To mark its centenary year, W. W. Norton will launch Norton Shorts, a new series of short nonfiction books authored by scholars and intended for the general public. Norton Short titles will each clock in at less than 200 pages, and will span a wide range of scholarly topics.
“Norton Shorts emerged from conversations between Norton’s trade and college departments," said Alane Salierno Mason, v-p and executive editor at Norton and a key editor on the series. "We wanted to discover the next generation of Norton authors who could write reader-friendly, course-friendly books addressing big ideas, offering fresh perspectives, written with strong individual flair. Not cookie-cutter series books, but a series that would attract MacArthur 'genius' award winners—of whom we have a disproportionate number signed up.”
In addition to Mason, Tom Mayer, executive editor and v-p in the trade department, and Justin Cahill, v-p and editor-in-chief for social sciences in the college department, are spearheading the series. Additional editors will also acquire and edit projects.
"Each college editor lives and breathes their discipline, with the goal of finding rising new academic talent and learning about emerging new courses and intellectual trends," said Cahill. "Our colleagues in the trade department are expertly shaping these short books to speak to our current moment—and on the college side, we’re taking the longer view, helping ensure these short books will endure as teaching tools for tomorrow’s generation of college students.”
The inaugural titles in the series will publish on September 19. Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation, by National Book Award winner and Harvard history professor Tiya Miles, will explore how time spent in nature impacted the trajectories of influential 19th-century women. Against Technoableism: Rethinking Who Needs Improvement by Ashley Shew, associate professor of science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech, argues for a new perspective on disability, normalcy, and technological improvement.
Slated for Winter 2024 are Ruha Benjamin's Imagination: A Manifesto and Dennis Yi Tenen's Literary Theory for Robots: How Computers Learned to Write. Further down the line, Norton Shorts has plans to publish nearly 20 more titles, with such author-subject combinations as Natalia Molina on the myth of assimilation, Beth Piatote on living with history, and Tracy K. Smith on poetry in an age of technology. Other forthcoming Norton Short authors include Mehrsa Baradaran, Rina Bliss, Jim Downs, Brooke Harrington, Quill Kukla, and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas.
Norton Shorts will officially launch with a public event in partnership with House of SpeakEasy at Joe's Pub and the Public Theater on November 7—the 100th anniversary, to the day, of Norton's initial incorporation.