Check Your Orders: ON THE RUN

On the Run“One of the most eagerly awaited urban ethnographies in years” may sound like faint praise, but it warrants the author, sociologist Alice Goffman, a NYT profile today, two weeks in advance of the publication of her book.

On the Run, (University of Chicago Press; May 13), is described by the NYT as, “a closely observed study of the impact of the criminal justice system on everyday life in a low-income African-American neighborhood of Philadelphia, [that] it is attracting interest well beyond academia.” There has even been film and TV interest, because it “contains enough street-level detail to fill a season of The Wire.” The 32-year-old diminutive blonde author is media-worthy herself, for her deep immersion with her subjects, enduring many of the harrowing events they do, including being arrested.

Publishers Weekly wrote about the book last week in an article titled “The Sociology Book Primed To Become a Trade Hit,” noting that the publisher has already gone back to press three times. The Chronicle of Higher Education was out in front, writing about Goffman back in November.

There will be more noise about the book next year. In an unusual move for a university press, Chicago auctioned off the paperback and digital rights, which were won by Macmillan’s Picador. PW reports that they plan to send Goffman on tour when the paperback comes out in 2015.

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