Insider Higher Ed is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 #IHEreaderschoice award: The Making of Jane Austen, by Devoney Looser, a professor of English at Arizona State University. The book was published by Johns Hopkins University Press, which also published the winners last year and the year before.
The press describes the book as answering the crucial question "Just how did Jane Austen become the celebrity author and the inspiration for generations of loyal fans she is today?" The answer comes from "the people, performances, activism and images that fostered Austen’s early fame, laying the groundwork for the beloved author we think we know."
Those interested in Looser's writing may also enjoy an essay she wrote for Inside Higher Ed, "Jane Austen, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda," about what to do when your academic specialty suddenly captures public attention.
Readers nominated books for consideration and then voted. Nominations were sought of university press books that would make the best gift for an academic this holiday season. The Making of Jane Austen won by a large margin. Five of those who voted for the winning book will receive copies. We'll also display it at next month's annual meeting of the Modern Language Association. We received 75 nominations, and more than 3,000 people voted.
We are pleased to also honor these runners-up (in order):
- Wendell Berry and Higher Education: Cultivating Virtues of Place (University Press of Kentucky), by Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro, both from the English faculty at Spring Arbor University.
- Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy and Civil War in Mexico (University of Texas Press), by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor of public affairs and security studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
- What Editors Do: The Art, Craft and Business of Book Editing (University of Chicago Press), edited by Peter Ginna, who was most recently publisher and editorial director at Bloomsbury Press.
- The Elocutionists: Women, Music and the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press), by Marian Wilson Kimber, an associate professor of music at the University of Iowa.
Inside Higher Ed thanks all of those who nominated books (you can see them all here) and those who voted. We especially want to thank the scholars who expand the world of ideas with their writing -- and the publishers who allow them to reach broader audiences. We hope that when you are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, or any time of year, you will think about scholarly books.