, which not only offers its recipients formal recognition by one of the foremost arts institutions in the country, but a cash prize as well, will be presented in New York in May at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial. Read the press release at the Academy of Arts and Letters website. More about Smith’s poetry from his bio at The Poetry Foundation website: Influenced by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, Smith’s poetry moves like jazz, incorporating images and narratives into a startling, musically unified whole. In a 2007 interview, Smith explained his poetry’s aspiration to song: “When the language works to seduce and … move us, when it works its blues on us, bounces us and trembles us, makes us swerve from our upright and rational propositions … we are thinking and listening at the same time or really listening and not thinking, like a good song does.” Follow the links for more on Smith’s works from the University of Chicago Press: Songs for . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors