Archive for April, 2014

Publishers Weekly talks with Suzanne La Rosa on South Carolina book defunding controversy

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Brian Seidman

Publishers Weekly quoted NewSouth publisher Suzanne La Rosa in a recent article about the South Carolina state house’s controversial decision to cut funding to two schools that assign books with gay and lesbian characters to their freshmen. The University of South Carolina Upstate assigns their students Out Low: The Best of Rainbow Radio, edited by Ed Madden and Candace Chellew-Hodge, and the College of Charleston assigns their students the novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

The South Carolina state house cut almost $70,000 in funding from the schools, citing separately to Publishers Weekly issues with books that promote “the gay and lesbian lifestyle.”

“I believe its important to publish on these topics,” La Rosa told Publishers Weekly reporter Paige Crutcher. “This is shameful, hurtful, punitive behavior on the part of the state of South Carolina. Sadly, its also curiously revealing about the role the state believes it has to play in the life of its academic community.”

In their conversation, La Rosa told Crutcher, “To the degree that we can better educate people to be compassionate and not to fear ‘the other,’ then we will succeed in creating a society more hospitable to and accepting of the value of books like these in question. That is, after all, our mission as publishers. Keep in mind: Even legislators are not beyond redemption.”

NewSouth plans to release a book of Southern-themed LGBT coming-out stories in 2015, tentatively titled Crooked Letter I and edited by Connie Griffin.

Read “Booksellers and Publishers React to the Defunding of S.C. Universities” at the Publishers Weekly website.

Eugene Bullard featured in Washington Post “Flashbacks” comic strip

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Lisa Harrison

Eugene Bullard: World's First Black Fighter Pilot by Larry GreenlyThe Washington Post “Flashbacks” comic strip, created by Patrick Reynolds, recently featured in a series on World War I aviation hero Eugene Bullard. Strip artist Reynolds cites a new biography published by NewSouth Books — Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot by Larry Greenly — as inspiration for his series. The strip tells the story of the boy who ran away from his home in the segregated South and made his way to Europe. Bullard’s varied career, from prize fighter in England through entertainer in France to Legionnaire and then pioneering fighter pilot, is compellingly recounted.

Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot is the first biography of the war hero written for young adult readers. Booklist praises the title in a starred review, saying “Greenly crafts a moving, novelistic biography that portrays Bullard’s undying fortitude throughout his life.” Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a worthwhile introduction to a decorated hero of two world wars who overcame obstacles in difficult times.”

Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

The original artwork and signed prints from the comic strip are available for sale at Red Rose Studio.