September 18, 2020
At the University of Arizona Press, we have a long history of celebrating and adoring the southwest. A truly special region filled with unique flora and fauna, food, and traditions, we want to highlight some of our titles that explore our local Sonoran desert and beyond. Use the code AZSOUTHWEST20 for 35% off the titles mentioned in this post until 9/30/2020!
A Desert Feast offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. You’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to making Tucson taste like nowhere else.
Watch a video about the book here. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will feature Carolyn Niethammer as part of their fall speaker series on Monday, September 21, 2020. Other events to watch for include Carolyn’s appearance on the Tucson Festival of Books Authors in Conversation series on October 7, 2020, and a virtual book release event on December 2, 2020. Make sure to register for these events!
Coming soon— preorder now!
The desert inspires wonder. Attending to history, culture, science, and spirit, The Nature of Desert Nature celebrates the bounty and the significance of desert places. Gary Paul Nabhan invites a prism of voices—friends, colleagues, and advisors from his more than four decades of study of deserts—to bring their own perspectives. Scientists, artists, desert contemplatives, poets, and writers bring the desert into view and investigate why these places compel us to walk through their sands and beneath their cacti and acacia. We observe the spines and spears, stings and songs of the desert anew. Unexpected. Surprising. Enchanting. Like the desert itself, each essay offers renewed vocabulary and thoughtful perceptions.
Keep an eye out for these upcoming events! Gary Paul Nabhan and Francisco Cantú will be featured on the Tucson Festival of Books Authors in Conversation series on November 18, 2020, and on December 9, 2020, as part of its ongoing lecture series, the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill will host a virtual book release celebration for The Nature of Desert Nature, edited by Gary Paul Nabhan. Make sure you register for these events!
The saguaro, with its great size and characteristic shape, has become the emblem of the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. The Saguaro Cactus offers a complete natural history of this enduring cactus, the largest and tallest in the United States. From its role in Sonoran Desert ecology, to its adaptations to the desert climate, to its sacred place in Indigenous culture, this book offers a definitive source on a distinguished desert plant.
The Southwest Center is launching a new event series titled Food for Thought with David Yetman and Chef Janos Wilder. David Yetman will be featured on the program on October 9, 2020. Click here to learn more! Read an excerpt from the book here.
In Saints, Statues, and Stories, beloved folklorist James S. Griffith introduces us to the roadside shrines, artists, fiestas, saints, and miracles of northern Mexico. Full-color images add to the pleasure of this delightful journey through the churches and towns of Sonora.
Watch a video about author James “Big Jim” Griffith here, and see some lovely photos we took at our book release party last fall here. We are thrilled that Saints, Statues, and Stories was honored as a Southwest Book of the Year!
Daniel D. Arreola’s Postcards from the Chihuahua Border is a colorful and dynamic visual history of Mexico’s northern border. Drawing on more than three decades of archival work, Arreola invites the reader to time travel, to revisit another era—the first half of the last century—when the border towns of Ciudad Juárez, Ojinaga, and Palomas were framed and made popular through picture postcards.
Read an excerpt from the book here.
Through twenty individual stories, Voices from Bears Ears captures the passions of the debate that led to the creation of Bears Ears National Monument, a land of unsurpassed natural beauty and deep historical significance. The story of this place reflects the cultural crosscurrents that roil our times: maintaining tradition and culture in the face of change, healing the pain of past injustices, creating shared futures, and protecting and preserving lands for future generations.
Published in 1986, Blue Desert was Charles Bowden’s third book-length work and takes place almost entirely in Arizona, revealing Bowden’s growing and intense preoccupation with the state and what it represented as a symbol of America’s “New West.” With a thoughtful new foreword by Francisco Cantú, Blue Desert is a critical piece of Bowden’s oeuvre.
Read about Charles Bowden and Blue Desert in Harper’s Magazine here, and read a brief reflection on Blue Desert here.
When first published in 1987, Frog Mountain Blues documented the creeping sprawl of new development up the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Today, that development is fully visible, but Charles Bowden’s prescience to preserve and protect a sacred recreational space remains as vivid as ever. Accompanied by Jack W. Dykinga’s photographs from the original work, this book conveys the natural beauty of the Catalinas and warns readers that this unique wilderness could easily be lost.
“A beautifully written, handsomely illustrated love poem to a mountain range that has the fatal curse of being not merely too awesome in its beauty for its own good but, worse, too accessible to man.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
The Mojave Desert has a rich natural history. Despite being sandwiched between the larger Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts, it has enough mountains, valleys, canyons, and playas for any eager explorer. A Natural History of the Mojave Desert shares how the geology, geography, climate, and organisms, including humans, have shaped and been shaped by this fascinating desert.
Read an excerpt from the book here. We are thrilled that A Natural History of the Mojave Desert was selected as a Southwest Book of the Year!
No Species Is an Island describes the surprising results of Theodore H. Fleming’s eleven-year study of pollination biology in Sonora, Mexico, in the most biologically diverse desert in the world. These discoveries serve as a primer on how to conduct ecological research, and offer important conservation lessons for us all. Fleming offers an insightful look at how field ecologists work, and the often big surprises that come from looking carefully at a natural world where no species stands alone.
Read an excerpt from the book selected by the Arizona Daily Star here.
Between 1900 and the late 1950s, Mexican border towns came of age both as centers of commerce and as tourist destinations. Postcards from the Sonora Border reveals how images—in this case the iconic postcard—shape the way we experience and think about place. Making use of his personal collection of historic images, Daniel D. Arreola captures the evolution of Sonoran border towns, creating a sense of visual “time travel” for the reader. Supported by maps and visual imagery, the author shares the geographical and historical story of five unique border towns—Agua Prieta, Naco, Nogales, Sonoyta, and San Luis Río Colorado.