A Sky Wonderful with Stars Debuts at the IAU XXIX General Assembly


A Sky Wonderful with Stars: 50 Years of Modern Astronomy on Maunakea
by Michael J. West

August 2015 | 216 pages | 155 color, 9 b&w illus.
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-5268-9 | $39.99

Released to coincide with the 2015 International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly to be held August 3-14 in Honolulu, A Sky Wonderful with Stars is a spectacular collection of photographs accompanied by short essays by Michael J. West, soon-to-be deputy director for science at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. (West, a former UH Hilo professor and most recently director at the Maria Mitchell Observatory,  starts his new position on August 1 and is unable to attend the IAU gathering.) Through more than 160 photo-essays, the book shows the special beauty of Maunakea’s sky and landscape, its mythical beginnings, and glacial past; tells the story of how the human dream to create the village of the Maunakea observatories endured and became reality; and showcases some of the stunning images and scientific discoveries that have been revealed by the telescopes, which are among the most powerful on Earth.

IAU2015UH Press will be an exhibitor at the IAU meeting, sharing a booth with University of Arizona Press and Princeton University Press, and copies of the book will be available for sale. As usual, the exhibit hall as well as the program sessions are open only to registered attendees. There are public events scheduled, however, including an evening talk on August 11 by Günther Hasinger, director of the Institute for Astronomy at UH Mānoa, whose book, Astronomy’s Limitless Journey, will be published by UHP in October. Dr. Hasinger’s talk, “The Development of Modern Astronomy in Hawai‘i,” will start at 7:30 p.m., following the Exoworld opening ceremony. While the event is free, tickets are required and can be booked here. In a related link, listen to the ByteMark Cafe interview with Dr. Hasinger and assistant astronomer Roy Gal about the IAU.

From Michael West’s preface to A Sky Wonderful with Stars:

Astronomy isn’t just the study of distant planets, stars, and galaxies. It’s also the study of something much closer to home—us. One of astronomy’s most profound discoveries is that we humans are made from the ashes of stars whose fires burned out long ago. . . . Perhaps that’s why we feel compelled to explore the starry skies, as if driven by an innate yearning to know our true ancestral home and ourselves. “You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with the great telescopes,” wrote the philosopher Alan Watts.


The Confessions of a Number One Son


The Confessions of a Number One Son
written by Frank Chin
edited with an introduction by Calvin McMillin

2015 | 280 pages
Paper | ISBN 978-0-8248-3892-8 | $24.00
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3926-0 | $45.00

“Chin takes the reader on a twisted trip, packed both with raunchy comedy and poignant tenderness. . . . McMillin did an excellent job of keeping Chin’s writing intact while cutting out repetitions or segments that went nowhere [and] should also be applauded for compiling one of the best biographical sketches of Chin, to date. The publication of “Confessions” affirms Chin’s rightful place as a literary giant, not only within the confines of Asian American literature, but in the global literary world.” Nichi Bei Weekly

“Suspense builds as the novel becomes a darkly comic struggle with illusions, expectations and secret desires. . . . [Chin] writes fluidly, creates strong characters, and has a playwright’s ear for dialogue.” —Honolulu Star-Advertiser

“A spontaneous mix of reality and fantasy in this book contrasts with the underlying message about the damage people of color have endured because of racial prejudice. . . . Chin’s unique characters, with names like Gravelly Lake Ponders and Lily, the forty-three-year-old ex-nun, interact with convincing craziness.” —Foreword Reviews

“This heretofore unknown work captures the birth of a consciousness that is neither Asian or white American, but a third thing we witness being forged in the mind of its author. Its publication now should spur renewed interest and a critical reevaluation of the entirety of Frank Chin’s work, and cement his literary legacy.” —The International Examiner

Celebrating the “Wonderfully Subversive Power of Libraries and Librarians” as Robert Ji-Song Ku’s Dubious Gastronomy Wins APALA Literature Award for Adult Nonfiction


One of the raffle items at the APALA awards dinner—a bracelet with mini book covers of the winning titles.

APALA-logoIn conjunction with the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) literary awards were presented at a lively dinner ceremony on Saturday, June 27. Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA by Robert Ji-Song Ku, associate professor of Asian American studies at Binghamton University–SUNY, received the top honor in the adult nonfiction category. While Professor Ku regrettably was unable to attend the event, his prepared remarks were read by UH Press development director Colins Kawai, who accepted the award on his behalf. The speech is worth sharing here:

“It is a privilege and an honor to win the 2014-15 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the adult non-fiction category. I am especially honored to receive this award from an association of librarians because, you see, I was practically raised by librarians since I was eight years old when my family immigrated to Hawaii from Korea in the early 1970s.

Ku-Dubious GastronomyHaving to work several jobs between them from before sunrise to long after sunset, my parents could not afford any sort of childcare, after-school programs, or summer camps for their three children. My mother’s solution was to drop us off at the public library for hours on end. And this is how I fell in love with books, which plunged me into the world of dinosaurs, great white sharks, and faraway galaxies. It also led me to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s girlhood among ghosts, white tigers, and shamans.

I believe it was the filmmaker Michael Moore who said of librarians: “They are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them.”

Ku,RobertI couldn’t agree more. The fact that I went on to earn a PhD in English literature, become a professor of Asian American studies, and author books about Asian Americans is a testament to the wonderfully subversive and revolutionary power of libraries and librarians. No, I don’t mess with librarians; I give them props!

I thank the University of Hawai‘i Press for publishing my book, and especially my editor, Masako Ikeda, for believing in my book from the very get-go. I thank my family—my wife Nancy and twin boys Eliot and Oliver—for everything under and above the sun. But most of all, on this day, I thank the members of APALA for bestowing upon me this incredible honor.”

All of us at UHP join him in giving props to librarians everywhere!

UHP in San Francisco | American Library Association Conference

1db8bbb9-7b4e-4b4c-aeec-a043ff97a29cVisit us at booth 2302 for a discount on our titles!

Warehouses Closing for Inventory

UHP-niceskyOur Hawai‘i and Pennsylvania warehouses will be closed for annual inventory June 18–30. Orders may continue to be placed online and will be filled when shipments resume July 1. Mahalo for your patience!

UHP in Berkeley, CA | Bay Area Book Festival

BABFlogowithChronLogoBay Area Book Festival

Indoor/Outdoor Free Festival

June 6-7 | Downtown Berkeley’s Art District, CA
Find more information here.
Drop by our booth for a great discount on some of our most popular titles!

The Blind WriterCall me Captain Marathon Japan Changing Chinese Cities
216 pages
Paper | 978-0-8248-4798-2 | $25.00
Cloth | 978-0-8248-3958-1 | $50.00
Sameer Pandya will be a presenter at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference on Monday, June 8. For more info, click here.

Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea
Susan Scott

336 pages
Paper | 978-0-8248-3981-9 | $19.99

Marathon Japan: Distance Racing and Civic Culture
Thomas R. H. Havens

240 pages
Cloth | 978-0-8248-4101-0 | $47.00

Changing Chinese Cities: The Potentials of Field Urbanism
Renee Y. Chow

224 pages
Cloth | 978-0-8248-5383-9 | $45.00