ARRIVING SOON!


HELLACIOUS CALIFORNIA!

Tales of Rascality! Revelry! Dissipation! and Depravity!

and the Birth of the Golden State


by Gary Noy


Paperback

eBook

Co-published by Heyday and Sierra College Press, 2020

Release Date:  June 2020


Whether you are already well acquainted with California’s colorful nineteenth-century history or newly interested in the topic, this is the book for you.  Gary Noy’s Hellacious California! confidently carries the reader into the everyday lives of early Californians from a variety of walks of life—women and men, native peoples, Mexican Californios, Chinese immigrants, American forty-niners, free and enslaved blacks, and immigrants from around the globe.  The focus on Californians’ popular pastimes and everyday activities, with an eye on vice, decadence, and scandal, makes this book a rowdy tour.  

     Some of the stories will make you laugh aloud; others will make you cringe.  But gathered together here, they offer glimpses of the past that remind us what it meant—and means—to be human.  California’s men and women, then as now, worked to earn a living, but they also found time together to eat, cheat, drink, play, gamble, dance, race, smoke, ride, trick, fight, lie, and fornicate, among other things.  You would be hard pressed to find a better tour guide to the people and places and passions of “Old California” than Gary Noy, an accomplished scholar and teacher with decades of experience unearthing California’s lively past.  Any person interested in good stories well told will not be disappointed --  Dr. Patrick Ettinger, Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento; Former Director of CSUS Public History Program and the Capital Campus Oral History Program

Premier historian Gary Noy has created the finest and most entertaining compilation ever of stories documenting “the best bad things” of nineteenth century California. It is a kaleidoscopic portrait of the Golden State through its vices ranging from gambling saloons, to boxing rings, to houses of ill-repute and to such nefarious personalities as the “Confidence Queen,” better known as “Big Bertha.” At the same time, he brings out the positive with California’s development of vineyards and breweries and its love affair with fine dining and sports. Never before has this been so well told and supported by such a vast array of primary sources drawn from contemporary diaries, letters, newspapers, and magazines. --
Gary F. Kurutz, Director emeritus, California History Room and Special Collections, California State Library, Sacramento

 One of the best reads about the state I love! History penned with a sense of humor, insight, and compassion - Gary’s fascinating vignettes of California’s early years of expansion, exploitation, and unbridled human nature reveal the vibrant complexity of forces at work that established the Golden State as a force to be reckoned with as it hurtled its way toward the 20th century. -- Beverly Lewis, Director, Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office; Past President of FLICS (Film Liaisons in California Statewide), the professional association of California State Film Commissions


"

Standing Guard

Telling Our Stories

by the Standing Guard Publication Group

Gary Noy, one of the editors

Hardbound, 165 pages, $60



Published by Sierra College Press

2002


Recipient of the 2002 Rice Diversity Award from the California Community College Office of the Chancellor


SIERRA STORIES

Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogues

by Gary Noy

Foreword by Malcolm Margolin

Paperback, 235 pages, $17

eBook, $8.99


Co-published by Heyday and Sierra College Press

2014

Release Date:  April 2014


Now in its Third Printing


"I love California lore and your writing and the story selection hit all the right notes with me.  I laughed, I learned, they entertain, they linger!"

-- Beverly Lewis, Director of the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office


"[Gary] Noy curates his collection to great effect, offering readers a smattering of succinct and highly readable accounts of the mad strivers, the ostracized immigrants, the robber barons, the famous entertainers and other noteworthy individuals who lived in the skinny mountain range running down eastern California....Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogues delivers exactly what the title promises."

-- Matthew Renda, Tahoe Quarterly magazine, Summer 2014

BOOKS



GOLD RUSH STORIES

49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck

by Gary Noy

​Foreword by Gary F. Kurutz

Paperback, 378 pages, $17​

​eBook, $8.99

​with 49 historic images


​Co-published by Heyday and Sierra College Press

Release date: May 2017


What a remarkable collection! An original and lively look at all the usual suspects, plus bears, weather, women, Joaquín, disappointment and dissipation, a veritable glory hole of highly polished nuggets from life on the frontier. Exhaustively researched and highly entertaining. -- JoAnn Levy, author of They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush and Unsettling the West: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California


This fascinating book offers readers something new. Gary Noy brings together, appropriately enough, 49 tales drawn from familiar and unfamiliar sources, each rich with something compelling and memorable.... A satisfying representation of California's Gold Rush, complex, unruly, appalling, uplifting, and, as we come to understand, ultimately never quite what we thought it was. --Terry Beers, Professor of English and American Literature, Santa Clara University and author of Califlora: A Literary Field Guide


Gary Noy’s collection of stand-alone, stand-out non-fiction stories of the Gold Rush underscores once again the continuing role of this epoch as a catalyst for good writing.  Again and again, we Californians return to this era to re-discover the breeder-reactor of literary energy set in motion by the first decade of American California. Noy has the ability to make old stories seem new and new stories seem like they have always been part of the Gold Rush canon. -- Kevin Starr, Professor of History at the University of Southern California; California State Librarian emeritus; and author of the multi-volume Americans and the California Dream.


Seamlessly fuses academic rigor, original reporting and emotional intensity into one meditation on an era.…If the task of the historian is to be faithful to lost truths, then Noy’s latest exploration succeeds on every level, and does so in a way that will keep readers wanting to dig deeper into the past.—Scott Thomas Anderson, Sierra Lodestar Magazine

Sierra Stories is the 2016 winner of the Gold Medal for Best Regional Nonfiction from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Distant horizon

Documents from the 19th Century American West

Edited by Gary Noy

Paperback, 467 pages, $22


Published by the University of Nebraska Press

1999


"This is history close up, bringing to life the men and women who built the West." -- Parade magazine


"This massive book is a gold mine ... documenting the lifestyle of the original settlers of the American West." -- Joyce Sparrow, Library Journal


Gary Noy,  Author and Lecturer

The Illuminated Landscape

A Sierra Nevada Anthology

Co-edited by Gary Noy and Rick Heide

Foreword by Robert Hanna

Paperback, 448 pages, $19.95

A California Legacy Book


Co-published by Heyday, Sierra College Press and Santa Clara University

2010


This is a remarkable anthology, taking the reader chronologically from the dawn of time to environmental issues of today.  This book belongs on every bookshelf of the best-of-the-best of Californiana. --               

Dr. William Swagerty, Director, John Muir Center, University of the Pacific

Brilliantly assembled and introduced, this first anthology of Sierra Nevada writings stands as a landmark publication. -- Gary Kurutz, Curator of Special Collections, California State Library




"This is a book as classic as Yosemite itself -- it's sure to become a standard resource." -- Steve Heilig, San Francisco Chronicle


"This anthology of Sierra writings stands tall." -- Sam McManis, Sacramento Bee


The Illuminated Landscape provides us an important opportunity to take the time to reflect on this magnificent place and why it matters to Sierra Nevadans and all Californians -- this range is very special and we dare not fail to act to protect and sustain into the future. Enjoy. -- Jim Branham, CEO, Sierra Nevada Conservancy


This anthology looms large on the horizon for those who want to learn about, enjoy and experience the Sierra Nevada.  A truly terrific collection. -- David Guy, CEO, Yosemite Association