IN­DIE PUB­LISHER OF THE YEAR

Foreword Reviews - - Indies -

“… ed­u­cat­ing, in­spir­ing, and awak­en­ing the en­vi­ron­men­ta­lac­tivist bugs of the read­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

Did you know that Patag­o­nia pub­lishes books? Not many peo­ple do, though thanks to the lush, con­scious­ness-build­ing ti­tles that they’re re­leas­ing at a rate of 5-8 books a year, aware­ness is grow­ing. And for Patag­o­nia, that’s what pub­lish­ing is all about: ed­u­cat­ing, in­spir­ing, and awak­en­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal-ac­tivist bugs of the read­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Patag­o­nia seeks out ti­tles with two things in mind: na­ture must be the main char­ac­ter; the per­son telling the story must be trans­formed by na­ture in some way. This isn’t about man con­quer­ing the moun­tain, pub­lisher Karla Ol­son as­serts, rather, it’s about the moun­tain chang­ing some­thing fundamental in those who en­counter it. Ev­ery Patag­o­nia ti­tle you read will carry with it new aware­ness— that’s a guar­an­tee that Fore­word re­view­ers have en­joyed the fruits of reg­u­larly.

This year, A Tem­po­rary Refuge made a huge im­pact on our judges and earned a star in our mag­a­zine. It’s the kind of book that tra­di­tional pub­lish­ers might not touch: a nar­rowly-focused na­ture tale about pro­tect­ing steel­head salmon in the North­west. And yet Patag­o­nia’s faith in it proved well-founded—it sold well, and every­one who cracks it open is moved. Quiet and es­o­teric mo­ments from na­ture like Refuge pair well with Patag­o­nia’s big­ger pro­jects, too—like Malama Honua, a project five years in the mak­ing, which tracks the Poly­ne­sian Voy­ag­ing So­ci­ety from is­land to is­land as they make con­nec­tions and de­liver the re­minder that we’re all part of one hu­man fam­ily, shar­ing one vi­brant, frag­ile, and pre­cious Earth.

The cul­ti­va­tion of such re­minders is what Patag­o­nia is all about. They count suc­cesses by the aware­ness that they raise, draw­ing at­ten­tion to cor­ners of the Earth, and as­pects of lo­cal ecosystems, that peo­ple didn’t pre­vi­ously know to cher­ish. As Ol­son says: there’s a value in cap­tur­ing these sto­ries, in com­mu­ni­cat­ing this way, that can­not be over­stated.

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