Books

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Two Days Until Race Day

The Belmont Stakes is coming up this weekend, and we’re all wondering the same thing. Will California Chrome win the Triple Crown? If California Chrome succeeds, he will be the first horse since 1978 and the 12th in American thoroughbred racing history to win the coveted honor. Many fans know the history of the successful, as well as the failed, attempts at the Triple Crown. But what about the history of the sport as a whole? Where and how did American thoroughbred racing begin?

ImageWe know you wish you could fast-forward to know whether California Chrome will pull off the win. But while you wait, become acquainted with the roots of horse racing in New York with The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime: Horse Racing, Politics, and Organized Crime in New York, 1865-1913 by Steven A. Reiss.

Reiss explores the beginnings of horse racing through a detailed look into New York’s role as the sport’s capital in the early years of the industry. Examining the connections between horse racing, politics, organized crime, and gambling, Reiss offers a comprehensive account of one of America’s earliest major sports.

Whether or not California Chrome creates history at Belmont, The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime will give you a new appreciation for thoroughbred racing.


A New Season of Reading

Attention all readers! We are excited to share our new Fall 2014 catalog. We have a great lineup of books including biographies, short stories,  literary translations, and many others.

9780815610434Michael Long (author of Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After Baseball) returns with another inspiring biography. In Gay is Good, Long collects the letters of gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny. These letters are lively and colorful because they in Kameny’s inimitable voice—a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament.9780815633662

Our Director’s Choice book for this season is a fascinating exploration of sacred wampum belts. These belts depict significant moments in the lives of the people in Eastern Woodlands tribes, portraying everything from weddings to treaties. Reading the Wampum conveys the vitality and continuance of wampum traditions in Iroquois art, literature, and community.

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We are thrilled to be publishing Monarch of the Square, the first anthology of Muhammad Zafzāf’s work to be translated into English. Regarded as “Morocco’s Tolstoy,” Zafzāf creates stories that bring to life the flavors and sites of Casablanca, and the daily struggle to survive in remote rural villages. Filled with irony, sarcasm, and sympathy, these tales offer profound reflections on the human condition.

 

View the full fall catalog to read about all of our upcoming books.

 


Top Ten Adventure Books to Read for Fall: Part I

For the chilly fall days when we long for the grandeur and exhilaration of exotic adventures but are unable to part from our daily routines at home, we’ve put together a list of our top ten favorite adventure books. In part one of the list, the adventurous SU Press authors will take you through a natural history of upstate New York, beyond the ornate island countries of Asia and to two unique learning settings, including the balmy city of Baghdad and a giant vessel passing through the world’s oceans.

Although we can’t guarantee you a one-way ticket around the world, these five books will provide you with enough excitement to satisfy your wanderlust until Part II of our list is released.

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10) The Emperor Tea Garden by Nazli Eray

Through the lens of one of Turkey’s most celebrated writers, this story transcends traditional boundaries of time and place, propelling the reader on a philosophical odyssey to an imaginary realm filled with original lessons on friendship, love and life.

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9) Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American Memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924–1947 by Ida Donges Staudt

Staudt’s memoir provides a unique account of life in Iraq during the first half of the twentieth century. Weaving together cultural history, detailed characterization and enticing travel narrative, this book will leave you with a widened appreciation for the country.

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8) A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634-1635: The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert Translated and Edited by Charles T. Gehring and William A. Starna                         

This journal of an explorer from the Dutch West India Company provides some of the first details of New York State’s landscape. The reader is sent on a historical journey through the life and language of the Mohawk and Oneida settlements in the seventeenth-century.

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7) Walking Seasonal Roads by Mary A. Hood

Combining the primary elements of a nature narrative and an environmental call-to-action, this meditative book details an intimate walk along the back roads of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, reminding people of the intimate and important connection between people and their surroundings.

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6)  Innocents Abroad Too: Journeys Around the World on Semester at Sea by Michael Pearson

Pearson documents his maritime journeys as a professor for Semester at Sea, filled with worldly descriptions of the exotic people, places and books that have inspired travel and exploration throughout literary history.


Summer Road Trip with Chuck D’Imperio: Northeast Classic Car Museum

Northeast Classic Car Museum

Nothing fits a warm summer night better than a great old car show.  Well the biggest and best old car show in Central New York takes place every day at the wonderful Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich (Chenango County).

 

When you first step in to one of their several large showrooms it is sensory overload.  Cars are lined up as far as the eye can see:  red, black, white, turquoise, brown, green.  They look like Life Savers on wheels.  It is positively dazzling!

 

There are more than 150 cars on display every day at this unknown museum in Norwich.  From Model T and Model As, to big-finned classics from the 1950s, to the muscle cars of the 1960s they are all here.  Of special note is the largest collection of Franklin Automobiles under one roof.  These cars were made up until 1934 in Syracuse.  Other local auto manufacturers are represented here as well.


Some of the surest head-turners are the giant, block-long cars of the 1920s and 1930s.  There are several Dusenbergs, Packards and Cords here that are as long as boats and have every imaginable accessory to ferry around the rich and famous of the day.

The thing I like best about the Northeast Classic Car Museum is its multi-generational appeal.  This is the perfect place for Grandpa to bring his grandson (or granddaughter) to and give them a lesson on yesteryear.  Both generations will love it.  Granddad will enjoy reminiscing about his first car and the kids will love all the fancy, colorful features that make almost every auto here look as if it sprang from one of today’s superhero movies.

This is a nice museum, a little off the beaten path, but certainly worth a couple of hours on a a warm sunny Saturday!  It is also a chapter in my new book Unknown Museums of Upstate New York.

 


New Book In!

Sheva’s Promise: Chronicle of Escape from a Nazi Ghetto
By Sylvia Lederman

In this gripping memoir, Lederman tells her story of survival during one of the most horrific episodes in history. Beginning with Lederman as a young girl in Poland in 1941, Sheva’s Promise traces her experience in a Nazi ghetto with her mother and sister. Resolved that she must avoid the detention camp to help her family, Lederman obtains a false birth certificate and escapes the ghetto. Through the courage and humanity of a few individuals, she finds work in a hospital in Germany under an assumed identity. With fierce determination and resourcefulness, Lederman manages to elude Nazi capture and eventually immigrates to the United States with her husband.

Sheva’s Promise is not only an invaluable piece of historical record but also the work of a gifted writer whose keen eye for detail and skillful attention to language gives readers an unforgettable story.

“The author has strikingly portrayed the relationship between a hidden Jewish young woman and her rescuers. Her theological and psychological ruminations are heartbreaking and simultaneously portray her own coping skills and resilience. Time is running out and the story must be told before it is too late.”
—Alan L. Berger, Florida Atlantic University


New Arrival!

Carmilla: A Critical Edition
By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edited by Kathleen Costello-Sullivan

CarmillaFirst serialized in the journal “The Dark Blue” and published shortly thereafter in the short story collection In a Glass Darkly, Le Fanu’s 1872 vampire tale is in many ways the overlooked older sister of Bram Stoker’s more acclaimed Dracula. A thrilling gothic tale, Carmilla tells the story of a young woman lured by the charms of a female vampire.

This edition includes a student-oriented introduction, tracing the major critical responses to Carmilla, and four interdisciplinary essays by leading scholars who analyze the story from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Ranging from politics to gender, Gothicism to feminism, and nineteenth-century aestheticism to contemporary film studies, these critical yet accessible articles model the diverse ways that scholars can approach a single text. With a glossary, biography, bibliography, and explanatory notes on the text, this edition is ideal for students of Irish and British nineteenth-century literature.

“Costello-Sullivan’s exciting new edition of Le Fanu’s Carmilla, the sly 1872 Anglo-Irish vampire tale that laid the groundwork for the arguably less subtle Dracula, productively returns to the text’s original serialized publication format….This book is suitable for both undergraduates and advanced scholars of gender, sexuality, and Irish and film studies alike.”
—Mary Burke, author of‘Tinkers’: Synge and the Cultural History of the Irish Traveller


Book of the Month: Beyond Home Plate

Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball
Edited by Michael G. Long

Beyond Home PlateJackie Robinson is one of the most revered public figures of the twentieth century. He is remembered for both his athletic prowess and his strong personal character. The world knows him as the man who crossed baseball’s color line, but there is much more to his legacy. At the conclusion of his baseball career, Robinson continued in his pursuit of social progress through his work as a writer. Beyond Home Plate, an anthology of Jackie Robinson’s columns in the New York Post and the New York Amsterdam News, offers fresh insight into the Hall of Famer’s life and work following his historic years on the baseball diamond.

Robinson’s syndicated newspaper columns afforded him the opportunity to provide rich social commentary while simultaneously exploring his own life and experiences. He was free to write about any subject of his choosing, and he took full advantage of this license, speaking his mind about everything from playing Santa to confronting racism in the Red Sox nation, from loving his wife Rachel to despising Barry Goldwater, from complaining about Cassius Clay’s verbosity to teaching Little Leaguers how to lose well.

Robinson wrote to prod and provoke, inflame and infuriate, and sway and persuade. With their pointed opinions, his columns reveal that the mature Robinson was a truly American prophet, a civil rights leader in his own right, furious with racial injustice and committed to securing first class citizenship for all. These fascinating columns also depict Robinson as an indebted son, a devoted husband, a tenderhearted father, and a hardworking community leader. Robinson believed that his life after his baseball career was far more important than all of his baseball exploits. Beyond Home Plate shows why he believed this so fervently.

“Beyond baseball, beyond race, beyond politics, Jackie Robinson stands as one of the most important figures in American history, and Beyond Home Plate shows us why. Michael Long’s terrific book is an indispensable addition to the story of Robinson’s incredible journey.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season