Friday Author Link Love

Happy Friday all! Hope you have some good books to read and some outdoor activities planned. Here is a recap of some of the cool things Fulcrum’s authors and books were up to this week:

Walter Echo-Hawk, author of In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (978-1-93621-801-1, Fulcrum Publishing), was recently interviewed by J Kehaulani Kauanui for the radio show “Indigenous Politics.” Check out this podcast to hear the full interview. Walter Echo-Hawk is always a fascinating person to hear speak. http://indigenouspolitics.mypodcast.com

Richard Hetzler of The Mitsitam Café Cookbook (978-1-55591-747-0, Fulcrum Publishing) sat down with Serge the Concierge (blog) at Book Expo America in New York last month. The full interview was just posted on Serge the Concierge’s blog last week, and it’s a fun read! Check out the interview here to learn more about the inspiration for the dishes in the cookbook as well as how Richard adapted some dishes to make them more contemporary, while staying true to Native techniques.

Trickster Cover

We found out this week that Trickster: Native American Tales (978-1-55591-724-1, Fulcrum Publishing) won a Hollywood Book Festival award in the Comics category. Read about the other award winners here: http://hollywoodbookfestival.com/winners2011.htm. Congratulations to Matt Dembicki and the Trickster team! Speaking of Matt Dembicki, he is off to San Diego next week for Comic-Con International, where Trickster is up for an Eisner Award. Matt will also be doing a signing at Tr!ckster on Saturday, July 23rd, from 12pm-2pm. The San Diego Wine And Culinary Center wine bar directly across the road from San Diego Comic-Con will be transformed for one week into Tr!ckster, a 4,500 square foot area for comic creators to launch books or sell limited runs of new books or items with gallery space for display and a symposium spot as well.

Our friends at Indian Country Today magazine recently reviewed Every Day is a Good Day, Memorial Edition (978-1-55591-691-6, Fulcrum Publishing) by Wilma Mankiller. Following is a nice quote from the review: The endurance of this book owes as much to these women’s resilience as to the staying power of its author. Although she died in April 2010 at the age of 64, Mankiller had survived and indeed surpassed what might be considered more than her share of misfortune. In The Way Home, the chief, a key player in the rebuilding of her nation, wrote, “The question I am asked most frequently is why I remain such a positive person, after surviving breast cancer, lymphoma, dialysis, two kidney transplants and systemic myasthenia gravis. The answer is simple: I am Cherokee, and I am a woman. No one knows better than I that every day is indeed a good day.” “

Have a great weekend!

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Fulcrum’s News Round-up

TGIF. The view outside my window is filled with blue sky, bright white fluffy clouds, and miles of green. Perfect weather to… well, do nothing. Before I get busy doing that, let’s review another wonderful week of great Fulcrum books, events, and authors.

‘Twas a short week at the office, although a busy one after getting back from a week in NYC for BEA. See video and audio highlights from the 2011 show here, although, none of these include Dani’s and my highlights: Tyra Banks??!! Benjamin Batt??!! Ok, Benjamin wasn’t at the show, but we saw him walking down the street near Times Square, all cool and nonchalant and sending Dani’s heart racing. Tyra was at the show to publicize her new fantasy novel, Modelland. Here’s a picture of Dani admiring the book back at our booth:

Our own celebrities Richard Hetzler and Renee Wilkinson, authors of the books The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook and Modern Homestead respectively, were also at BEA this year. They both brought in great crowds for their signings. Richard’s fans raved about the menu at The Mitsitam Cafe at the NMAI in Washington, DC (which is, by the way, amazing):

While Renee’s fans solicited her advice on planting, growing, and chicken-raising conundrums (I believe the fan pictured below is reenacting one of her chicken conundrums) and her years of experience on her Portland plot in HipChickDigs.com:

In addition to our exciting BEA news, Dani also wrote a great blog post yesterday about our memorial edition of Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women by Wilma Mankiller. If you have not read it yet, please do. The book is not only a favorite of ours, but of many Native women, activists, libraries, and schools. And it’s a great, inspiring read for this weekend. Happy June and Happy Friday!

Behind the Cover: A Look at “Every Day Is a Good Day”

This week, Fulcrum book designer Jack Lenzo offers a peek inside the process of designing the cover for a special reissue of Every Day Is a Good Day.

Memorial editions are tricky things. When I heard that we were going to do a memorial edition of Wilma Mankiller’s Every Day Is a Good Day, I was a little nervous. I had just started at Fulcrum when the first edition was in progress, and I remembered quite vividly that Wilma was really insistent that she not be on the cover. Her humility made her prefer that the emphasis be on the women whose experiences she collected for the volume, and therefore one of these women, Gail Small, was chosen to be featured.

first edition cover

For the memorial edition, however, the existing cover would be confusing, with many people assuming that this was Wilma. Of course, how respectful of a memorial is it if one insists on going against her wishes? Because of these factors, we decided to concentrate on a mood rather than a person.

Finding the right tone can be challenging. Our first try felt a little too focused on the spiritual. For better or worse, everyone could identify this style as quite familiar.

first idea

Our second was perhaps a little somber. And even in silhouette, would people wonder if it was Wilma?

Idea 2

In the end, we found what we felt was a balance of the natural, the spiritual, and the contemplative that resonates within the book.

Jack Lenzo is the designer at Fulcrum. He appreciates looking out his window and seeing mountains instead of cornfields and bumper stickers that are thoughtful enough to say Naive instead of Native. Some of his favorite projects have been ones that have overlapped with and informed his own experiences in the West.

Charlie Soap, Wilma’s husband, has started a foundation to celebrate Wilma’s great legacy. Fore more information on the Wilma Pearl Mankiller Foundation, visit the foundation’s home page.

Contributor Lurline McGregor on the memorial edition of “Every Day Is a Good Day”

Lurline McGregor, contributor to Every Day Is a Good Day, blogged about the memorial edition of the book. The rest of Lurline’s blog can be read by clicking on the excerpt below.

Lurline McGregor's blog

In Remembrance of Wilma Mankiller

President Obama said this shortly after the passing of the former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, last April, “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Wilma Mankiller today. As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, she transformed the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America…Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work.”

This June, Fulcrum will release the memorial edition of Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women (978-155591-691-6, $18.95) by Wilma Mankiller, giving readers a rare and often intimate glimpse into the lives of Native women.

In this illuminating book, twenty indigenous female leaders—educators, healers, attorneys, artists, elders, and activists—come together to discuss issues facing modern Native communities. Every Day found its genesis with Mankiller, who over a period of several years, engaged indigenous women in conversation about spirituality, traditions and culture, tribal governance, female role models, love, and community. Their common life experiences and shared values gave them the freedom to be frank and open and a place of community from which to explore powerful influences on Native life.

Here are some of Mankiller’s words from this beautiful book. We hope they inspire you as they do us:

“I learned at a fairly early age that I cannot always control the things that are sent my way or the things that other people do, but I can most certainly control how I think about them and react to them. I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the negative. I believe that having a good, peaceful mind is the basic premise for a good life. My sense of faith, hope, and optimism stems in part from being a Cherokee woman.”

“My family taught me a lot about love… I now know what a rare gift it was to have parents who did not condition their love on our behavior or personality or even whether they agreed with or entirely understood us. Even when they thought what we were doing was dead wrong or they disagreed with us, they encouraged us to develop our own understanding of things… I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I had not always known that there were people who loved me.”

“Traditional indigenous knowledge systems and stories acknowledge that the rivers, rocks, trees, plant life, and celestial world are alive with spirit and meaning. When traditional indigenous people speak of their relatives, they are referring to every living thing, not just human kinship. The very identity of traditional tribal people is derived from the natural world, the land, and the community. They understand their own insignificance in the totality of things.”