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Pima County Public library announced their Southwest Books of the Year for 2014 and OU Press published two of the eight winners!

Congratulations to Denise Chávez, author of The King and Queen of Comezón and Larry Ball, author of Tom Horn in Life and Legend!

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ChavezComezón: It’s more than an itch. It’s a long-standing desire that will never be fulfilled. And, in this novel by award-winning author Denise Chávez, it is also a border town in New Mexico whose denizens’ longings are as powerful as they are, all too often, impossible.

Between New Mexico and México, between Cinco de Mayo and the 16th of September, between the dreams and the realities of Comezón’s characters, something has to give. Each character is attempting to find love in this feverish fiesta called Life. And in the deft hands of Denise Chávez this tragicomic novel gives unerringly: pleasure, surprise, and the satisfaction of a tale well told.

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Tom Horn

Some of the legendary gunmen of the Old West were lawmen, but more, like Billy the Kid and Jesse James, were outlaws. Tom Horn (1860–1903) was both. Lawman, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw, and assassin, this darkly enigmatic figure has fascinated Americans ever since his death by hanging the day before his forty-third birthday. In this masterful historical biography, Larry Ball, a distinguished historian of western lawmen and outlaws, presents the definitive account of Horn’s career.

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University of Oklahoma Press receives five “Outstanding Academic Title” awards from “Choice.”

This year’s Outstanding Academic Title list includes 651 books chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the over 7,000 titles reviewed by Choice during the past year. Comprising almost 9 percent of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year, and less than 3 percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to Choice during the same period, “Outstanding Academic Titles” are truly the “best of the best.”

Use promo code “Choice2014″ in the shopping cart and save 30% on any of our “Outstanding Academic Titles” winners!

Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America
By Gary Clayton Anderson
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American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890
By Jerome A. Greene
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Claiming Tribal Identity: The Five Tribes and the Politics of Federal Acknowledgment
By Mark E. Miller
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The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present
By Ronald Spores and Andrew K. Balkansky
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A Cheyenne Voice: The Complete John Stands in Timber Interviews
By John Stands in Timber and Margot Liberty
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Choice, is a magazine published by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is considered the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education.

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Our winter/spring 2015 new books catalog is now available!

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Now available and 30% off! “A Legacy in Arms: American Firearm Manufacture, Design, and Artistry, 1800–1900”

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Buy the Book

The history of American firearms is inseparable from the history of the United States, for firearms have played crucial roles in the nation’s founding, westward expansion, and industrial, economic, and cultural development. This history unfolds in compelling words and images in A Legacy in Arms, a volume that draws upon the collections of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City to trace the business and art of gun making from the early national period to the turn of the twentieth century. With more than 200 images—almost all in full color—A Legacy in Arms not only documents the inspiration and innovation of arms makers from individual artisans to mass producers, but also describes the development of decorative expression in the gun maker’s art.

In an account both entertaining and enlightening, Richard C. Rattenbury details the development of commercial arms making, from the genesis of the Kentucky rifle to the arms of such iconic manufacturers as Colt, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Sharps, Marlin, and Winchester. Into this narrative he weaves the particulars of design evolution and the impact of mass production via the “American System.” The accompanying photographs and illustrations stand as eloquent testimony to the range and richness of the gun maker’s craft—and its rightful place in the story of American industry and culture.

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Book Review: “Sandalwood Death: A Novel” by Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan

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Buy the Book!

In his novel Sandalwood Death, Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan lavishes 15 pages on a Qing Dynasty executioner’s self-described “masterpiece”—the slicing death of a handsome young officer, the failed assassin of one of Chinese history’s most corrupt generals. The executioner’s goal is to make precise, even slices that keep the defiant victim alive until the 500th cut. Here’s the first cut:

“Without warning, [Zhao Jia] drove his fist into Qian Xionfei’s chest directly above the heart. Qian’s eyes rolled up into his head, and before the effect of that blow had worn off, with a quick circular motion of the hand holding the knife, Zhao snipped a circle of flesh the size of a bronze coin off of the other the side of Qian’s chest. He had neatly excised one of Qian’s nipples, leaving a wound that looked like a blind man’s eye.”

Little wonder that Mo Yan, who has written a shelffull of novels mostly about the peasants of his native province of Shandong, China, calls himself a storyteller. Controversy surrounds his Nobel Prize because Mo Yan has not been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government (although some of his books were banned initially). Mo Yan, whose chosen pen name means “don’t talk,” says he prefers to let his writing speak for him.

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