Once upon a time in the land of book publishing; the same fabled land of three-martini lunches and staff whose full-time job was only to write jacket copy; where one could send an assistant out for a cup of coffee that cost less than a dime; someone said:

“Let here a date be chosen. That date shall be no more than eight and no less than six weeks ere a book should arrive in our warehouse. Let this date then stand as a beacon for media to call out across the land, in great praise and jubilation for a new book arrives this day! So shall it be that on such day, readers in great numbers shall rise; shall put down thine coffee; set aside thine newspaper wherein thee readeth hue and cry of this new book, and ye shall run, yea run, to yonder book store, for an intelligent person shall wait in patience to serve you there.”

And so it was. So it shall be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t order books long before the publication date. Try us: we’ll ship them right out! (In all seriousness, you can order direct by calling 800-226-3822 or online at upf.com)

One of the truly lovely things about working in publishing is the great number of rituals and archaic language. One such thing is the elegant publication date.

This Sunday, March 6 is the first of our publication dates for spring 2011 books. If you’ve not yet browsed through our spring catalog, take a look here.

So today we’re celebrating this early spring blossom from our general interest list:

Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism by Tracy J. Revels is, according to James Denham (Professor of History and Director, Lawton M. Chiles Jr., Center for Florida History, Florida Southern College), “A readable, concise history of Florida tourism from the earliest European discovery to the present. Revels’s prose sizzles.  Her ability to summarize and analyze more than 300 years of Florida tourism in just over 200 pages is truly stunning. It is a remarkable achievement.  Sunshine Paradise both entertains and informs on every page, and it should be required reading for policy makers and everyone else who needs to know how current Florida came to be.”

And we here commemorate and pluck the first spring fruit of scholarship:

Girls of the Factory: A Year with the Garment Workers of Morocco by M. Laetitia Cairoli,who spent a year in the ancient city of Fez. Girls of the Factory tells the story of what life is like for working women. Forced to find a factory job herself so that she could speak more intimately with working women, she was able to learn firsthand why they work, what working means to them, and how important earning a wage is to their sense of self.

In Search of Asylum: The Later Writings of Eric Walrond edited by Louis J. Parascandola and Carl A. Wade. Compiles Walrond’s European journalism and later fiction, as well as the pieces he wrote during the 1950s at Roundway Psychiatric Hospital in Wiltshire, England, where he was a voluntary resident. Louis Parascandola and Carl Wade have assembled a collection that at last fills in the biographical gaps in Walrond’s life, providing insights into the contours of his later work and the cultural climates in which he functioned between 1928 and his death in 1966.

History of Andersonville Prison, revised edition by Ovid L. Futch with a new introduction by Michael P. Gray. In this, the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the University Press of Florida is pleased to present a revised edition of this book first published in 1968 and has never been out of print. Ovid Futch cuts through charges and counter-charges that made the camp a subject of bitter controversy. He examines diaries and firsthand accounts of prisoners, guards, and officers, and both Confederate and Federal government records (including the transcript of the trial of Capt. Henry Wirz, the alleged “fiend of Andersonville”).

Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies by Michael Patrick Gillespie is a great read to gear up for St. Patrick’s Day (especially if you’re among those who commence an annual reading of Ulysses in time for Bloomsday). Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies makes this trailblazing scholarship readily accessible to readers. Offering three essays each on Joyce’s four main works (Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake), editor Michael Patrick Gillespie provides a contextual general introduction as well as short introductions to each section that describe the essays that follow and their original contribution to the field. Featuring works by Robert Boyle, Edmund L. Epstein, S. L. Goldberg, Clive Hart, A. Walton Litz, Robert Scholes, Thomas F. Staley, James R. Thrane, Thomas F. Van Laan, and Florence L. Walzl, this is a volume that no serious scholar of Joyce can be without.

Missionary Positions: Evangelicalism and Empire in American Fiction by Albert H. Tricomi. From Melville’s Typee and Omoo to Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible, from Michener’s Hawaii to LaHaye’s Left Behind series, Tricomi traces the various manifestations of the missionary novel over time. His close readings of individual works also treat selected novels of Sedgwick, Cooper, Hobart, McKay, and Lewis, as well as several examples of Twain’s short fiction. Weaving together political, theological, and literary analyses, this original, thought-provoking investigation examines a broad range of works, featuring both those that celebrate and those that criticize American missionaries at home and abroad. Tricomi illuminates fascinating relationships between Christian evangelicalism and American destiny, including cultural and religious imperialism, and concludes with a disturbing judgment on the limitations of contemporary versions of the genre.

…and just in time for Mardi Gras, 3/8

Carnival and National Identity in the Poetry of Afrocubanismo Thomas F. Anderson offers thought-provoking new readings of poems by seminal Cuban poets, demonstrating how their writings on and about these traditions both contributed to and detracted from the development of a recognizable Afro-Cuban identity. This volume is the first to examine, from a literary perspective, the long-running debate between the proponents of Afro-Cuban cultural manifestations and the predominantly white Cuban intelligentsia who viewed these traditions as “backward” and counter to the interests of the young Republic. Including analyses of the work of Felipe Pichardo Moya, Alejo Carpentier, Nicolás Guillén, Emilio Ballagas, José Zacarías Tallet, Felix B. Caignet, and Marcelino Arozarena, and Alfonso Camín, this rigorous, interdisciplinary volume offers a fresh look at the canon of Afrocubanismo and offers surprising insights into Cuban culture during the early years of the Republic.

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