Books for the News

Publicity News: Hot in Here Edition

We’ve officially entered the dog days of summer: the heat index is conspiring to make it feel like it’s 100 plus degrees in Chicago today (and forecasters say we should get used to it—it’s not cooling down anytime soon). But the weather is not the only that’s hot around here. That’s right, the Press—and the publicity our books are garnering—is on fire! Check out the latest news from around the country and the world.
“You Must Read”McKay’s Bees
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At least that’s what novelist Sue Miller said recently on NPR’s All Things Considered. As part of its series “You Must Read This,” Miller recommended the novel McKay’s Bees by the late Harvard University professor of mechanics and biology Thomas McMahon, a book “that makes you want to sequester yourself away from the dinner table or the cocktail party when you encounter the rare other person who’s read it, to wallow with someone else in comparing notes on its many delights.” The book is one of three novels McMahon wrote, and the others, Loving Little Egypt and Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry, are also available from the University of Chicago Press.

Chicago Manual of Style Q&A comes with a “good dash of wit and a healthy perspective”

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The Economist recently praised our monthly question and answer feature from the minds behind the Chicago Manual of Style. Singling out their “good sense” advice and acknowledging their “laudable patience for the trivial,” The Economist writes “In the world of writing, many people crave hard-edged, unbendable advice. If the rule is ironbound, it’s easier to follow, and so more writers than not expect, or at least hope, that there’s a rule for every occasion. The Chicago Manual is probably the best known of its ilk in America, and many people therefore write in hoping that its staff will hand down the authoritative answer to any usage and style question, no matter how trivial.” Instead, of course, the answers encourage flexibility (and calm) and are transmitted not with austere authority but with ribbing camaraderie. Check out the most recent Q&A and browse the archive. And speaking of style, the Subversive Copy Editor has been leaking tips from the forthcoming 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Now that the vuvuzelas have gone silent…
What’s next for South Africa now that the World Cup is over? That’s what Ron Krabill, author of the forthcoming Starring Mandela and Cosby: Media and the End(s) of Apartheid, asks in a recent column for the Seattle Times. Krabill describes the work of a group of 21 University of Washington students and their collaboration with Cape Town Community Television “to explore the impact of the event through a community media project titled ‘My World Cup.'” The stories they have documented “bring into high relief both the excitement and the shortcomings of hosting the tournament in South Africa.” He especially notes the paradox of “the massive spending of the government on five new stadiums, five upgraded stadiums, transportation infrastructure, security and other projects designed primarily to benefit FIFA and the tourists visiting for the Cup” while so many live in poverty. In his forthcoming book, due out in September, Krabill notes the paradox of the popularity of The Cosby Show during the worst years of apartheid and asks why people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream.

Deconstruction is Sexy
And finally, we can’t ignore Flavorwire‘s charming Bastille Day tribute to “Sexy French Guys Who Have Made Legitimate Cultural Contributions.” Among the hotties on the list are J.M.G. Le Clézio, who “could have been a model,” and Jacques Derrida, he of the “wild white hair and those intense, piercing eyes,” both of whom pretty up our backlist here at Chicago. Le Clézio’s The Mexican Dream: Or, The Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations conjures the consciousness of Mexico, powerfully evoking the dreams that made and unmade an ancient culture. And the Press has published nineteen of Derrida’s own books (most recently The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1) as well as several considerations of his work by others. We’re proud to publish these handsome—and very smart—men.