In New Mexico, the High Road between Taos and Santa Fe connects landscapes, cultures and histories in a ring of natural beauty. The route inspires a long tradition of artistry and literary excellence. The University of New Mexico Press’s new imprint High Road Books will be dedicated to thoughtful, stylish, provocative fiction and nonfiction with western roots and national appeal.

Launching in March 2021, the debut titles under the imprint include works by literary legend Leslie Epstein, New York Times’s Ralph Blumenthal, and a new collection of essays from nature writer Rick Bass.

“High Road Books will offer an exciting new opportunity for UNM Press to share amazing authors with readers, some who may be discovering our catalog for the first time,” says Katherine White, sales and marketing manager.

High Road Books will publish three titles in March 2021:

Fortunate Son: Selected Essays from the Lone Star State, by Rick Bass, is a literary tour of the state, from Galveston Bay to the Hill Country outside Austin, and from Houston in the 1960s to today, by a native Texan of exceptional talent. Bass’s work was admired by Edward Abbey, who said, “Rick Bass has something important to say, and   he says it good.”

The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack, by Ralph Blumenthal, is the weird and chilling true story of Dr. John Mack, the eminent Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer who risked his career to investigate the phenomenon of human encounters with aliens. Blumenthal, reporter at the New York Times from 1964 to 2009, first wrote about Mack for Vanity Fair in 2013.

Hill of Beans: A Novel of War and Celluloid, by Leslie Epstein, chronicles the making of Casablanca, as studio head Jack Warner attempts to engineer an improbable publicity stunt: the invasion of North Africa by British and American forces to coincide with the release of the film in 1942. This is the novel that Epstein—the son and nephew of Philip and Julius Epstein, the screenwriters of Casablanca—was born to write.

Director Stephen Hull adds, “We have been the publisher of New Mexico for more than ninety years. With the launch of High Road Books, we continue to expand upon our legacy as New Mexico’s window on the world.”

For more information contact Adelia Humme, UNM Press publicist, at