Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heyday Books

Heyday Books just sent me Under the Dragon: California's New Culture by Lonny Shavelson and Fred Setterberg. The Oakland Museum of California co-produced it, and it has the high finish I associate with that kind of publication.

Most of the book is made up of colorful photos and verbal snapshots of the Bay Area's diverse population and hybrid culture. The foreword by Andrew Lam, author of another Heyday book (Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora), offers some helpful tropes for conceptualizing social identity in the region's rich racial and ethnic melange. A list of recommended readings, including an entire section of Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) publications, appears in the back matter. If I recall correctly, I worked on most of those PPIC reports during my years there.

I really like Heyday's operation, which is based in Berkeley. Anyone serious about California studies probably has a shelf of their books. Their McWilliams anthology, Fool's Paradise, is especially good.

Heyday was also kind enough to send along another 2007 title, Fast Cars and Frybread: Reports from the Rez, by Gordon Johnson. It's an original trade paperback, co-published by BayTree Books, that collects the author's columns from the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

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