Trinity University Press

New Books

A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

Matt Donovan (author)

Cover for A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

The title cloud of Matt Donovan’s A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape refers to the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried the city of Pompeii under twenty feet of ash. It’s no surprise, then, that Donovan found the site of the sacred ruins an inspiration, using their legacy to form the beginning of this extraordinary nonfiction debut. Donovan pursues the image of the cloud throughout these fourteen...

Crossing the Plains with Bruno

Annick Smith (author)

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Dogs, like humans, have memories, instincts, fears, and loyalties. But as far as we know, dogs do not get swept up in nostalgia, speculation, or self-analysis. Although they have hopes, they are not driven by regrets. In Crossing the Plains with Bruno, Annick Smith weaves together a memoir of travel and relationship, western history and family history, human love and animal love centering around a two-week road trip...

My interest in Annick Smith’s life was handsomely rewarded by this tender and perceptive book. A great woman, a great dog, and a road trip in the American West. How can... — Thomas McGuane, author of Crow Fair

Delayed Legacy: A Son’s Search for the Story of His Father’s Death after D-Day

Conrad John Netting IV (author)

Cover for Delayed Legacy: A Son’s Search for the Story of His Father’s Death after D-Day

When the infant Conrad Netting received his late father’s Air Medal in a military ceremony in February 1945, it seemed to close the book on yet another tragedy of World War II. But what appeared to be closure was only a pause. Katherine Netting became part of the silent generation, speaking little of the deep anguish left by her husband’s death when his fighter plane crashed in Normandy four days after D-Day....

Upon reading the wartime letters of Katherine and Conrad Netting, I was thunderstruck. Theirs was a story unlike anything I had ever encountered before. . . . Nettings...Andrew Carroll, editor of War Letters

Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman

Paul Mariani (author)

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Dream Song is the story of John Berryman, one of the most gifted poets of a generation that included Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, and Dylan Thomas. Using Berryman's unpublished letters and poetry, as well as interviews with those who knew him intimately, Paul Mariani captures Berryman's genius and the tragedy that dogged him while also illuminating one of the most provocative periods in American...

The ups and downs of Berryman's fascinating, excruciating life are beautifully retold. . . . A scrupulous, sensitive biography that is full of pity and wonder, that...USA Today

Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex

Chris Waters Dunn (author), Cappy Lawton (author)

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The enchilada is more than an everyday Mexican food. It is a history of Mexico—rolled, folded, and flat—that embodies thousands of years of Mexican life. The evolving ingredients in enchiladas from pre-Columbian to modern times reveal the internal and external forces that have shaped Mexico’s cuisine and culture.  Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex is a comprehensive exploration of one of Mexico’s most historic and popular...

Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex has legs — it could essentially help spread the gospel of enchiladas callejeras, or Tex-Mex, across the country.San Antonio Current

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

Rebecca Solnit (author)

Cover for The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed, prizewinning books of nonfiction, brings her dazzling writing to the essays in Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness. As the title suggests, the territory of Solnit’s concerns is vast, and in her signature alchemical style she combines commentary on history, justice, war and peace, and explorations of place, art, and community, all while...

Solnit has been compared to both Susan Sontag and Annie Dillard, though her writing is more lyrical and oblique than Sontag’s and her engagement with nature more overtly... — BookForum

Getting to Grey Owl: Journeys on Four Continents

Kurt Caswell (author)

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Writer, teacher, and adventurer Kurt Caswell has spent his adult life canoeing, hiking, and pedaling his way toward a deeper understanding of our vast and varied world. Getting to Grey Owl chronicles over twenty years of Caswell’s travels as he buys a rug in Morocco, rides a riverboat in China, attends a bullfight in Spain, climbs four mountains in the United Kingdom, and backpacks a challenging route through...

Kurt Caswell is a man with an unrequited wanderlust.Barbaraq blog

Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster

Randy Fritz (author)

Cover for Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster

Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster is an intimate account of the third worst wildfire in modern U.S. history, and the most destructive in the history of Texas. It is a memoir of what happened to Randy Fritz, an artist turned politician turned public policy leader, and his family during and after the Bastrop County Complex fire in 2011. Combining a searing account of the fire as it grew to...

If you've ever loved a tree—or a person—do yourself a favor: read this book, because at its core love in all its splendor and sadness is what it’s...Jan Jarboe Russell, author of The Train To Crystal City

Hello, Círculos!: Shapes in English y Español

San Antonio Museum of Art (author), Madeleine Budnick (editor)

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With ArteKids, children discover the world of art and learn English and Spanish at the same time. Introduce your child to the fundamentals of shapes by connecting them to the world of art in a unique, fun, and colorful way. The book incorporates artwork found in the collections of the San Antonio Museum of Art, along with phrases and words in English and Spanish, to make bilingual learning and art exciting for eager...

"The art choices are really quite stunning and will engage young readers. . . . The breathtaking works of art give youngsters much to pore over." Kirkus Reviews

Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape

Debra Gwartney (editor), Barry Lopez (editor)

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Hailed by book reviewers as a "masterpiece," "gorgeous and fascinating," and "sheer pleasure," Home Ground was published in fall 2006 in hardcover. It was met with outstanding reviews and strong sales, going into three printings. A language lover's dream, this visionary reference revitalized a descriptive language for the American landscape by combining geography, literature, and folklore in one volume. This is a...

Home Ground is a treasure house of a book, chocked with gems of the American vernacular. To learn these terms for features of the landscape is like putting on a new pair...Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall

Marc Bekoff (editor), Dale Peterson (editor)

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Jane Goodall, who turned eighty on April 3, 2014, is known around the world as a groundbreaking primatologist, the foremost expert on chimpanzees, and a passionate conservationist. In her nearly sixty-year career, Goodall has touched the hearts of millions of people. The Jane Effect is an anthology of testimonies by Goodall’s friends and colleagues honoring her as a scientific pioneer, inspiring teacher, devoted...

Jane Goodall powerfully redefined the way we see our fellow primates.New York Times

The Luck Archive: Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition

Mark Menjivar (author), Harrell Fletcher (foreword)

Cover for The Luck Archive:  Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition

Artist Mark Menjivar was in an antique bookshop in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when he found 4 four-leaf clovers pressed between the yellowed pages of an aged copy of 1000 Facts Worth Knowing. Their discovery piqued Menjivar's curiosity so much that he began a multiyear exploration into the concept of luck and its intersections with belief, culture, superstition, and tradition in people’s lives. Menjivar tells the story...

Menjivar’s project opens up the possibility, if only for a moment, to reflect on our own beliefs and traditions. And more importantly, it opens the potential to connect,... — Glasstire

Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

M. M. McAllen (author)

Cover for Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

In this new telling of Mexico’s Second Empire and Louis Napoléon’s installation of Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlota of Belgium, as the emperor and empress of Mexico, Maximilian and Carlota brings the dramatic and tragic story of this six-year-siege to life. 

Authoritative, detailed, and engrossing... McAllen ably demonstrates how the Second Empire’s collapse was one of the most spectacular personal tragedies and political...Publishers Weekly

A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

Peter Turchi (author)

Cover for A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

With his characteristic genius for finding connections between writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new and even more surprising territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi draws out the similarities between writing and puzzle making and its flip side, puzzle solving. As he teases out how mystery lies at the heart of all storytelling, he uncovers the magic—the creation of credible illusion—that...

Although Turchi’s knack for drawing connections can seem like a sleight of hand in itself, his writing is consistently engaging, lively, and thought provoking. The...Publishers Weekly

A Natural History of North American Trees

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

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One in a series of reissued books that have been out of print for decades, by one of the most loved naturalists of all time. "A volume for a lifetime" is how the New Yorker described the first of Donald Culross Peattie's two books about American trees published in the 1950s. In this one-volume edition, modern readers are introduced to one of the best nature writers of the last century. As we read Peattie's eloquent...

Peattie's prose is rich and courtly, the botany illuminating. But the chief delight is how he infuses his short portraits of tree species with the history of a nation.The Denver Post

Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places

Julia Martin (author), Gary Snyder (author)

Cover for Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places

In this thoughtful, affectionate collection of interviews and letters spanning three decades, beloved poet Gary Snyder talks with South African writer and scholar Julia Martin. Over this period many things changed decisively—globally, locally, and in their personal lives—and these altered conditions provide the backstory for a long conversation. It begins in the early 1980s as an intellectual exchange between an...

Gives wise advice about writing and life....His joy in ideas is contagious.Publishers Weekly


Barry Lopez (author), James Perrin Warren (introduction), Barry Moser (illustrations)

Cover for Outside

The six stories in Outside showcase Barry Lopez’s superb talent as a fiction writer. They offer profound insight into the relationships between humans and animals, creativity and beauty, and, ultimately, life and death. Again and again, whether portraying a boy who can change places with his half-coyote dog or a teacher who illuminates the meaning of friendship, Lopez reveals the exterior and the interior, the...

[Barry Lopez is] a powerful storyteller. — Margaret Atwood

The Road of a Naturalist

Donald Culross Peattie (author)

Cover for The Road of a Naturalist

The Road of a Naturalist is a fascinating autobiographical wonder written by one of America's most beloved naturalists at the height of his fame. A scientist, a philosopher, and a poet, Donald Culross Peattie takes us on an confessional journey across the landscape of his life. Told in flashbacks of years past and interspersed with impressions of a journey by motorcar across the American West, the book is intensely...

San Antonio Uncovered: Fun Facts and Hidden Histories

Mark Louis Rybczyk (author), Robert Rivard (foreword)

Cover for San Antonio Uncovered: Fun Facts and Hidden Histories

San Antonio is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic cities in America. The Alamo City's charm, colorful surroundings, and diverse culture combine to make it one of the most interesting places in Texas and the nation. In San Antonio Uncovered, Mark Rybczyk examines some of the city's internationally known legends and lore (including ghost stories) and takes a nostalgic look at landmarks that have disappeared....

Song from the Forest: My Life among the Pygmies

Louis Sarno (author), Alex Shoumatoff (foreword), Michael Obert (afterword), David Rothenberg (afterword)

Cover for Song from the Forest: My Life among the Pygmies

For twenty-five years American Louis Sarno has been recording the polyphonic and hypnotic music of the Bayaka people in Central Africa. His book is a first-person narrative of his life among a hunter-gatherer people and an account of their culture’s extraordinary beauty. Sarno recounts his efforts to protect the Bayakas’ fragile existence in an increasingly destructive world.   Song from the Forest has inspired a...

Conveying the deep connection Sarno feels with the Bayaka and their perilously endangered corner of the world.Independent

Unchopping a Tree

W. S. Merwin (author), Liz Ward (illustrations)

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There’s no mystery to chopping down a tree. But how do you put back together a tree that’s been felled? Mystical instructions are required, and that’s what W. S. Merwin provides in this prose piece. Written with a poet’s grace, an ecologist’s insights, and a Buddhist’s reverence for life, this elegant work describes the difficult, sacred job of reconstructing a tree. Step by step, page by page, with Merwin’s humble...

In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time’s passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the...Orion

William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked

Paul Mariani (author)

Cover for William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked

William Carlos Williams emerged alongside Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Frost, and Yeats as one of the foremost poets of the twentieth century. Paterson, Williams's epic masterpiece, raised everyday American speech to the highest levels of poetic imagination. A finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book, William Carlos Williams is a remarkable, rich blend of art and scholarship. From a small-town...

The most laudable aspect of Paul Mariani's critical biography of William Carlos Williams is that it largely succeeds in placing him, in his biographer's words, as ''the...New York Times Book Review

Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration

Sarah Shotland (editor), Sheryl St. Germain (editor)

Cover for Words without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence, and Incarceration

Writing workshops in prisons and rehabilitation centers have proven time and again to be transformative and empowering for people in need. Halfway houses, hospitals, and shelters are all fertile ground for healing through the imagination and can often mean the difference for inmates and patients between just simply surviving and truly thriving. It is in these settings that teachers and their students need reading that...

Sit down, turn off the phone, and prepare for a stunning, if difficult, read. . . Reading this book is to read the most intimate, often horrifying, stories that humans can...Publishers Weekly

Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment

Carter Wiseman (author)

Cover for Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment

Writing Architecture considers the process, methods, and value of architecture writing based on Carter Wiseman’s thirty years of personal experience writing, editing, and teaching young architects how to write. This book creatively tackles a problematic issue that Wiseman considers to crucial to successful architecture writing: clarity of thinking and expression. He argues that because we live our lives within the...

Argues that clear communication is integral for successful architecture, since words have an important part in expressing ideas, and because any architect will admit they...Archidose