This month we release Robert Cantwell and the Literary Left: A Northwest Writer Reworks American Fiction. The book, authored by American studies scholar T.V. Reed, is the first work to fully explore the literary legacy of Washington-born novelist, Robert Cantwell.
Cantwell has been called the pioneer of the modern Pacific Northwest novel and ran in the same New York literary circles as Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. Indeed, Hemingway considered Cantwell his "best bet for American fiction." Yet few in the Pacific Northwest or beyond have heard of Robert Cantwell and his work.
As T.V. Reed shows, Cantwell found himself more and more at odds with the Literary Left as the movement shifted from focusing on American working-class socialism to supporting communist efforts across the globe. After publishing The Land of Plenty - a working-class novel set in Western Washington - to great acclaim in 1934, Cantwell abandoned novel-writing for a quieter career in journalism. As a result, his literary legacy was nearly forgotten.
In 2012, The Land of Plenty, was brought back into print with a new introduction by New York Times best-selling author Jess Walter. The publication of Robert Cantwell and the Literary Left rounds out the effort to reintroduce Cantwell's life and work to the broader public.
Jess Walter and T.V. Reed will appear in conversation later this month at the Seattle Public Library in what we hope will be the beginning of a much larger conversation about Cantwell's contributions to Pacific Northwest and American literature.
As an active member of Seattle's vibrant book culture, the University of Washington Press is honored to be able to partner with other publishers and book advocates to host events like this, especially as Seattle advances its bid to become the next UNESCO City of Literature.
If you're in Seattle, we hope you'll join us for what promises to be an enlightening conversation between T.V. Reed and Jess Walter on August 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Seattle Public Library.
Jean Meaux's In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers' Tales, 1879-1909 was featured in the "Best of the Best from the University Presses" panel at the American Library Association annual conference in June. It also appears alongside several other UW Press books in the bibliography of University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 24th Edition.
The University of Washington Press announces a new Northwest Writers Fund, established to support regional creative nonfiction. To contribute to the fund or for more information, please contact Beth Fuget (206-616-0818, email@example.com).
Now available: Fall 2014 Catalog