Arts & Humanities, Campus News

These books make great gifts

UNC Press staff recommend titles on Appalachian folklore, Tar Heel basketball, women’s rights in Iran, North Carolina art and the state’s food landscape.

Art showing five book covers for the UNC Press Holiday gift guide.

For a holiday gift, wrap up one of these new books recommended by the staff at UNC Press.

‘Making Our Future: Visionary Folklore and Everyday Culture in Appalachia’

By Emily Hilliard

Drawing from her work as state folklorist, Emily Hilliard explores contemporary folklife in West Virginia and challenges the common perception of both folklore and Appalachian culture as static, antiquated forms, offering instead the concept of “visionary folklore” as a future-focused, materialist and collaborative approach to cultural work.

“Hot dogs, labor strikes, video games, West Virginian songwriters — “Making Our Future” explores all these and more unexpected elements of Appalachian culture through not only their historical arch into the contemporary, but also how they fit into and reflect the future of Appalachia. Hilliard’s writing is as accessible and dynamic as it is well-researched. It’s the perfect companion for any inkling of curiosity about Appalachian culture or for simply sparking that curiosity anew.” — JessieAnne D’Amico, acquisitions assistant

‘Together: The Amazing Story of Carolina Basketball’s 2021–2022 Season’

By Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner and Matt Bowers
Photos by Maggie Hobson
Foreword by Hubert Davis

When Hubert Davis was named head men’s basketball coach at UNC-Chapel Hill in April 2021, history had already been made, as Davis became the program’s first Black head coach. In words and photos full of behind-the-scenes moments, this book reveals how belief in the program’s rich traditions and in one another enabled the 2021-2022 Tar Heels to achieve what at times seemed impossible, writing a thrilling new chapter in the story of Carolina basketball.

“A perfect gift for any Tar Heel. Anyone who follows Carolina basketball will want to ring in the start of the new season by remembering last year’s historic first year with Hubert Davis and the Iron Five.” — Ann Bingham, awards and exhibits manager

‘Art of the State: Celebrating the Visual Art of North Carolina’

By Liza Roberts
Photos by Lissa Gotwals
Foreword by Lawrence J. Wheeler

This beautiful and informative volume illustrates the vitality and importance of North Carolina’s contemporary art scene, showcasing the creation, collection and celebration of art in all its richness and diversity. Featuring profiles of individual artists, compelling interviews and beautiful full-color photography, this book tells the story of the state’s evolution through the lens of its art world and some of its most compelling figures. Roberts introduces readers to painters, photographers, sculptors and other artists who live and work in North Carolina and who contribute to its growing reputation in the visual arts. Artists featured include Stephen Hayes, Mel Chin, Cristina Cordova, Beverly McIver and Scott Avett.

“My go-to gift book for the holidays is “Art of the State: Celebrating the Visual Art of North Carolina.” Organized by region, it gives a grand overview of North Carolina’s contemporary art scene through engaging profiles of artists and collectors, deep dives into diverse pieces of artwork and histories of the state’s art institutions. Clearly for lovers of art, this book is also for lovers of North Carolina and its people, explaining how North Carolina geography and economic history have led to a distinctly North Carolina attitude that embraces public support for art and culture. Any book that quotes Mary Oates Spratt Van Landingham’s description of North Carolina as a ‘vale of humility between two mountains of conceit’ is going to be a great celebration of the state.” — Joanna Ruth Marsland, director of development

‘The Other Side of Silence: A Memoir of Exile, Iran, and the Global Women’s Movement’

By Mahnaz Afkhami

Afkhami picked up the phone in a New York hotel room one morning in November 1978, and learned she could never go home again. She had been declared an apostate and enemy of the Iranian Revolution and was on its death list. Afkhami, Iran’s first minister for women’s affairs, began to rebuild her life in the United States, becoming an architect of the women’s movement in the Global South. Along the way, she encountered familial, cultural, political and organizational hurdles that threatened to derail her quest to empower women and change the very structure of human relations. A skilled storyteller who has spent her life in two worlds, Afkhami shares her unexpected and meteoric rise from unassuming English professor to a champion of women’s rights in Iran; the clash between Western feminists and those from the Global South; and the challenges of international women’s rights work during the so-called war on terror.

“The Other Side of Silence: A Memoir of Exile, Iran, and the Global Women’s Movement” is the must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the recent uprising in Iran, the history of women’s rights in that country and how activists inside and outside Iran have worked for decades to empower women despite repression from the Islamic State. But this isn’t just a political history. It’s also the remarkable story of Afkhami, whose determination, resilience and service to a cause greater than herself will inspire readers to believe not only in their ability to effect change but also in the power of global cooperation to create a better world.” — Cate Hodorowicz, editor

‘Edible North Carolina: A Journey across a State of Flavor’

Edited by Marcie Cohen Ferris; K. C. Hysmith, associate editor
Photos by Baxter Miller
Foreword by Vivian Howard

Cohen Ferris gathers a constellation of leading journalists, farmers, chefs, entrepreneurs, scholars and food activists — along with photographer Miller — to offer an immersive portrait of North Carolina’s contemporary food landscape. Ranging from manifesto to elegy, “Edible North Carolina’s” essays, photographs, interviews and recipes combine for a beautifully revealing journey across the lands and waters of a state that exemplifies the complexities of American food and identity.

“Hands down THE perfect book for all the people in your life who are passionate about learning where their food comes from — the people and the places — through the writing of an impressive group of essayists doing good work within this incredibly diverse state. Along with that, the book features gorgeous photography, and includes a recipe from each of the contributors relative to their essay.” — Peter Perez, director of public relations and communications