Thursday, November 17, 2022

Historical novel showcase for University Press Week 2022, part 2

Here's the second half of the University Press Week celebration at Reading the Past, with nine other new and forthcoming historical novels (by seven authors) from a variety of university presses.

A story of local dramas and racism in a "sundown town" (where Black people were warned to stay away after dark) in rural Illinois in the 1960s, James Janko's What We Don't Talk About is out this month from the University of Wisconsin Press.  (Published November 2022)

Code of Honor is the 16th novel in the Peter Wake nautical adventure series from award-winning novelist Robert N. Macomber.  Over the past twenty years, the series has moved from small, Florida-based Pineapple Press to McBooks Press, a publisher of adventure fiction, and now to the Naval Institute Press. This latest entry follows Wake, now Rear Admiral after a decades-long career in the U.S. Navy, through the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.  (Published April 2022)

Mercer University Press in Macon, Georgia, publishes multiple historical novels each year. John Pruitt's Tell It True centers on the murder of a Black lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army reserve and the subsequent investigation, which pulls in the stories of journalists, politicians, the police, and more during a time of Civil Rights protests in summer 1964.  (Published October 2022)

Laura Secord's An Art, a Craft, a Mystery is unusual for the genre is that it's a work of adult fiction written as poetry.  It comes from Livingston Press, the literary imprint at the University of West Alabama.  Set in mid-17th-century Connecticut, the novel reveals the little-known stories of two real-life women who were accused of witchcraft. (Published February 2022)

In terms of literary works, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) Press specializes in East Texas and regional settings. Anne Sloan's Her Choice features a female journalist covering the 1928 Democratic National Convention in Houston as the city attempts damage control after a lynching takes place there days before the crowds arrive. (Published November 2022)

The lives of early 20th-century residents of the Southwest also figure in C. W. Smith's Girl Flees Circus, about an aviatrix making a sudden appearance in a tiny New Mexican town, upending everyone's lives (and her own).  From the University of New Mexico Press, which has an active fiction list and has also published juvenile fiction.  (Published September 2022)

Norwegian-Danish novelist Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928; her best-known work is her three-volume epic of a woman's tumultuous life in medieval Norway, Kristin Lavransdatter. Tiina Nunnally received acclaim for the modern translation. More recently, she took on the project of translating Undset's Olav Audunss√łn saga, also set in 13th-century Norway.  (The previous translation was published as The Master of Hestviken.)  Details at the website of its publisher, the University of Minnesota Press, mention that their edition of Olav Audunss√łn is the first English version of this series in nearly 100 years. The first three volumes have appeared so far.  Read more at The Modern Novel website. (Published 2020-2022)

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