UT Press Fall Online Book Sale

2365ecaa6ce119aa9190dbcc31ef5398d22cb3ecThe holidays are upon us and what better gift for those on your list than a book? Get your virtual shopping cart ready for The University of Texas Press online book sale Nov. 10-14.

All titles in a range of subject areas – food, photography, music, film and media studies, and many more—will be eligible for purchase at a 45 percent discount online, plus free domestic shipping for all campuses in the University of Texas System.

In order to receive the special discount, you must use a special coupon code at check out. All information about the sale, including check out instructions, can be found on this website.

Important details:

-All titles on our site are already 33 percent off. Faculty, staff and students will receive an additional discount off the full retail price for a total of 45 percent off.

-Use the code UTPF14 at checkout to reduce your purchase price to a 45 percent discount.

-Sales tax will be added to your total.

“Arnold Newman: At Work” reveals creative process of portrait photographer

Newman_At_Work_Cover_300dpi“Arnold Newman: At Work” highlights archival materials from the Harry Ransom Center’s Arnold Newman archive to reveal a glimpse into the work of the photographer who created iconographic portraits of some of the most influential innovators, celebrities and cultural figures of the twentieth century. Written by Ransom Center Senior Research Curator of Photography Roy Flukinger, the book was published by University of Texas Press this spring.

A bold modernist with a superb sense of compositional geometry, Newman is known for a crisp, spare style that situates his subjects in their personal surroundings rather than in a photographer’s studio. Marlene Dietrich, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Arthur Miller, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso are only a few of his celebrated sitters.

Rich with materials from Newman’s extensive archive in the Ransom Center, the book offers unprecedented, firsthand insights into the evolution of the photographer’s creativity. Reproduced here are not only many of Newman’s signature images, but also contact sheets, Polaroids, and work prints with his handwritten notes, which allow readers to see the process by which he produced the images.

Pages from his copious notebooks and calendars reveal Newman’s meticulous preparation and exhausting schedule. Adsheets and magazine covers from Holiday, LIFE, NewsweekLookEsquireSeventeenTime, and Sports Illustrated show the range of Newman’s largely unknown editorial work.

Flukinger provides a contextual overview of the archive, and Marianne Fulton’s introduction highlights the essential moments in the development of Newman’s life and work.

The book coincides with the Ransom Center’s current exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass, which runs through May 11. Featuring more than 200 of well-known masterworks, the exhibition also includes rarely seen work prints and contact sheets. Arnold Newman: Masterclass is the first major exhibition of the photographer’s work since his death and showcases the entire range of Newman’s photography, featuring many prints for the first time.

What's on Your Nightstand, Joanna Hitchcock?

Joanna Hitchcock is director of the University of Texas Press. She is a former president of the Association of American University Presses and a founding member of the Texas Book Festival Advisory Committee.

UT Press publishes more than 100 books a year in a variety of fields for scholars and students throughout the world, as well as books on the history, arts and culture of Texas.

“Because I am involved professionally with the publication of scholarship, most of the books I am recommending here are intended for lighter reading, suitable for air travel or literally for the nightstand,” Hitchcock said.

“Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood” by Alexandra Fuller (Random House, 2001)

I learned about Alexandra Fuller’s recollections of growing up in central Africa from the scintillating talk she gave at the Texas Book Festival. This sharp, gritty, funny memoir is suffused with the sights, sounds, and smells of the African bush, where the author and her sister, the only two survivors of five siblings, were raised by a tobacco-growing father and a hard-drinking mother, along with their pack of dogs, dairy cows, “expensive” bulls, and the snakes, leopards, apes and wild pigs that shared the land with them. “By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring … hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling” (The New Yorker).

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (The Dial Press, 2008)

Without giving anything away—how the author came to visit a group of people in postwar Guernsey, who they were, how the Germans had treated them, how the literary society got its name, and how the plot develops through a series of letters—I can recommend this book for its poignancy, characterization and historical accuracy. It shows British wartime humo(u)r at its most whimsical. Reminiscent of 84, Charing Cross Road and even Jane Austen, it will appeal to book-lovers, letter-writers, World War II buffs and Anglophiles, as well as to the eavesdropper in us all. It is the perfect choice for your bookclub.

“Pariah” by Thomas Zigal (The Toby Press, 1999)

I came across this mystery novel after its author and I served as fellow judges of a literary competition–I wanted to see if his own fiction was as good as his criticism of others’ work. It is. Set in Aspen, this book grabs you immediately and keeps you twisting and turning through a series of fast-paced events as the hero-sheriff tries to discover how a sad but seductive heiress, accused of a murder 20 years earlier, meets her own death one evening minutes after he has left her mansion. The author uses words sparingly, but each character is fully rounded and sharpened, and the plot keeps the reader off balance. One keeps thinking one knows where the story is going, only to find one’s expectations foiled. But the unexpected ending is psychologically satisfying.

“Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Penguin, 2006)

This book is an adventure story with a real-life hero. It had a personal resonance for me because one of my ancestors was a pioneer climber in the Himalayan range in which Greg Mortenson climbed and worked. On his descent from an almost successful attempt on K2, Mortenson came to a remote village where he saw children scratching sums in the cold soil. “Climbing K2 suddenly felt beside the point,” he writes—and he said to the headman, “I’m going to build you a school.” Despite enormous obstacles, he did—and then built 55 more. By providing children in Pakistan and Afghanistan with a balanced education rather than leaving them to be recruited by the madrassas, Mortenson demonstrates that education, not war, is the answer to 9/11.

“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007)

War and Peace is on many people’s life list, but short of retirement, a life of leisure, or a spell in jail, how can an ordinary person get through it? Taking advantage of the two-week holiday break, I plunged into “the most famous and …most daunting of Russian novels,” as one of the translators puts it in his introduction. Immersing oneself in nineteenth-century Russian society, following Tolstoy’s precise descriptions of elegant soirées and disorderly battles seen through the eyes of his immense cast of characters, induces a feeling of peace that transcends the gruesome material. I find that it is possible to read this book in the course of normal life, provided one savors it slowly over a period of time.

Professor Translates Novel about Iran-Iraq War

In the United States, translations make up only a small percentage of books published each year, and very few of them are from the Middle East. But translators have been working steadily over the years to alter this picture.

Among them is UT Professor of Persian and Comparative Literature Mohammad Ghanoonparvar, translator of “Fortune Told in Blood,” a novel about the Iran-Iraq War by Iranian author David Ghaffarzadegan.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, in partnership with University of Texas Press, published the translation last year.

Though Ghanoonparvar has translated numerous novels, short story collections and plays during his 30 years of experience, he finds the process of translation is always fraught with tough decisions.

There are several schools of thought about the best way to translate, the scholar says.

Professor Ghanoonparvar

Professor Ghanoonparvar

Some argue a translation should reflect the original language as literally as possible, while others believe it should read as though it had originally been written in the target language. Ghanoonparvar has found that striking a happy medium between these two extremes has served his projects well.

While translation is no easy feat, finding a publisher presents an even greater challenge. However, Ghanoonparvar has seen improvement in recent years and says continuing political focus on the Middle East has spurred interest in literature from the region.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Texas at Austin has published literature in translation from the Middle East for more than 20 years. Find more books from the series at www.utexas.edu/utpress/subjects/cmes.html.

This post was adapted from the story “The Art of Translation” by Wendy Moore, which appeared in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies’ 2008-09 Newsletter. Moore is the editor of the Middle Eastern Studies publication series.

When Writing Met Art

Bibliophiles may spend a lot of time thinking about writing, but that generally means the writing we see as we flip the pages of a book, not going back to the clay tablets and artifacts found in the ancient Near East.

To understand those beginning forms of written communication, there is no better source than Denise Schmandt-Besserat, professor emerita in the Departments of Art and Art History and Middle Eastern Studies.

Schmandt-Besserat is credited with discovering the origins of writing. Her most recent book, “When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story” (University of Texas Press, 2007) looks at what happened when writing and art began to interact and shape each other.

The book won the $10,000 grand prize at the university’s prestigious Hamilton Book Awards this year.

“Art was age-old when writing began,” writes Schmandt-Besserat. Writing didn’t arrive until more than three millennia after art, and when it did, it was an accounting device used to keep track of goods such as measures of grains. When art and writing start to interface, both forms evolved.

Full of photos and illustrations, “When Writing Met Art” traces how writing was transformed from accounting device to a means of visual communication, opening up the possibility of sharing law, narrative, and history.

It was awhile before we’d be turning the pages of “War and Peace,” but we were on our way.

Hamilton Book Award runners-up for 2008 include:
Carlton Erickson for “The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment;”
James Loehlin for “Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard;”
John Markert for “Physics for Engineers and Scientists, 3rd edition;”
Kurt Weyland for “Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector Reform in Latin America.”