Eric Wang

Yale University Press, the University department that publishes written content, released a score of new books this fall that have garnered national attention.

YUP has been operating as an organization for over a century. And over the past few months, the department has published over 200 new books as part of its fall 2019 season, with new content released as recently as this past Tuesday.

“We’re probably one of the most public faces of the University,” said John Donatich, director of YUP. “We publish and distribute over 400 books a year, each of them with the word ‘Yale’ on it. I think we have a definite reputation among not only university presses, but all of publishing. I feel it’s a very important role because I feel we further the mission of the University in disseminating knowledge and information. And, I think we’re one of the most vital forces of their ability to do that.”

According to YUP Publicity Director Brenda King, of the hundreds of books that the Press is publishing this fall, highlights include “Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South,” by Adele Logan Alexander; “Leonardo Da Vinci Rediscovered,” by Carmen Bambach ’81 GRD’83 ’85 ’88; “A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future,” edited by Daniel Esty LAW ’86; “Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power,” by Pekka Hämäläinen; “Firsts: 100 Years of Yale Younger Poets,” edited by Carl Phillips; and “The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends who Shaped an Age,” by Leo Damrosch ’63.

In an email to the News, King added that among the many accolades that have been awarded to books published by YUP this season, one of the most notable is Damrosch’s book, which was named a New York Times Top 10 Best Book of 2019.

“I’m of course honored, and very much surprised, to be included in the New York Times list, and it totally reflects my fruitful working relationship with Yale University Press,” Damrosch wrote in an email. “During a 50-year career I have published with seven other university presses and four ‘trade’ presses, and my experience with Yale has been far and away the best — so much so that I’ve done my three most recent books with Yale, and am now under contract for a fourth.”

According to the YUP’s website, its mission is to publish “serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs.” Founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day, YUP is now its own department within the University. It operates out of two offices — one in New Haven and the other in London — and splits its publishing schedule into a fall and a spring season. The most recent wave of releases is significant as it represents one of the last opportunities before the holidays to release books.

According to Donatich, YUP also publishes books from across the whole “fulcrum” of authors, reflecting the intellectual, social and cultural ambitions of the University. Importantly, he said that YUP understands its role of educating and communicating with not only the University community, but also the world.

“I think we really take ‘Lux et Veritas’ as our guiding mission, you know, light and truth,” said Seth Ditchik, YUP’s editorial director. “We want to publish books that obviously are intellectually sound and based in scholarship, but are also written in a way that will make this material accessible to a wider audience.”

Yale University Press’ New Haven office is located at 302 Temple St.

JULIA BIALEK
Julia Bialek currently covers student policy and affairs. She previously covered campus politics and is a sophomore in Saybrook College majoring in political science.