As we cautiously look forward to emerging from the pandemic, the books announced in this season’s catalog help us take stock of what we have learned and provide guidance on what might be next.
The Wuhan Lockdown takes us back to the beginning of the crisis, and The Long Year brings a range of perspectives on how the virus exacerbated the world’s preexisting conditions. Crisis Under Critique, coedited by Columbia’s Axel Honneth, recasts the meaning of crisis.
The catalog features accomplished Columbia University authors, including Eric R. Kandel, who tells us, yes, There Is Life After the Nobel Prize. Andie Tucher of the Journalism School explores the long history of “fake news” in Not Exactly Lying. Two sustainability primers from Columbia’s Earth Institute—Managing Environmental Conflict and Sustainable Food Production—emphasize the importance of resilience.
For readers looking for summer reading that is gripping and thought-provoking, I suggest David Hajdu and John Carey’s A Revolution in Three Acts, a graphic nonfiction page-turner about transgressive vaudeville performers whose stories feel strikingly modern. The Backstreets, from the Uyghur novelist Perhat Tursun, reads like a lost modernist classic while speaking to an urgent human rights issue. And for those who relished the urban outdoors during the long months of social distancing—or who are just now venturing back outside—Buried Beneath the City and Before Central Park show us New York City in a new light.
In order to publish these powerful and timely books, we rely on the Columbia University community, our partners, and our readers. Thank you for helping support our books and our mission—and I look forward to saying so in person.
Jennifer Crewe, Associate Provost and Director