It’s been an incredibly busy and exciting year so far and I’m happy to have a moment to share some of the highlights. I’ve just released a new book, done some interviews, published a new op-ed and we had our first simultaneous double release in the Social Fictions series. Such a great start to the year!
I am thrilled to announce the release of my 15th book, Gender & Pop Culture: A Text-Reader (edited with my friend and colleague Dr. Adrienne Trier-Bieniek). It feels like a milestone to be 15 books into my career and I’m glad the book in that slot is explicitly feminist. That feels right to me, and important. This book came at just the right time. I left teaching after more than a dozen years, ten at my last institution, and while it was definitely the right time for me to move on and focus exclusively on publishing, leaving the teaching profession was a big change. Gender & Pop Culture became a chance to document some of the main messages from my classes. It became sort of full circle for me to publish this book at this time. I’m contented to know that now some of the messages of my teaching will continue to live in college classrooms through this book. Adrienne, the contributors and I worked hard on this project and couldn’t be happier with the result. We’re deeply honored to have received advance praise from gender and media studies royalty, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, Sut Jhally, Lisa Wade and Anne Harris. You can read their words and more about the book here (Sense is offering free shipping during the release period if you buy it directly from their website):
In recent years I’ve also been interviewed as a regular part of my work life. I feel so fortunate to have the chance to speak about writing, arts-based research and my own books. I find that as I share my experiences I also reflect and learn. Here are some the interviews from the beginning of this year that have been especially rewarding.
As a part of an interview I did about how I translate women’s real stories into fiction, We Are The Real Deal, posted a lovely review of American Circumstance which truly made my heart sing. It read in part: “There is a timelessness and timeliness in the writing. The strong bonds painted between friends, lovers and caretakers give it a feeling of long-lasting relevance while simultaneously the attention to social class, the one percent, and even hints at global inequality (including human trafficking) make one think Leavy is very much chronicling how gender and social class intersect at this moment in history, from her perspective as an American woman. In some ways it’s like a contemporary, chick-lit version of The Great Gatsby but from a woman’s perspective and told through female characters that are never quite as they appear.” You can read my interview about women’s stories and fiction here:
As a part of my series of exclusive author interviews with examiner I did a 20 questions author interview. I loved having a chance to pay tribute to authors and other artists who have influenced and inspired me, explain why American Circumstance is my personal favorite of my books, and so much more, even sharing some secrets. You can read the full interview here:
That interview was so much fun that I agreed to do a 20 questions about being a series editor. My hope is the interview will be of value to other writers and editors. We covered a lot of ground, from sharing how I approach building a book series to the most common mistake authors make. Here’s that interview:
The editor of The Sociological Imagination invited me back for a follow-up interview on arts-based research and public scholarship. I’m always grateful for opportunities to talk about the vitality of the arts in social research and our need to find ways to make research accessible. You can read that interview here:
As you may know, I regularly write for the Huffington Post and I usually just share those pieces on my “in the media” links page. In honor of Valentine’s Day I wrote a piece about the top 10 ways women settle for low-fat love and I received so many emails that I wanted to extend a heartfelt and public thank you to the many women and men who sent thank you notes or shared their experiences with me. I am deeply touched when my work carries meaning for others and I’m delighted this piece provided food for thought. You can read it here:
Finally, another major highlight of 2014 so far has been the first double-release in the Social Fictions series. We released October Birds: A Novel about Pandemic Influenza, Infection Control, and First Responders by Jessica Smartt Gullion and Heartland: A Historical Drama about the Internment of German-Americans in the United States during World War II by Lojo Simon and Anita Simons over a two day period. This double release is very special for all of those involved in the Social Fictions series. Most didn’t think it was even possible to publish the products of arts-based research and now here we are, with our series thriving. It’s lovely that the double release includes both a novel and a play, showing the vitality in different genres for communicating social research to broad audiences. These two very different books also share a commonality: how people respond to fear. I love these books and applaud their authors. You can get more information or order the books here (Sense is offering free shipping on these titles for their release if you order directly from their website): https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/social-fictions-series/
2014 is looking to be an incredibly busy and exciting year. I look forward to the promise and possibility. Thanks for coming along.
Love and Light,