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Borderland Books was founded by Richard Quinney in 2005 as an independent publisher of quality nonfiction books in the tradition of art and craft printing. The books are distributed by the University of Wisconsin Press.

 

Borderland Titles

A Sense Sublime

A Sense Sublime

by Richard Quinney

“And I have felt / A presence that disturbs me with the joy / Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime.”—William Wordsworth

A Sense Sublime is a record of a life lived during the last years of the twentieth century on the northern edge of the tallgrass prairies of Illinois where seas of flowing grasses give way to the glaciated hills of Wisconsin.

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Ox Herding in Wisconsin

Ox Herding in Wisconsin

by Richard Quinney

"I know the writing that is good and severe discipline. Many times writing has been for me about the only discipline I had or needed, and it was good. In the telling of the story — in the writing — I have been able to consider carefully what I am experiencing in my life. Writing is a way to understand the experience, to learn from it, and a way to go on."

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Under a Lucky Star Paperback

Under a Lucky Star

by Roy Chapman Andrews

Paperback Edition Foreword by Charles Gallenkamp, Afterword by Ann Bausum

“Andrews’ pioneering explorations in Mongolia greatly advanced science and archaeology; his life and adventures there, which Indiana Jones would envy, make this a welcome re-issue of a thrilling read.” – ForeWord Reviews

Under a Lucky Star is the autobiography—the lifetime of adventure—of the explorer and archaeologist Roy Chapman Andrews. See complete details

A Farm in Wisconsin

A Farm in Wisconsin

by Richard Quinney

This is the story of a farm in Walworth County, Wisconsin, that began with a few acres in 1868 and grew to a 160-acre family farm. Over many years it supported and provided the rich background for four generations. Told from the perspectives of the descendants of Irish, English, and Scottish emigrants, as revealed in letters, diaries, photographs, and documents, this unique book offers a moving portrait of the life on this Wisconsin farm.

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A Good Life

A Good Life

by Derek Phillips and Klaske Muizelaar

This is the touching memoir of Derek Phillips and Klaske Muizelaar, and the life of love and travel they shared together. Derek, an American, had been living in Amsterdam since 1971. Klaske, born in the north of the Netherlands, had been there since 1972. Their life together centered on maintaining dignity, self-respect, and, most importantly, mutual love. At home in Amsterdam, they shared passions for work and reading, good food, music, art, walking, and travel.

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Once Upon an Island

Once Upon an Island

by Richard Quinney

As the decade of the 1960s drew to a close, Richard Quinney walked the streets of Manhattan with camera in hand, documenting the life of the city. For forty years, as he relocated from one place to another, the photographs he had taken in Manhattan went with him. After the events of September 11, 2001, the photographic images acquired a meaning and significance beyond anything he could have imagined. Once Upon an Island contains 175 photographs of Manhattan, including color photographs of the construction of the World Trade Center.

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Smoke Damage

Smoke Damage

by Michael Schwalbe

Tobacco use causes over 440,000 premature deaths every year in the United States, or about 20 percent of all annual mortality in the nation. Such statistics remind us of the enormity of the problem, yet offer no insight into how tobacco-related disease is experienced by individuals and their families.

Smoke Damage fills this gap by putting a human face on America's most profitable and most preventable epidemic. See complete details

Cows: A Closer Look

Cows: A Closer Look

by Paul Thoresen

Dairy cows. An integral element of rural American and notably Wisconsin heritage and identity. Yet our appreciation of these bovine beasts seldom extends beyond our knowing that they graze in fields and provide us with an array of cheeses and milk. Via the images of a photographic essay, fine art photographer Paul Thoresen explores the very essence of cows that exists beyond words. Cows are brought to light as individuals, as part of the social herd, as feminine/masculine and as tenants of the land. See complete details

And Then Came the Liberators

And Then Came the Liberators

by Albert Jærn

Albert Jærn captures in words and woodcuts the atrocities and indignities Norwegians witnessed during their country's five year long occupation by Hitler's forces, 1940–1945. Jærn (1893–1949) worked as a book illustrator for Aschehoug, a well-known publishing house, where he also produced the cover art for some 500 books. As in this wartime diary, Jærn favored block cuts of wood or linoleum. In simplified lines and surfaces, free of affectation or exaggeration, he captured the point he wished to communicate and managed to make something new each time. See complete details

In the Course of My Walks

In the Course of My Walks

by August Derleth
Edited by Richard Quinney

August Derleth lived all of his life in Sauk City, Wisconsin, a source of inspiration and substance for his vast range of writing, including In the Course of My Walks. While exploring the meaning of the lives of the men and women in the village on the banks of the Wisconsin River, the natural background—fields, woods, plants, marshes, water, and the wild creatures of the land and sky—was ever present in his writing. See complete details

Touchless Automatic Wonder: Found Text Photographs from the Real World

Touchless Automatic Wonder: Found Text Photographs from the Real World

by Lewis Koch

Created as a poetic and visual journey, Touchless Automatic Wonder spans twenty-five years and four continents. These striking photographs capture "found text": the sometimes mysterious, occasionally humorous, often cryptic presence of words in the everyday landscape. This intriguing approach at the intersection of language, image, and the social landscape will appeal to readers interested in contemporary art and photography, popular culture, and conceptual concerns both literary and visual. See complete details

A Lifetime Burning

A Lifetime Burning

by Richard Quinney

In the attic were the spinning wheel, baby beds, quilts, the cradle scythe, framed paintings and photographs, sets of dishes and silverware, and the rosary beads that served the author's great-grandmother for a lifetime. The basement held tools, sleds, milk cans, barn jackets, canning jars, and the workbench. On the front porch were the emigration trunks that contained scrapbooks, photographs, farm ledgers, diaries, and souvenirs. The cupboards, dressers, and closets were filled with the material things—of parents and children—from the years of the living. See complete details

Under a Lucky Star

Under a Lucky Star

by Roy Chapman Andrews

Under a Lucky Star is the autobiography—the lifetime of adventure—of the explorer Roy Chapman Andrews (1884–1960). Adored by the public and pursued by the press, Andrews came as close to superstar status as any explorer in the twentieth century. Much of Under a Lucky Star focuses on his grandest adventure, the legendary Central Asiatic Expeditions. This series of five daring journeys into uncharted expanses of the Gobi Desert produced a previously unsuspected treasure-trove of dinosaur remains.

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Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda

by Carol Chase Bjerke

Hidden Agenda documents Carol Chase Bjerke's large-scale multifaceted art project about living with an ostomy after treatment for colorectal cancer. Addressing quality-of-life issues ranging from questions of identity and privacy to specifics of management and self-care, this book is about relentlessness and repetition and time measured in medical supplies. See complete details

Comics in Wisconsin

Comics in Wisconsin

by Paul Buhle

From "Gasoline Alley" to Lynda Barry and beyond, a tradition of comic artists in Wisconsin.

Who knew? Wisconsin comic artists, editors, and publishers have made both central and fringe contributions to the language, form, and content of comic strips, comic books, and other forms of this popular art. Paul Buhle traces this history, illustrated by more than two hundred reproductions.

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Facing Fear

Facing Fear

by Judith Strasser

"We are all going to die. The real question, the question basic to confronting our fears, is how are we going to live." – from Facing Fear

After the presidential campaign and election in 2004, Judith Strasser set out to investigate the nature of fear and its widespread use as a political campaign strategy. After flying to Seattle to conduct research for her study of political fear, Strasser returned home to a diagnosis of stomach cancer. Facing Fear traces Strasser's attempt to understand the nature of fear and anxiety and to regain control of a life threatened by a fatal disease. See complete details

Field Notes

Field Notes

by Richard Quinney

For many naturalists, writers, and poets who followed, the boundaries between the animate and inanimate, the living and the dead, are ambiguous and arbitrary. In the moments when we grasp the essence and wonder of nature, we know that all things are in its domain, that we too are nature. Yet nature is not necessarily benevolent to our human interests. We are subject to the same forces that work in all of nature. Nature is the source of life as well as its destruction as new life is being created. With pen and camera in hand, between town and country, notes are made and a life is lived. One world at a time, here on earth. See complete details

Goodbye Wisconsin

Goodbye Wisconsin

by Glenway Wescott

Wisconsin was still a wilderness in these early 1920s stories by Glenway Wescott (1901–1987). The distances between farms and small towns seemed great in those days. So was the struggle of social order and religion against the dangers of poverty, nature, and a stubborn streak of lawlessness. But the real adventure in these stories is in Wescott's deep understanding of human nature and his levels of meaning. His characters may be tragic, heroic, comic or inspiring, but if there is one theme here, it is the search for personal freedom. See complete details

Of Time and Place

Of Time and Place: A Farm in Wisconsin

by Richard Quinney

When the house at the Old Place was torn down more than half century ago, the family photograph albums were carried up to the farmhouse. A few letters, some diary entries, and a scrapbook of obituaries survived to preserve a portion of the family history. Added to these materials, the author has drawn from the photographs of his mother's family, from the photographs made by his mother and father as they documented their young lives, and from the many photographs of the early years of the family. This is the story of the several generations that once lived on these few acres of rolling hills and wetlands in a corner of southern Wisconsin. See complete details

Things Once Seen

Things Once Seen

by Richard Quinney

This retrospective of photographs spans a period of forty years. Each photograph, each act of photographing, has been an attempt to stop time, to capture what is happening in the moment, and to preserve the moment for posterity. The photographer frames the subject, and seemingly gives witness to an order in the universe. But the photographer knows that, as Henri Cartier-Bresson has reminded us, nothing can really bring back the moment of things fixed in the photograph. See complete details

Corridor

Corridor

by Josephine Singer

"Proverbs are true / but not quite / true enough." Josephine Singer writes in "The Surprises." This is not a proverb but the beginning of a poem. All of the poems in this book seek to say what is true enough, what is truer even than proverbs are. Singer's proverbial insight, like Kafka's, describes the reality behind things, in a spare and stark place that is not for us. Reality, like a poem, is a corridor between dark and dark, that leads at last to a "true recess," emptiness and void, "not a soul in sight." See complete details

Tales from the Middle Border

Tales from the Middle Border

by Richard Quinney

The place is the middle border, the Midwest borderland remembered in the writings of Hamlin Garland. Richard Quinney's autobiographical essays begin with his birth and early years on the family farm in southern Wisconsin, continue through a lifetime of movement away from the farm, and document a return to the farm. Along the way, there are the tales of the years of living and writing in a prairie town across the border. See complete details

Once Again the Wonder

Once Again the Wonder

by Richard Quinney

The place is the middle border, the Midwest borderland remembered in the writings of Hamlin Garland. Richard Quinney's autobiographical essays begin with his birth and early years on the family farm in southern Wisconsin, continue through a lifetime of movement away from the farm, and document a return to the farm. Along the way, there are the tales of the years of living and writing in a prairie town across the border. Part of the return of the native is a remembrance of his father and mother. In the most recent telling, Quinney is still moving between town and country. But it is always to the farm, the farm on the middle border, that he returns. See complete details

Where Yet the Sweet Birds Sing

Where Yet the Sweet Birds Sing

by Richard Quinney

The year would be an odyssey. As the days passed, Richard Quinney kept a close watch-keeping a journal and taking photographs of the passing seasons on his family farm in Walworth County, Wisconsin. During the year the author, recently retired from a lifetime of university teaching, was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and by year's end was moving from one place to another. The farm of the author's birth and growing up years was settled by his great-grandparents emigrating from Ireland during the famine. It is the place always returned to in times of need and solace. See complete details