Happy New Year!

The year 2013 was a huge year for Grey Editing. I worked with amazing authors and gifted editorial colleagues, networked, spoke, and contributed to making quite a few books! To give you an idea, here’s what my portfolio shelf looked like in late 2012.

shelf end 2012

And here it is at the end of 2013.

shelf end 2013

It’s hard to believe how much hard work and thought all these volumes represent– not to mention the websites, dissertations, corporate brochures, and other documents not represented here, as well as coaching, speaking, and other activities. We are currently accepting projects for 2014; if you’d like to work with us, please [colored]contact us[/colored] for a quote! Here are my top ten favorite book projects from 2013:

[colored]The Rust Belt Rising Almanac[/colored], (Philadelphia: The Head & the Hand Press).

This multiple-author compilation inspired by Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack traces stories of decay and renewal across the Rust Belt of the northern United States. My contribution, “Under This Cloud: Life and Death in the Shadow of a Coal-Fired Power Plant,” is a creative nonfiction piece that blends research on the environmental impact of the Cheswick Generating Station and its towering smokestacks with the personal story of its health effects on my own family.  Pittsburgh Magazine called the piece “moving” and “an honest account of the (often-made) tradeoff of present-day economic boom for a future of serious health issues, particularly a staggeringly high incidence of cancer.” This book is the first offering of The Head & the Hand, a startup press in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, just blocks from Grey Editing headquarters– expect big things from them in 2014!

[colored]Eddie the Kid[/colored], by Leo Zeilig (London: Zer0 Books).

I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I edited a novel, but working on this book was a powerful experience. The story follows two generations of the socialist Bereskin family as they love, protest, and pass down a legacy of domestic violence. Emotionally insightful and beautifully written, this novel mixes pain, humor, frustration, and struggle in proportions real enough to hit home. The Guardian [colored]called it[/colored] a “passionate, sad and well-told book” and “a compelling portrait of a flawed young radical.”

[colored]Gaza in Crisis[/colored], 2nd ed., by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé (Chicago: Haymarket Books).

Proofreading and localizing this collection was a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts of two great thinkers of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Editor Frank Barat combines conversations, essays, and  interviews with both men to paint a detailed, nuanced, and up-to-date assessment of the situation in Gaza and its future.

[colored]The Battle for Justice in Palestine[/colored]by Ali Abunimah (Chicago: Haymarket Books).

In this well-written and enlightening book, journalist and [colored]Electronic Intifada[/colored] founder Ali Abunimah assesses the state of the Palestine solidarity movement and shows how recent shifts may be paving the way for the real possibility of a just peace. Drawing on the recent history of Northern Ireland and South Africa, Abunimah asks what it would mean to create a single democratic state for Israelis and Palestinians. His twin strengths at writing and research made this book a pleasure to work on, and though I work regularly on books about this particular conflict, I learned a great deal of new information from it– especially with regard to the impact of neoliberal economic policies. Now available for preorder!

[colored]I Am Troy Davis[/colored], by Troy Davis, Martina Davis-Correia, and Jen Marlowe (Chicago: Haymarket Books).

Troy Davis, an innocent man, was executed by the state of Georgia two years ago, but his legacy lives on in a vibrant international movement to end the death penalty and counter the deep injustice of the criminal justice system. Written with his sister, the late Martina Davis-Correia, whose generous spirit pervades the book, and activist/filmmaker Jen Marlowe, and with a preface by Sister Helen Prejean, this book will change the way you think. I cried more than once while proofreading it.

[colored]1973: The Road to War[/colored], by Yigal Kipnis (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books).

Written by one of its veterans, this translation from the Hebrew bestseller follows the suspenseful story of how the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt broke out. Kipnis makes extensive use of newly declassified archives from the US and Israel to show how the political machinations of Israeli, Egyptian, and US diplomats and politicians– in particular Moshe Dayan and Henry Kissinger– led to a war that could have been avoided.

[colored]The Black Power Mixtape, 1967-1975[/colored], by Göran Hugo Olsson (Chicago: Haymarket Books).

This companion book to the acclaimed documentary presents new views of the leading lights of the US Black Power movement, including Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and Huey Newton, as seen through the eyes of the Swedish journalists covering their struggles. Their footage, recovered after being lost for decades, is presented here in transcripts and gorgeous color photography alongside commentary from contemporary African American thinkers and artists including Angela Davis, Erykah Badu, Questlove, Robin D. G. Kelley, and many more. Now available for preorder!

[colored]Schtick: These Are the Poems, People[/colored], by Kevin Coval (Chicago: Haymarket Books).

Chicago poet and performer Kevin Coval takes on the question of Jewish assimilation in a loud, rollicking book of poetry that spans generations and leaps brilliantly from hip-hop to Barbra Streisand to the BDS movement. Funny, brave, and full of fire, Schtick was a joy to edit.

[colored]I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War[/colored], by Kim Murphy (Batesville, VA: Coachlight Press).

It’s rare for me to work on self-published books, but this one was too interesting to pass up. Fiction writer Kim Murphy found, as she researched Civil War settings for her novels, a persistent myth that the US Civil War was a “gentlemen’s war.” She explodes this myth in her nonfiction work, digging deep into Union and Confederate archives to find extensive evidence that both sides used rape and violence against women as a weapon of war. Detailing the interplay of gender, race, and slavery, this book presents a dark but compelling picture of life for women in 1860s America. Susan Brownmiller, bestselling author of the classic Against Our Will, calls I Had Rather Die “a major work of scholarship that was long overdue.”

[colored]My Voice Sought the Wind[/colored], by Susan Abulhawa (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books).

Palestinian-American activist and poet Susan Abulhawa brings deep emotion to the surface in this compelling book of poems. Gorgeous artwork by designer Muiz, Arabic words and phrases, and lush imagery give this work a strong sense of place and rootedness even as it speaks of loss and exile.