2011 was a good year for Ig Publishing. We started the year with award-winning author Ron Tanner’s delightfully dystopian novel, Kiss Me, Stranger. You have to read the book to fully appreciate the experience, but for those of you who only have 4 minutes and 27 seconds of free time, here is Ron’s book trailer, which will give you an idea of what happens on the printed page, both visually and linguistically.
Next came a book that wound up being quite prescient in anticipating the political and social turmoil that would come to represent 2011, Reviving the Strike: How Working Can Regain Power and Transform America. Author and labor lawyer Joe Burns convincingly argues that the only way for workers to break free of the repressive system of labor control that has been imposed upon them by corporations and the government for the past seventy-five years is to redevelop an effective strike based on the now outlawed traditional labor tactics of stopping production and workplace-based solidarity. Joe’s book perfectly represented a moment of change that began with the attacks on labor in Wisconsin the spring, and continued with the OWS movement in the fall.
2011 also saw the continuation of our “Class-Ig” series of reprints of important works of history and politics, with the release of Edward Bernays’s Crystallizing Public Opinion and Vance Packard’s The Waste Makers. Our second title by Bernays, after Propaganda, which we reissued in 2004, Crystallizing, originally released in 1923, was the first ever book written about the then nascent field of public relations, and set down the principles that corporations and government have used to influence public attitudes over the past century. Featuring an introduction by Bill McKibben, The Waste Makers is Vance Packard’s pioneering 1960 work on how the rapid growth of disposable consumer goods was degrading the environmental, financial, and spiritual character of American society. We are happy to reintroduce these classic works to a whole new audience.
The fall saw the release of two dynamic novels, Laura Ellen Scott’s Death Wishing, a tale of what happens when dying wishes start to come true, and Mark Yakich’s A Meaning for Wife, the story of a man trying to come to terms with the sudden death of his wife, the aging parents he has long avoided, and the tribulations of single parenthood. A Meaning For Wife helped us end the year on a high note, as it was chosen as the number one “Small Press Highlight” of 2011 by the National Book Critics Circle.
If 2011 was a good year, we have even higher hopes for 2012, when Ig will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Among the books you can look forward to in the new year are Kendra Pierre-Louis’s Green Washed, about how we cannot shop our way to sustainability; Ghosting, Kirby Gann’s lush and lyrical novel of family and community, and the ties that can both bond and betray; Jonah Man, Chris Narozny’s novel about vaudeville, drug dealing and one-armed jugglers; Andrew Cotto’s Outerborough Blues, a mystery set in early 1990s Brooklyn, Trevor Aaronson’s The Terror Factory, based on his Mother Jones cover story about how the FBI uses informants to manufacture terror plots,; Mark Van de Valle’s Trailer Park Nation, about trailers in the American psyche; and Diana Wagman’s brilliantly bizarre novel, The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets.
Happy New Year to everyone! See you in 2012.