You could say Donald McCaig lives a bit of a double life as a writer. While many people know him as a bestselling author of Southern historical fiction, there is a no less devoted audience for his remarkable tales of raising and working with sheepdogs. The University of Virginia Press published A Useful Dog in 2007, and this spring we will be bringing out McCaig’s latest book, Mrs. and Mrs. Dog: Our Travels, Trials, Adventures, and Epiphanies. In the meantime, McCaig has offered us a new piece, about a sheepdog named Fly.

The Wildest Wild Oysters

Cornelis de Heem's Still LIfe with Oysters, Lemons, and Grapes (ca. 1660s)This month we begin a series of pieces by Jeffrey Greene, author of The Golden-Bristled Boar (out in paperback this April). Jeff’s next book concerns foraging and cooking wild edibles. His first post begins in the Louvre, where be becomes mildly obsessed with the oysters as they appear in the Dutch still lifes, and takes him to the French coast in search of the grandest oyster of them all, the giant pied de cheval.

The Making of a Book

Alan G. James, editor of The Master, the Modern Major General, and His Clever Wife: Henry James’s Letters to Field Marshal Lord Wolseley and Lady Wolseley, 1878–1913, sent along the following piece about the genesis and various stages of the project. It is an excellent insider’s look at how a book originates that begins, “Twenty years ago or so I experienced a literary epiphany: I discovered Henry James.”

Rotunda website has moved to a new home

In 2004, what had been known since its establishment two years earlier as the “Electronic Imprint” of UVA Press was branded as “Rotunda”, and we produced our first website to go along with it, at With a design by Bill Covert centered on an award-winning logo, the site has served us well for eight years as the public face of Rotunda and a gateway to our publications. But with the new year, we have moved all of our general descriptive content about Rotunda to a hierarchy under the ROTUNDA tab on the Press website.